When my parents became grandparents for the first time, I was fascinated to see what this new inter-generational relationship would be like, never having had grandparents of my own. And since my parents had not had any grandparents either, this was new for them as well.
This week I’ve been thinking about my Mom more than usual, and what kind of grandma she was. It was always clear that her only concern was her grandchildren’s happiness. She hated to see them cry and would do anything within her power to prevent that. She didn’t spend her time worrying about their future, grades, or professions. She allowed them to eat whatever they wanted, in any order they wanted. No rules about sugar, dessert, noshing, or anything else food related. She was not the kind of grandmother who set limits, never telling them to finish the food on their plate, or eat their vegetables, or threatening to withhold dessert. Although she didn’t exactly force feed them, that would have been too obvious, she would just very casually follow them around the house, staying close by, with bowl and spoon in hand (see photo below). If they opened their mouths, she’d grab the opportunity to get them to have another bite. She didn’t believe in schedules. She didn’t believe in spending money on toys, pots and pans were good enough. She knew too well that life could change on a dime, and didn’t see any point in preventing the kids from enjoying every minute of each day. Nothing, other than safety, was worth saying no to. Yes, she was indulgent, and loving, and giving. Shiraleh, Dovidle, and Michalu were the light of her life. During this Chanukah, the memories I have of my Mom, of “grandma”, have been the light of mine.
One of the dishes my Mom loved to make for the kids was lukshon und piteh und kase. Hot egg noodles tossed into a bowl of farmer cheese (or dry small-curd cottage cheese) with cinnamon, sugar and butter. It is the perfect dish for the child in all of us. Sweet, cinnamony and warm, I can remember my children opening their mouths and my Mom’s ever-ready spoon rushing in.
Lukshon und piteh und käse
6 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked per directions on package
1 cup small curd cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese
2 Tb butter, cut in small pieces
2 Tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Toss hot noodles into bowl with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings for a big kid, and four for a little.