Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mom Mom - Queen of Ritz and Peanut Butter

I have been thinking about my grandmother the past few days.   She passed away in February 1976. Perhaps that's why she is on my mind this February.  She and I always had a unique connection.  So perhaps she is close right now.

Grandmothers are always special.  There is that wonderful Norman Rockwell type image of sitting around your Grandmothers table surrounded by all the wonderful food she prepared.  Visiting grandmothers brings the scent of warm cookies just taken from the oven made just for you.  Grandmom would meet you at the door with an apron on and a little touch of flour on her cheek from baking.  It's a beautiful image but it was not my grandmother.  This was my mother's vision of her grandmother.  Her grandmother made baked apple dumplings for my Mom when Mom was a child.  I was told of the wonderful chicken pot pies she would make for suppers.  My mother's grandmother made her home with their family.  She did all the cooking.  As a result my grandmother never learned to cook.  She mopped, and swept, and cleaned her house daily.  It was spotless.   But she never cooked.

My grandmother volunteered to work at our churches Daily Vacation Bible School every year.  When I was very young she taught the pre school children's class.  And for some reason I always won the award for best workbook every year.  One year we had a very small class room area in the back of the church's chapel.  We had a small card table to work on and it only had three legs.  My grandmother's assistant was a lady who was considered to old to be able to take care of a class by herself.  She was a tiny little lady with a little bit of a palsy type shake.  Her name was Miss Maggie.  Her main job was to keep her knee under the table to balance the table where the fourth leg should have been located.  Of course every day her knee would move and our crayons would roll off the table and on to the floor.  But I was still able to retrieve my crayons and win the prize for neatest workbook.

A few years later it was decided my grandmother had reached the age when she was no longer thought to be capable to take care of a class also.  Instead of making her some ones assistant the youth leaders decided they would have her be responsible for making snacks.  I guess they had the Norman Rockwell imagine of the grandmother with the flour on her cheek making cookies.  My grandmother had no plans for making cookies or cupcakes for our snacks.  Her plan was to walk to Siebert's Grocery Store , which was next to our church, buy a box of Ritz crackers and smear the crackers with peanut butter.

I was shopping yesterday at my local grocery store and for some reason I had an urge to buy Ritz crackers and peanut butter.  I haven't bought Ritz crackers in years.  I came home and made some Ritz and peanut butter snacks.  And then it hit me.  I had been thinking about Mom Mom.  Then suddenly those snacks became the best tasting treat I have made in a long time.

Maybe tomorrow I will break out some crayons and roll them off the side of the table.

Above is an old family photo.  My grandmother is the lady on the right end of the table.  I am at her side as usual.  This appears to be a birthday party.   And I am positive my grandmother did not make any of the food.


  1. Love this! I've often heard you speak of your mom, but this is my first introduction to your grandmother. Ritz crackers and peanut butter? My kind of cook!

    1. My grandmother was my heart Barbara. I have another blog about her on here. It was from last year in April in a blog about Fell's Point. Love of my life.