Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weakness for a grandmother's baked goods

A few weekends ago, I went to a friend's cottage just outside of Berwick. It was so nice to get out of the city and just relax for awhile! We drank some wine, had an awesome BBQ, took a stroll through her mother's garden and lounged around in the sun.

The real highlight for me though, was meeting her grandmother. This woman was sharp and sarcastic with a real twinkle in her eye. On the way back, we stopped in to say goodbye and ended up staying for tea and a slice of lemon meringue pie. I use the term 'slice' loosely because I asked for a sliver and ended up with a quarter....I ate it all anyway.

Sitting there at the kitchen table, it made me miss my own grandmother. I was little when my momma's mother passed away, but I did get to spend some time with poppa's. Not surprisingly, the most vivid memories that I have of her took place in the kitchen. Sometimes I'd help her bake and sometimes I'd just sit and watch. Though she did make fantastic bread and rolls- as often, grandmothers do- my favorite treats were her tarts.

In NL, one of the most popular berries that we have are partridgeberries; small, burgundy berries with a flavor one might consider a mix between a cranberry and blueberry. Whenever Nan came to visit from 'around the bay' aka, rural NL, she would bring ice cream containers full of partridgeberries and spend a day making tarts. She'd start by making the crust, putting the dough in pie plates, and then she'd make the lattice topping. When the pie plates were full, she'd use dinner plates...and, if there was any dough left, she'd make me a tiny tart on a tea saucer.

Whenever I see partridgeberry tarts in bakeries at home, I always think of those moments in the kitchen, and how lucky my friend is to still be able to make memories with her grandmother...


Jamie said...

My family is full of amazing cooks, and almost every memory I have of family is in the kitchen, living and departed relatives included. I even have memories of my great-grandmother making SPAM sandwiches and extra-strong Red Rose tea when I was 8 years old. Funny things to remember, but you cherish them all the same.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother got me hooked on Banana bread. Her's was always fabulous, and have almonds in it and dried fruit. Always moist and sweet. Another of her greatest remembered bakes was: rum cake, a trinidadian christmas treat where the fruit is soaked for months prior! great post Kristen, lovely pictures I might add