I don’t remember my mother’s mother well. She did not live close by, and she passed away when I was still quite young. I have some things of hers, though, that help me know her just a bit:
I can tell which recipes she used over and over by the spots and stains on those pages. So many of them have notes on them: “delicious!” “Good for sandwiches” “Flora’s best!” My own mother has told me that the Cranberry Ice in Orange Cups was a favorite tradition for Thanksgiving. And, I like to make Grandma’s Brown Bread. It’s quick and moist, hearty enough to make a meal with a pot of baked beans, yet can stand alone on a pretty plate for a ladies’ tea.
GRANDMA HUEY’S BROWN BREAD
½ cup molasses
1 cup sour milk
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
¼ cup white flour
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour (Grandma’s recipe calls for “graham” flour)
1 cup seedless raisins (optional)
If you don’t happen to have a cup of sour milk on the counter, add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into your liquid measuring cup, then fill with milk to the 1-cup mark.
Let this stand for about 15 minutes; you’ll see it begin to curdle and “sour”.
Greased round cans, filled just a little over half full, make lovely slices. This recipe will fill two round cans and a small bread tin, or one large bread pan.
Here’s what I can tell you about my grandmother…
Family was important. You can tell this by the way she is looking at her baby girl in the photo, the carefully kept quilt, and the well-used recipes for daily meals.She loved pretty things and special occasions. Look at the beautiful glass serving bowl, the delicately painted plate, and remember the recipe for “Cranberry Ice”. Note the number of places she’s marked her recipes –“served at Elizabeth’s wedding” or “nice for tea sandwiches”.She had friends (“Hattie’s favorite!”) and loved nature. The pages of the Burgess book are marked with a bird’s feather, a pressed rose, a single fern leaf.She was thrifty—using the milk that had soured, molasses for sweetener.
And, one final thing—I did not know my grandmother well, but I realize she’s given me more than a great recipe for brown bread. She’s given me a heritage that includes what is important to me, too: family, friends, a love of nature, thrift and conservation and yes, pretty things and special occasions!
This recipe for Grandma Huey’s Brown Bread is shared as part of the Bread Bake Off on the FARM CHICK‘s site. Hop over there for more delicious bread recipes!