Monday, July 27, 2009

Medicinal chocolate

My grandmother died on Saturday. We were not surprised -- she was almost 97 and her health started to decline last year. We will miss her, but are happy that she had a long, full life (she raised seven kids and fostered I think five more, cooked with the ladies' circle at church, walked to Mass almost every morning before she picked up the mail at the PO where I used to be able to address a letter simply "Mrs Helen J, Dorchester, WI," kept a gorgeous garden, both flower and veg, made quilts for all her children and grandchildren, and played a mean game of sheepshead) and was independent and living on her own until about two years ago.

My sister just happened to be here visiting already, so she and I will drive up to northern Wisconsin tomorrow for the funeral. (SH is at a work conference where he is presenting a paper, so he cannot attend the funeral.)

My grandmother making strudel.
Photo credit: My mom.

I think I should take some food with us as there will be a ton of out of town relatives and the burden of feeding everyone should not fall on the few relatives who live there. No, restaurants really aren't an option in our family. We are People Who Do Not Waste and we especially do not Waste Money on Restaurants When We Can Cook Ourselves. Not to mention the dining out options in Medford and Dorchester are limited.

So here is the question. Can I get away with making something from a mix? Or does it have to be homemade? How much, if any, would my reputation suffer as a cook and as a Decent Human Being Who Cooks From Scratch if I make a Pillsbury Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from the mix I picked up at the bargain table last week? Would anyone know it was from a mix?


BethanyC said...

I remember your posting that photo of your Grandmother before. I thought then and still think that it is absolutely beautiful. That must have been amazing strudel. My condolences. My family feels the same way about my Grandmother, who is 101. This year has not been good in terms of health, and even though we all her life has been richer and fuller than most we will miss her when that time comes.

I hope your family has a wonderful time together remembering her life. I'm sure whatever food you end up take, easy or not, will help. :)

class-factotum said...

Thank you, Bethany. This photo (which my mom took) is one of my mom's favorites, too.

It will be nice to see everyone. And I decided to make the mix cake and a squash casserole from scratch. So I am covered.

Anonymous said...

Mom & I got to see Aunt Helen last Wednesday and Aunt Charlene took pictures of us together. Wow--I'm SOOOOO glad we got to see her. She was alert, smiling and folding towels!!! We could barely get her to stop folding towels long enough to take the pictures. My life truly is richer from knowing her. She's certainly raised the bar high for all of us! White Chocolate

Bohemiandoc said...

I think that your bringing food is a testimonial of your love for your grandmother and your family. Mix or scratch, nevermind. The love will come through like crazy. I will be thinking of you and all your family this week. My heart is with you.