Posted by: lhutah | November 10, 2008

A Lifetime of Memories From Grandma’s Kitchen

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Like sunshine, memories from Grandma’s kitchen radiate out to touch and bless all aspects of our lives. Rich memories are a composition of sights, sounds, textures, aromas and flavors. All it takes is a smell to instantly recall childhood memories long forgotten. Watching a turkey being placed lovingly on a Thanksgiving table summons joyful memories of holidays past.

In the following posts we will relive some of our family memories; especially those that center in or are enhanced by grandma’s kitchen.

Scroll to the earliest entries at the bottom and read forward in chronological order.
Posted by: lhutah | June 11, 2007

Memory Lane

No one leaves Grandma’s kitchen hungry and no one concludes a visit with Grandma or Grandpa without feeling the warmth of their love.  Second helpings of both food and love are always plentiful and freely given.

We now walk  down the proverbial memory lane as we gratefully recall memories that unite and bind together all who have felt the glow of our grandmother’s kitchen.

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So many memories and so little space! Check back from time to time. Photographs will rotate through this post.

Posted by: lhutah | June 10, 2005

Faith of our Fathers and Mothers

All of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s posterity know that only one thing is more important than family. By their example and through their wise counsel Grandma and Grandpa demonstrate their complete faith and trust in a loving Father in Heaven and in His Almighty Son, Jesus Christ.

Both Grandma and Grandpa descend from believing and faithful progenitors. That faith weaves its golden threads through the generational tapestry of this family. In their golden years Grandma and Grandpa served for four years a missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Many felt the warmth of their love and faith in the Kirtland, Ohio area

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And in Crown Point, New Mexico

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Grandma and Grandpa know that families can be together forever. These ties that bind us a parents and children, husbands and wives need not dissolve at death but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ continue even when death separates us  for a while.

Such is the faith of our fathers and mothers and our grandfathers and grandmothers. This makes our memories of Grandma’s kitchen infinitely sweeter.

We who’s lives are enriched beyond measure by memories of Grandma’s kitchen express our gratitude for lifetimes of faith, fun, food, love and joy.

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa

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Posted by: lhutah | September 17, 1997

Green Acres

Over the river and through the woods from Layton, Utah is a little community called Montpelier. It is located in the southeast corner of the state of Idaho. It was to this little rural, idealic setting that Grandma and Grandpa moved in 1993.

In Montpelier they had room:

Room to plant a big garden

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Room for family and friends to gather

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and room to make memories that unite four generations of Grandma’s family.

Posted by: lhutah | November 26, 1989

Growing Families and Traditions

Grandchildren make grandmas and oh, what delight they take in each other. For a grandchild Grandma’s kitchen is a wonderland. To a growing second generation Grandma and her kitchen means delicious meals, candy, hugs and kisses. Holidays are filled with delight. It’s hard to decide who is more excited at Christmas time; Grandma or the children.

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But in Grandma’s kitchen Thanksgiving reigns supreme among holidays. The cornucopia of goodies being enjoyed by a house filled with loved ones represents everything that is lovely and wonderful about Grandma’s kitchen.

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Each of the dishes that comprise a “typical” Thanksgiving meal have become traditions. The meal would not be complete if any of them were missing. However, if a survey were taken of Grandma’s sixty plus descendants it would not be surprising to learn that Grandma’s pies are the highlight of a perfect Thanksgiving meal.

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And if each member of her family were asked to name their favorite pie, the winner almost certainly would be her cottage cheese pie.  Visitors  never guess it has cottage cheese in it and are amazed when the secret is told. The pie is more like a velvety light cheese cake filling in a pie crust and is served topped with cherries or blueberries.

Posted by: lhutah | August 10, 1985

Back to Civilization

Grandma and Grandpa’s family was growing up. The older children were married and grandchildren were  expanding Grandma’s family.  In 1985 Grandma and Grandpa moved from Alaska to Layton, Utah. Grandma’s kitchen became a little more domesticated.

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In Utah, Grandpa could grow a garden and Grandma’s kitchen became “harvest central” when the garden was ready to pick.

Grandpa and his garden

Grandpa and his garden

For  seven years Grandma’s kitchen in Layton was the gathering place for parties, fun, food and family memories. Seems like something delicious was always being stirred, rolled out, or cooked to perfection.

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The wilderness did not leave grandma’s kitchen all together. Grandpa and the boys provided many fish (smaller varieties), venison and game birds.

