Monday, February 27, 2012

What's in a name?

My grandmother was an amazing cook.  I remember crispy wonderful fried chicken, fried chicken I dreamed about all the long years I was a vegetarian.  I remember delicate, soft, lefse spread thick with butter and a light crunchy coating of sugar.  I could go on for days about the wonderful food I remember my grandmother cooking.  Her name was Alma.  When I was thinking of starting a food blog I thought first of my grandmother Alma, and searched for the meaning of the name, which as fate would have it is: "soul, nourishing."  If that's not a message from the universe I don't know what is.

About that fried chicken, I didn't start eating meat again until I had stopped eating wheat, so that fried chicken is still off the menu.  That is hands down, no exceptions the biggest grief I bear relating to Celiac.  I am sure I will try to create a great gluten free fried chicken some day, but I would give an awful lot to have my grandmother back to make me fried chicken, and to be able to eat it if she did.  It's not looking too good for the lefse either, I have had good gluten free lefse, but it's just the sort of processed starch that sends my blood sugar off the charts.

My grandma Alma was an intuitive, free spirit kind of cook.  Other than for cookies I never saw her use a recipe.  When my grandma tried to teach my mom to cook homemade bread my mom says she had no idea what to do afterwards, because it was a flurry of three big hands of flour, a small palm of salt, kneed till it looks like this, whoosh, we're done.  My grandma was a bit larger than life, with bright red hair, and perhaps a slightly bossy demeanor, she was a classic matriarch.  It's that spirit of cooking by feel, flinging things together, and brash self-confidence that I hope to bring to this blog.


  1. You gave a perfect descritpion of Grandma Peterson. She was larger than Life, what a big mouth she had. I miss her to this day. Regarding fried chicken, Christine and I have also given up wheat and grains. We've been frying our chicken in olive oil for about 45 minutes and it is crunchy and delicious. We've been skipping the breast meat and just eating the thies and legs. It is no where near as good as Alma's but it is still pretty good.

    1. Thank you Jason. We toss chicken thighs with olive oil and fresh rosemary and roast them at 450 on a cookie sheet for about 40 minutes and they are crispy and lovely, but there is a crunchy topping memory that it doesn't quite replace. Are you and Christine eating a paleo or primal diet? I am going to be posting about paleo and primal diets soon.