August 17, 2004
Grandmother Food Memories

When I was small, Sundays were a big event. My family would make the trek across town to the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia where both sets of my grandparents lived, just blocks apart. The centerpiece of these memories was family, but food played a big part in the day.

My grandmothers were different individuals when it came to food. We would often visit my mothers' parents first, for lunch. My maternal grandmother was a caring, loving woman, but not a cook. She would offer huge sandwiches, exquisite bakery pastries and cakes, and great take out food from the local delis. Accompanying the food was an endless supply of beer (usually the local Schmidt's), highballs, and soft drinks for the kids. She ran a corner store with a huge candy counter, so we were always happy not long after we arrived, our faces filled with sweets.

My paternal grandmother was also caring and loving, but a born cook. Dinner would consist of several meats, but I most fondly remember her "white ham," an unsmoked ham that was moist, juicy and melted in your mouth. She made her own horseradish, both mild and spicy, and in combination with either the pork or kielbasa, it was a true treat. Everything on the table was fresh, from the side items to dessert (often a babka), and we went home on Sunday evenings full and happy.

Posted by david on August 17, 2004
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