I have two favorite Christmas memories about my maternal grandmother.
Grandma made all the traditional sweets for Christmas time, but she made something really different that became my favorite. She made popcorn balls for a Christmas treat. I never made them with her because she had to prepare all those goodies before we arrived.
I found a great recipe in the Folsom Garden Club cookbook and have used it every year since. Every Christmas I make two batches of popcorn balls–a red and a green batch. I love making these sweet treats and as I munch on them, Grandma Dickerson comes to mind. I don’t have her recipe, but I have my memories.
The other memory I have is the day after Christmas, Grandma made homemade turkey and egg noodles. She would use the leftovers and the turkey carcass to create the soup. She was of the generation that did not waste a thing, so the carcass was boiled to get the good broth for the soup she was preparing.
Then she would make the homemade noodles. She never used a bowl; she poured out a mound of flour on the table, scooped out the center to make the bowl then started adding ingredients. She would roll out the noodles and cut them and leave them scattered on the table to dry for awhile.
Grandma was a short lady, so I stood at her elbow often watching the process, anticipating the finished product. She knew it was my favorite dish so she spoiled me with this treat any Christmas we were at her house.
The delicious smell of the turkey cooking and the knowledge of the dish coming had my mouth watering. The sampling of the broth, the aroma of turkey cooking and the warmth of the hot soup warmed my heart and soul.
I have never tried to make her noodles–again I don’t have her recipe. I’m not sure she had one. Maybe I should google a recipe for homemade noodles and try my hand at a batch. I’m sure all those years at her side would help me create something special.
Mom was always a part of this special time in the kitchen. Grandma was a great cook and these two Christmas memories warm me every holiday time. It was communal time in the kitchen–three generations enjoying each other around a tradition I miss today.
Published by Larada
Larada Horner-Miller is a poet, essayist and accomplished multi-genre author who holds a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Spanish and a master of education degree in Integrating Technology into the Classroom. She is the accomplished author of six award-winning biographies, historical fiction, memoir, and poetry works plus three self-published cookbooks.
Her sixth book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better?, is available in paperback and four e-book formats. Larada offers the reader the opportunity to look back at 2020 and the global pandemic through her prose and poetry through reading, then reflecting and responding. She addresses all the emotions she felt during this overwhelming time and leads the reader through to a self-access: bitter or better?
Her fifth book is the authorized memoir and biography of world-renown square dance caller Marshall “Flip” Flippo. Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo is available now in hardback, paperback and four e-book formats. Recently Just Another Square Dance Caller won two awards: Book Excellence Awards Finalist and Silver award for eLit. Book Awards.
Another recent book of hers, A Time to Grow Up: A Daughter's Grief Memoir has won many awards including being a 2018 Book Excellence Awards Finalist in the Memoir category at the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and a 2018 Independent Press Distinguished Favorites Award in the Memoir category. Horner-Miller has also been a past national presenter at the Women Writing the West Conference and is currently the creator of Memoir Workshops for others who want to share their family’s legacies through words.
Larada and her husband, Lin, enjoy being nestled in the mountains above Albuquerque, New Mexico, near the village of Tijeras. When not writing books, this passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic woman loves to spend time kicking up her heels at square dancing gatherings, traveling, knitting, and reading.
As co-manager of her family’s southeastern Colorado ranch, she enjoys spending time exploring her family’s historic ranch and reminiscing with her brother and his children about their mom, dad, and granddad.
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