It seems that all there really is to preserve are recipes and the stories that go with that. But while cooking is very prevalent in my family, there are no recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I decided that I wanted to start this tradition. My mother is a fantastic cook and her best dishes that she has shared with us need to be documented! My grandfather, her father, spends a lot of time in the kitchen as well. Every time we go to visit him, we are drooling over his onion pancakes and amazing bread. I wanted to learn this recipe, so this past Christmas weekend, I did.
My mother, sister and I headed down to Glennville, CA. (My father stayed home, as he was being a Scrooge, which we are all used to and are completely unaffected by.) My grandparents live on a large plot of land, which we refer to as the "ranch." I guess it is a ranch, as there are some animals and lots of fruits and veggies. But there is no one who really tends to the ranch. My grandparents used to, but as they have gotten older, there is only so much they can do.
|The Ranch, painted by my aunt|
|Newest addition to the goat family|
|This guy's got a pretty mean case of bed head.|
|Grandma harvesting some veggies for dinner|
Anyhow, I like going down there to enjoy the fresh food, clean air and starry nights. The place is quite run down though, and I am sure I would head down there more often if the house were more cozy. (The house actually belongs to my aunt and uncle, and they keep meaning to update it, but they have yet to do so.)
So, the weekend was spent with my grandfather. He is 92-years-old, but he is a spry old man. We are separated by a language barrier, and he is not that talkative to begin with. But this past weekend, as he was explaining how to make bread to me, was the most I have ever heard him talk. Even though it was in Chinese, I understood most of it. I just couldn't really ask him much since I don't speak it very well at all.
I discovered that he makes this bread every 2 weeks. He churns out 6 loaves each time. He gave me the recipe... it's 8-pages long!!! It is quite labor intensive, but it is so good. I do have to modify it a bit, but I want to stay as close to the original as possible.
|8 pages of instructions on how to make Grandpa's bread|
He uses cornmeal in the bread, which he grinds from dried corn that they grow. He also puts in overripe fruit from their orchard, which basically dissolves into the bread and gives it a natural sweetness.
|Freshly ground cornmeal.|
I took home a loaf, which I enjoyed this morning, along with fresh eggs from the ranch. These eggs are the most heavenly eggs in the world. I have never tasted anything like it, not even from the farmer's markets around here.
|Beautiful fluffy loaf of Grandpa's bread|
|Fresh eggs from Grandma's chickens|
|The color of this yolk is amazing!|
|Creamy creamy goodness|
|Yum. (And don't think I didn't eat that last bit!)|
Some other photos from the ranch...
|Poopy, the ranch dog|
|The kids playing|