Posted by: lhutah | June 28, 1981

Alaska Royalty

From Kotzebue, the family moved to King Salmon, Alaska. The town named for the largest of salmon species, is located about 400 miles southwest of Anchorage. Grandma’s sons were in their teens during the stay in King Salmon. They and Grandpa kept the family supplied with moose, caribou, ptarmigan, showshoe rabbits and, of course, salmon.

The King, or Chinook, salmon grows the largest of the several species of salmon that migrated upriver each summer. A big Chinook can weigh 80 pounds but are normally in the 30-50 pound range.

The king of salmon

The king of salmon

The Chinook may be the king of salmon in size but the Sockeye reigns supreme in flavor. It has the reddest flesh and the highest oil content. The family was allowed to fish for salmon using a net as long it met fish and game regulations for length of net and season of the year. The highlight of the year was the annual salmon run of Sockeye.

Netting salmon

Netting salmon

A bountiful catch of Sockeye salmon

A bountiful catch of Sockeye salmon

So, what can be done with so many salmon? For Grandma that was no problem. Sockeye salmon can be frozen, canned, smoked, smoked and then canned, or eaten fresh. Grandma’s recipes include many options for preserving the harvest of salmon so that none was wasted.

Grandma’s kitchen became a salmon processing factory during the annual salmon runs. First the salmon were filleted:

Buckets of salmon fillets

Buckets of salmon fillets

Some of the fillets were frozen whole. The rest were skinned and made the journey to either the smoke box or the cans.

Salmon goes into cans to be pressure cooked

Salmon goes into cans to be pressure cooked

It is easy to see why Grandma’s recipes include so many with salmon as an ingredient. Canned fresh salmon is extremely versatile and it’s hard to choose a favorite recipe among the many.

For everyone in Grandma’s extended family the favorite recipe is smoked salmon. It’s sweet, smoky flavor cannot be described in a way that does it justice. The look on a family member’s face as they slowly chew and savor each morsel is better evidence why many grandchildren would rather have smoked salmon than candy.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

Posted by: lhutah | January 22, 1980

Call of the Wild

It is said that you either hate living in Alaska or you love it. There is no in between.  For Grandma and Grandpa the call of the Alaska wilds was strong so in 1979 they headed north again; this time to Kotzebue, Alaska. Kotzebue is located inside the Arctic Circle. The climate is what everyone envisions as typical Alaska.

Dressing for Kotzebue winter

Dressing for Kotzebue winter

Snow piles high in Kotzebue

Snow piles high in Kotzebue

Although the stay in Kotzebue was short, Grandma’s collection of recipes expanded with some that have become family favorites. Each recipe was copied to a 4 x 6 card and filed with the other thousands she had collected. The recipe files now filled several wooden boxes, custom designed for her collection.

Posted by: lhutah | October 28, 1971

The Donut Recipe of all Time

The family left Annette Island in 1964. The years since have seen Grandma’s kitchen turning out goodies and making memories in many places. Lancaster, California was home for six years. There Grandma’s recipe collection expanded with new types of cuisine. Seafood was harder to obtain, but southern California has it’s own specialties.

Wendover, Utah was the next home of Grandma’s kitchen. Townsfolk still remember the hundreds of dozens of homemade donuts sold around town for school fund-raisers. In fact, that donut recipe is such a family tradition it might even hold the position as the number one favorite among Grandma’s thousands of recipes.

The donut recipe along with the tools needed to turn out the best donuts in the history of the world (in the opinion of anyone who has ever eaten one) have been passed down to her granddaughters who are now making their own memories. Grandpa has been kept busy making many sets of donut stands and rods as granddaughters grow up and establish kitchens of their own.

From this:

Donut dough ready for rolling and cutting

Donut dough ready for rolling and cutting

To this:

Donuts ready for the fryer

Donuts ready for the fryer

To this!

Donuts read to eat!

Donuts ready to eat!

These are melt-in-your mouth donuts! Nuff said……

Posted by: lhutah | November 23, 1962

Always Room for One More

Grandma’s kitchen always seems to provide for everyone who wished to gather around the table. All are welcome. For more than half a century Grandma’s meals have, more often than not, fed more than just her family. At Grandma’s table food and lives are shared. Family bonds are strengthened and strangers become fast friends.

Friends and family and Grandma's home cookin'

Dinner: Friends and family and Grandma

Not only are all welcome at Grandma’s table but everyone is welcomed into her kitchen. For several years missionaries lived with the family. The missionaries cooked for themselves often, but it was not unusual for them to arrive after a busy day to find a grandma-home-cooked meal waiting for them. Grandma’s faith is such that in serving others, she is only serving the Lord.

