My Inspiration

Presenting, the ladies who inspired this blog:

Grandma Sara, with my sister (r) and me (l)

Grandma Sara died five years ago at the age of 89, and I ended up with her recipe box.  My initial thought was to collect her favorite recipes into a cookbook and distribute it to family members, but then I thought a blog would be better… because I can add posts as the spirit moves me, and it’s interactive.  I grew up not three miles from her farm, and as a result we gathered ’round her dining room table for many holidays and birthdays.

The best memories I have of things she made are her Amish-style sugar cookies and molasses cookies and chicken corn soup (link is to Grandma Losch’s recipe, with rivels – I don’t recall Grandma Sara’s having rivels), and how she always made my dad an angel food cake for his birthday because she knew how much he loved it.

Baby me with Grandma Losch, 1967

The more I considered the blog idea, the more I thought it should be a plural possessive Grandmas’.  Grandma Losch cooked more by feel than by actual recipe, and lordy, could she ever cook for a crowd.  Aside from the fact that she had to feed five kids, she also made a living as a cook for a fraternity house at Susquehanna University and had her own restaurant in Millerstown PA for a time.  She was her own worst critic in the kitchen – she’d serve up a slice of lemon meringue pie so good it would bring tears to your eyes with the disclaimer that “it got a little weepy” and maybe wasn’t her best effort.  If you looked up “comfort food” in the dictionary, her picture would illustrate the entry. Food was love to Mary Losch, and if you didn’t sit yourself down at her kitchen table and eat – no matter the time of day or your current state of hunger – it was practically an insult.

Some of her recipes are captured in cookbooks of recipes collected by the members of her church, and I’m pulling out some of the best ones here as time allows.   My favorite food memories connected to Grandma Losch include that she would make me a red velvet cake each year for my birthday, and made the best pig stomach and chicken pot pie. She also made some delicious pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, as is the tradition in Central PA.

I wrote about them yesterday on my other blog, Soup Is Not A Finger Food, but this tribute more fittingly belongs right here, where their recipes live.