“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Last Year I had posted about Bubbe and Grandma (my mother-in-law, Ruth). Sadly Ruth passed away on April 3. This is in her memory.....

When I married into my husband's family, Bubbe was an institution in her own right. I had Nanas, who were very, very different from Bubbe. Until Bubbe, I had never met an elderly woman who smoked, much less non-filter cigarettes! And, no one in my family would give an opinion if they weren't asked -- it just wasn't done. But Bubbe?!

When you visited Bubbe, no matter how little notice you gave, or how badly she was feeling (Bubbe's health was poor from the day I met her until she passed away years later), she greeted your presence by pulling a never ending stream of food from her freezer. There were fish cakes, Bubbe cookies, and especially strudel. Her strudel was legendary in the family, though since I wasn't a big strudel fan at the time, it didn't mean quite as much to me. I will diverge for just a moment to say that when Bubbe made fish cakes (which were my husband's favorite) she would go to the market and wouldn't dream of buying a filet of fish. She purchased the least expensive cut of fish and took it home where she pulled all the bones out herself with pliers! That was Bubbe....

My mother-in-law tried to get Bubbe's Strudel recipe for years, but Bubbe never wrote things down and never measured. So, one day, they made strudel together with my mother-in-law stopping to measure whenever Bubbe was about to add an ingredient. Interestingly, Bubbe ground her raisins and no one knew why until they made strudel together and Bubbe explained that Auntie Sylvia didn't eat raisins, so they had to be disguised! And, so, strudel passed down to my mother-in-law who made it faithfully for every family occasion. She was very proud of her strudel!

About three years ago, my mother-in-law entered the nursing home. So, there has been no strudel since then, and for some time before. She gave the recipe to my sister-in-law, but we never did what she did with her mother-in-law and actually make the strudel with her, meticulously noting every detail. Rosh Hashanah is next week and I am determined that we will have her strudel. It won't be the same, but I will try for their sake. I, too, will make adjustments for family members, this time for my son who won't eat coconut (I don't think I can disguise it -- he's pretty discerning). Next week, my mother in law will tell me if I've even come close. Here's to you, Bubbe and Grandma...

1 comment:

  1. You were really blessed. My grandparents were all deceased by the time I was born, but I did acquire a loving grandmother for a short time with my marriage. Beautiful memories.

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