Missionaries share the kitchen

Missionaries share the kitchen

Posted by: lhutah | September 10, 1962

Traditions Begin

How do traditions start? Some say that once is an event, twice is a habit and three times is a tradition. Well, if that be the case, it didn’t take long for Grandma’s Sunday dinner to become a tradition, even a legend. Even when her children were small, the aroma of walking into the house after church meetings to the smell of cooking pot roast sent them bolting from church doors in a foot race to the Sunday dinner table.

Foot race to Sunday dinner

Foot race to Sunday dinner

No one knows exactly why but Grandma’s classic pot roast with carrots and potatoes cannot be equaled. Since the ingredients are not especially unique it must be the love that goes into its preparation.  Her children and grandchildren think so.

Pot roast, a Sunday tradition

Pot roast, a Sunday tradition

Posted by: lhutah | August 2, 1962

Seafood Smorgesborg

Grandma’s collection of recipes expanded significantly on Annette Island. In addition to the salmon recipes she had already mastered these warmer waters offered opportunities for true culinary exploration.  Soon the family became seafood connoisseurs as Grandma’s mastery with red snapper, halibut, clams and dungeness crab satisfied hungry appetites.

Grandpa with Red snapper

Grandpa with Red snapper

Grandpa with enough halibut for many meals

Grandpa with enough halibut for many meals

Ever the pioneer, Grandma didn’t mind getting her hands “fishy”. She could fish with the best but truly preferred being in front of the stove cooking up the best halibut fish and chips in the world.

Grandma anticipates another fish fry!

Grandma anticipates another fish fry!

Halibut fish and chips

Halibut fish and chips

Posted by: lhutah | July 18, 1961

Warmer Climate, More to Explore

After nearly two years of living “a little southeast of Nome” as the song goes, Grandma and Grandpa took their family to the warmer coasts of southeast Alaska. A beautiful little island with a pretty name became home for the next six years. Annette Island is covered with conifer rain forests and surrounded with a smorgesborg of seafood delicacies.

As an ideal place to raise a family you might say Grandma and Grandpa found gold at the end of the rainbow. This photo has not been doctored and isn’t yellow from the passing of time. It perfectly captures a golden memory as it actually occured.

Gold at the end of the rainbow

Gold at the end of the rainbow

Posted by: lhutah | June 21, 1958

Wild Country and Wild Menus

Living in a wilderness requires unique skills. Grandma not only learned how to cook with wild ingredients but wasn’t bashful about hunting up some grub on her own.

A hunter?

Grandma: A hunter?

From the land or the sea the Alaska wilderness furnished protein in many forms. The rivers teemed with fish of many varieties. From the river bank by the house humpback, pink, sockeye and silver salmon made their way to the family dinner table. Grandma’s skills in preparing and preserving salmon have been appreciated by several generations.

With the heart of a pioneer Grandma welcomed the challenge of cooking in the wilderness.  No restaurant anywhere can match the flavor and quality of Grandma’s kitchen when she is cooking up oyster stew, clam chowder or preparing king crab for the family!

King crab on its way to the dinner table

King crab on its way to the dinner table

The tundra doesn’t produce much, but what it does, it does in a big way. During the summer, wild blueberries grow in abundance.  They are delicious! Fresh out of the field, preserved in jam or syrup or frozen and eaten after the harvest season is over; blueberries became a family favorite.  Even now, fifty years later, one of our favorite treats is a bowl of frozen blueberries covered in whole milk and sweetened with a little sugar. It’s simple but oh, the memories!

Alaska blueberries

Alaska blueberries

Posted by: lhutah | June 20, 1958

Warm Memories and Eatable Smiles

When winter darkness was slow in giving way to the brief summer sun Grandma found ways to bring the sunshine indoors. The sweet smell of pies cooking in the kitchen only heightened the anticipation of one of our favorites; the smiley-face pie.

A Smiley-face pie brings sunshine indoors

A Smiley-face pie brings sunshine indoors

Posted by: lhutah | May 20, 1958

A Kitchen on the Tundra

One of Grandma’s earliest kitchens was in a little house on the tundra of Alaska.  The year was 1958. There were no other grandmas or kitchens for miles around. Located near the Arctic Circle, the winters were long and dark and the summer sun never set.

Unalakleet-Home on the Tundra

Unalakleet-Home on the Tundra

Groceries were ordered once a month. Menu planning and improvising skills were polished to perfection. In the winter drinking water was obtained by chipping blocks of ice from a fresh water spring several miles from the house. The ice blocks were allowed to melt in a barrel inside the house.

Despite the primitive circumstances the house became a cozy home. The only bread the family ate was homemade – the best kind!

Hot homemade bread with jam

Hot homemade bread with jam

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