Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hand-Me-Down Recipes

Some of my most favorite and fun times with our four-year-old granddaughter Avery are spent in my kitchen. I introduced her to cooking with me when she was two, and she was, and still is, like a little sponge, soaking up everything I teach her. Whether it's making potato salad, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, or cookies ... she loves it all, even washing the dishes!

Another cooking-related activity we enjoy together is watching Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network Channel. I record all of Ina's programs and on the weekends Avery and I curl up on the sofa and "watch Ina cook." Avery is fascinated by everything Ina does, and doesn't miss a thing, even commenting on the color of her lipstick!

It seems that Ina has replaced Veggie Tales, Angelina Ballerina, Wow, Wow Wubbzy, Blues Clues, and all the other children's shows that Avery used to watch. She even asked her mommy and daddy to record Ina's shows at home so she can watch them when she gets home from pre-school. Now, that is true devotion ... and from a four-year-old little girl!

That same little girl came into my kitchen the other day, and said, "Grandmama, I want to whisk something!" I gave her a bowl of water with some flour and dish washing soap in it and she "whisked" away to her heart's content. Another time, she wanted to know if a pear I fixed for her was like the "butternut squash" that Ina cooks. So, not only does she watch Ina, but she's learning from her, too. And I can't think of a more talented, gracious, and elegant person for her to learn from than Ina.

After realizing that Avery has a real interest in cooking, I decided to create a cookbook just for her, featuring recipes for some of her favorite foods. I included pictures of Avery in the book, too ... when she was two, making Christmas cookies with my mother ...

It takes lots of concentration to get that rolling pin to 'do right' ...

And holding your mouth just right helps, too ...

She was three in the following pictures, helping me make a Lemon Ice Box Pie:

This pie-making business is serious stuff ...

Are you sure you want to put this in our pie, Grandmama?

Tada! All done!

Looking back at these pictures makes me teary-eyed seeing how much Avery has grown. But I know we have many more fun times ahead of us filled with whisking and chopping and stirring and mixing and kneading ... and sharing stories and "hand-me-down recipes" from her great grandmothers and great-great grandmothers ... stories and recipes that Avery will pass along to her children some day.

And I hope she will still have her first cookbook to share with them, too. A cookbook created with love, by her Grandmama. I can't wait 'til Christmas to give it to her.

I published the book through Blurb, and couldn't be more pleased with it.

You can click on this link if you would like to see a preview of the first 15 pages of the cookbook ...Cooking with Grandmama


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

She is adorable, and the book is priceless! Your photos (and recipes) look great!

Thanks for telling us about blurb!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, truly this is the cutest thing I have ever seen. You are SO creative, and this is just adorable, a real treasure.

That Avery Grace is the perfect model, too, and oh, so sweet as she is pretty. I think it's great that you've encouraged her love of cooking. One day, when she grows up to be Julia Child II, she will credit her grandmother with her love of cooking.

One of my great nieces is in culinary school, and I think it is a great field for women. Maybe one day, Avery will have her own TV show, too. She sure is cute enough.

Love to you and yours, Janie...


Sheila :-)

Picket said...

Oh that is just the most precious thing!!!!!! I love her in the pic with her little mouth like that! lol What beautiful memories you are making with that sweet dumpling.you can just feel such love just from reading you talk about her...Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours dear friend! ~Picket~

Donna said...

Too cute!!! Enjoy all the precious moments with your grandchildren. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Beth at Aunties said...

This caught my heart! She will treasure this precious gift forever, as will her children and grandchildren! It shows the wonderful relationship you have and loving grandmama you are. She is so blessed to be yours!
Happy Thanksgiving dear Friend and thank you for sharing so of your life and many talents with me this past year!