Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma: a Memoir

Today, January 28th, would have been my Grandma's 92nd birthday. She died in 1998, and I think I still miss her as much now as I did shortly after she died. Grandma was my Dad's mom. She grew up in a sod house, got married at 17, and had my father when she was 18. Her husband left her when she was probably 21, with 2 young children to care for. She remarried a few years later, and had 3 more boys......5 in all. A Wyoming girl. She was generous, amazingly frugal, and practical. She was able to make a tasty meal for 7 with a few potatoes and a little ham (see her soup recipe below). She loved animals. She gave me this love, along with my blonde hair, and dry hands in the winter. Grandma was kind to strangers and to others that society might have otherwise discarded. I spent most of my young summers in her little house on the prairie (literally!), chasing horses and wild bunnies. I learned from her that you can get a good meal from KMart's blue plate special (or used to, anyway), that a good bargain was a victory, and that you can make do with less than what you thought you could. Grandma never had a dishwasher, and when her grown boys tried to buy her one, she declined, saying, "This is the only time I have alone to think".I understand, and it is a rare dishwashing experience that I don't think about her when I handwash dishes, pots, and pans. I miss her calling me "Lizbeth" or "Honey girl". She believed in me no matter what, and I would call her weekly when I was in college and beyond to give her my life's updates. I still do send her updates....just not by phone :). So, happy birthday, Grandma! I sure do miss you. With love, Lizbeth

Grandma Scott's Tater Soup
6-8 medium sized cubed red potatoes
4-6 sticks of celery
1 diced medium onion
1 cup of diced ham
1/2 cup butter
1 can of corn (either cream style or whole kernel is fine)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of evaporated milk to add at the very end.

cook onion and celery in butter until cooked. Add ham about half way thru. Add rest of ingredients to pot (except for evaporated milk). Add just enough water to "fill in the gaps" of the ingredients, but not covering the ingredients. Simmer until potatoes are soft and done. Add evaporated milk, and serve with oyster crackers (If you can still find them!). Enjoy!


  1. A beautiful tribute to your Grandma...

  2. fantastic that it is possible to make a delicious meal in a frugal way ! have to try that recipe ! sounds like it suits our tastes as well !

  3. That brought tears to my eyes. I am sure she sends her loving wishes to you on your birthday as well!