From Bucks County, Pennsylvania
By Carrie J. Gamble
Since my grandmother's passing I have a new and different perspective of her life and stories of days gone by. On occasion I tend to compare myself to her ~ something I had never done before. This happened again a few weeks ago when people started talking about the end of summer and “going back to school.” Hearing about it and thinking about it made me feel very sad in the same way it has my entire life. Watching summer slip away breaks my heart like watching someone you love walk away never to return again. I love the warm sun, wearing tank tops and short skirts and the carefree feeling of the season. Going back to school was NEVER something I looked forward to. On the other hand my grandmother, Elizabeth, . . . loved school! I will always remember her enthusiasm whenever she'd talk about her experiences there.
School opened up a whole new world for Elizabeth! It was an eminent contrast to life on the family farm where she'd diligently work to help her parents by cooking and caring for her younger siblings. For Elizabeth, going to her little one room schoolhouse was like going to an enchanted cottage. The time period was 1917 when she was eight years old. Elizabeth loved everything about it – meeting new friends, wearing a pretty dress (she had one dress with two pinafores), admiring her teacher, but most of all she had a passion for learning. She spoke only in German when first attending school, so imagine what a quick learner she was to pick up English at the same time she learned about world history!
Elizabeth was eager to learn everything she could, not only from her teacher, but from her classmates as well. “I would come home and tell my mother of all the wonderful things my girlfriends brought in their lunches!” She and her mother would experiment with all of these new recipes. They were so proud of themselves after making their very first pie and layer cake. Back in the old country there was no such thing as pies, so they were especially fascinated by this new idea. They improvised by using a bread pan to make the layer cake. Elizabeth planned on taking it in for the last day of school. “Mother had no layer tins so she made it in a big bread pan. She sliced it in half to make two layers. Then she iced it. I was so proud of her! I think I stopped every ten minutes on my way to school to admire it!”
Below you will find one of Elizabeth's old fashioned soup recipes to warm you on a cool fall evening and a special apple pie recipe just perfect for this time of year! Both recipes are simple and delicious! Enjoy!
Tomato Soup with Egg Drop
Apple Pie with Cheese Crumbs
Carrie J. Gamble is co-author, editor and publisher of Grandmother's Cookbook, a collection of recipes, treasured memories, wildflower watercolors and feelings from the heart.