Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something Grandma Whipped up.

Last night my youngest sister was over for dinner with her 9 week old son. We had a lovely evening, very quiet and relaxed. As we were talking about our plans for the rest of the weekend, I mentioned that I would be baking snacks for the kids' school lunches. My plan was just to use up the couple of packets of muffin mixes that Super Husband (he told me that, after my earlier post, this was now his Official Title) had purchased the week before. Low stress, easy, no mess baking. My subconscious obviously had other ideas.

Last night I dreamed of my Grandma. She passed away a few years ago now, and spent the last years of her life suffering from Alzheimer's. This terrible disease took her from us well before it took her body. My dream was of Grandma as I remember her from my childhood. We regularly went to visit her and Pa for lunch on a Sunday. We would be dressed in our Sunday best, heading straight over there after church. Grandma had this tiny little dining room table that at best sat 4 people, yet there we were, 8 of us, sitting around it happily. We would usually have fresh salad sandwiches that we could make up ourselves, accompanied by a glass of icy cold Cottees Coola Cordial (mum never had this, so it was a real "only at Grandma's" treat ).

After lunch we would sit around and talk and talk. I would do crossword puzzles with Grandma's help, or go into her spare room and read one of the many old books that she had in the book case there. After a while, it was time for the adults to have a cuppa. This was our favourite part of visiting Grandma and Pa because she always baked. She would serve "Slater" Biscuits (so named because they were ridged like a Slater Bug), or Shortbread, and always had plenty of Nut Loaf on hand. This is what I dreamed of last night. Afternoon tea with Grandma and Pa and her Nut Loaf.

Yes, Subconscious Self, I can take a hint. I woke up this morning with a massive craving for Nut Loaf! SH and I went grocery shopping before lunch, and I proceeded to buy the various bits and pieces that I would need to fulfill this craving.

When we first realised that Grandma was getting sick I asked my mum if it would be rude to ask Grandma for the recipes that she uses to bake all the yummy things she served us. I couldn't bear the thought of them being lost for all time as I was quite sure that she just made them from memory (like my mum does). Anyway, mum said I should ask, and so I did. I now have copies of her Nut Loaf (plus a few others) and a sheaf of recipes from my Oma as well. I figured that what was good for one was good for the other. I didn't want to miss any of their great baking treats after they were gone. Good thing I did too, recently one of my cousins asked if anyone knew any good Dutch recipes (my mum is from Holland). I was able to help out with the many recipes that I had "inherited" from Oma. Yay!

Anyway, Grandma's Nut Loaf is a great recipe and we all love it. The only trouble is, it requires soaking some of the ingredients overnight. Obviously having just dreamed about it last night, I hadn't the opportunity to do that. I wasn't going to be beaten however, and dug out another of my many cookbooks to find a suitable recipe that I could use instead. The book I grabbed was The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes & Slices Cookbook. There are a couple of baked Nut Loaves that I have tried out previously and I knew that I could whip one of them up no worries. Looking at the recipes on offer I settled on the Date & Walnut Rolls. My kids love Dates and this was sure to be a winner. It's not a tricky recipe, and before long I had a saucepan on the stove, and then the loaves were in the oven.

Nut Loaf Tins aren't like regular cake tins.

The Nut Loaves smelled delicious and before the hour was up I knew they were ready. Not long after I pulled them out of the oven I received a phone call from my other sister. She wanted to know if they could pop over for a coffee, but I invited them to stay for dinner. By the time they arrived, the Nut Loaf had cooled enough for a taste test so I sliced a little bit off the roll. My plan was for my sister and I to taste it, but not to tell the boys (SH and Brother-In-Law). Why share the goodness? Just kidding. Anyway, I kept slicing because the kids came running once the smell hit the other room. We quickly spread the slices with butter, and I called out to the boys "Who wants some Nut Loaf". Imagine my surprise when an unexpected voice answered back, quick as a wink "Is the Pope a Catholic?". It was my brother, and I had no idea that he was even here! Talk about good timing. He couldn't believe his timing either. He said that he was only telling mum yesterday that she should make some of Grandma's Nut Loaf as he missed it terribly. What luck! I am just really pleased that the recipe makes 2 loaves, given how fast we went through the first one this afternoon.

Kids are in bed... this is my supper. Yummo!


Super Hubby said...

The nut loaf is to die for... very yummy. My tummy thanks you for savouring those recipes :)

Jen said...

You're welcome. I am going to try out some more nut loaf recipes (including trying to adapt Grandma's one) over the next week. So your tummy can thank me again later! :)

Jessica said...

yum, that looks delicious. I should try making one of those. when you have found the best one make a note in your posts so i know which one to try... oh but I might need to borrow your tins... lol.

Jen said...

Well you can borrow the tins so long as you don't have them for too long. I think these nut loaves are going to become a regular occurrence in our house now that I have figured out Grandma's recipe. I have posted it on the recipes page now. :)