Grandmother Louise or Gram as we called her was a character! Her demeanor was so Italian, but inside there was a "Thoroughly Modern Millie." She Loved the freedom that America afforded her.
Her family owned and operated a boarding house, which her mother ran.
She cooked for 8 to 20 people at a time. All the meals were made from scratch and all vegetables were grown in a garden.
All through her life she climbed the ladder of success. First helping her mother and then helping her husband, my grandfather, get started in a very successful landscaping business and flower shop.
Everyone in the family worked at the "Garden Shop." Holidays were busy, flower arrangements were designed and delivered.
Trees were sold and as things expanded to landscaping design she would dispatch the men to jobs even to the extent of picking them up at their homes and driving them to work.
Gram kept the books, did the payroll and made sure that everyone was taken care of to include meals.
She cooked from scratch and of course, everything had an Italian flair, even when she found a recipe on a label from a can. Because she was a "Thoroughly Modern Millie", so busy with life, she became very skillful in food preparation and the taste, was excellent!
From her recipe file and hundreds of scratch notes and miscellaneous cook books of her time, my husband and I published a recipe book and called it "Recipes From Louise."
We dedicated it to Gram and presented it to her two years prior to her passing.
She was thrilled and so proud of me and John for digging through her books and notes, but little did we know, we did not even scratch the surface.
What we had accomplished was a tribute to her as these were the recipes she loved to cook and eat more than the others.
The person I grew to know and love was such a lovable person yet she could put you in your place when it was needed.
Rarely did I ever see that except with my father. He and Louise on occasion would come to grips with each other on how a recipe should have been cooked.
It was amusing to see Louise tell him in no uncertain terms that she was the head chef in the kitchen.
I miss you Gram...