|Holmes & Edwards ad from the |
March 1947 Ladies' Home Journal
A few weeks ago, I was delighted to accept the most wonderful package from my Aunt Teresa, my Aunt Janice, and my parents: It was a completed set of my Grandma Price's silver.
|My Grandma and Grandpa Price|
It's a set that has seen decades of anniversaries and parties, family dinners and tea with the girls. Eventually my grandmother acquired another set of silver, her own mother's (my Great Grandma Steffler's), and that set was later gifted with much love to her daughter, my Aunt Teresa, in celebration and in honour of Teresa's wedding. It was a big surprise to Teresa as my Great Grandmother Steffler's silver set was something my grandmother still quite cherished, but Grandma Price felt it was time to hand it off. She wanted to see Teresa enjoy this little inheritance while she was still alive - and it was a gesture that was met with many tears and hugs.
And that fall, my grandmother unexpectedly and sadly passed away - something that made the early gift of an heirloom that much more emotional and sentimental.
After the funeral, my grandmother's original wedding silver eventually went to my aunt Janice, but she found that she didn't get as much use out of it as she would have liked. She offered it to Teresa, but she, too, didn't use it on account of already owning her Grandmother Steffler's set. And so they thought of who in the family might appreciate it and use it more, and a certain someone with a vintage obsession and disturbing love for dining came to mind. Yay for being a Fatty '50s Weirdo!
My Grandma Price's Holmes & Edwards pattern was typical of a woman who had raised a brood of children (eight kids!) - there were a lot of incompletes. Once, when asked where all the teaspoons went, my grandmother joked (but not) that they were probably in a sandbox. With my Aunt Teresa's work and my parents' help, they filled in the spaces, replacing the pieces that had been lost to sand castles of the 1950s and '60s, and then sent the completed set to me, tagging the forks, spoons, and knives that had been newly bought.
And so, I naturally did what anyone would do with such a thoughtful and sentimental gift:
In reality, to "break in" this beautiful silver, I did something much nicer and life-preserving: I made a special meal that my grandmother might have served, using recipes from the Steffler Family Cookbook (which I've mentioned once before when I went on a bender for prairie foods).
For dinner with Patrick, I adapted my grandmother's recipe for Shrimp Puffs and instead used tuna, so as to not kill my shellfish-allergic husband:
I then made Crispy Parmesan Chicken, whipped mashed potatoes, gravy, and buttered broccoli:
For my ultra romantic dinner with Anissa, I cooked up a vegetable soup and we enjoyed two of my Grandma Price's desserts: Pecan Pie and Almond Cherry Cake.
I know the Almond Cherry Cake looks suspiciously like the dreaded fruitcake, but I promise, it is really frigging amazing. Because Patrick likes chocolate, I added chocolate chips to the mix. Next time I make this, I might replace the candied cherries with sour cherries or maybe even dried blueberries just to see how it compares.
For me, food is a simple everyday way to share and show my love and appreciation for my family and friends, and there's no better way to do that than with the help of someone who was so caring and special, my Grandma.
Thanks again for this beautiful gift, Teresa, Janice, Mom and Dad. I love it.