Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A New Blog and a New Book Especially for Grandmothers

Hello!  And welcome to a new blog especially for Grandmothers! It is an outgrowth of a new book called Grandmothering, The Secrets to Making a Different While Having the Time of Your Life which is coming out on April 1st, 2018. After six months of not only mind-blowing experiences in organizing and expressing my thoughts, but also in gathering the deep and delightful wisdom of many friends who are fabulous grandmothers, the book has just been posted on Amazon.

As a mother of young children I wrote two books that brought to life the stage of life that I was experiencing at that moment. The first was  I Didn’t Plan to Be a Witch, which described the real life of a mother in the trenches. :) Several years later I wrote A Joyful Mother of Children, written in the stage when one begins to realize the children won’t be with you forever. Twenty years later, I have spent the last six months writing about the things that I have learned and loved about being a grandmother. Our little cluster of Grandchildren now number twenty nine with two more arriving in mid April. 

Ideas include possibilities for one-on-one and groups adventures with grandkids, creating “Grammie Camps”, including in-laws, the joy of welcoming new babies, how to keep your mouth closed when necessary :), taking care of yourself, the problem of kids’ entitlement, a new way to give grandchildren grit and ideas for memorable reunions.

There are two unique aspects of this book that are only possible because of the Internet. First, several of the ideas suggested in the book can actually be seen by going to the link of an easy-to-access website where you see what has been described with further explanations and beautiful photography from our daughters’ blogs. Plus you can see our pretty wild reunions in living color

The main reason for starting this blog was that there is an appendix at the end of the book that includes something that we hope will be very valuable for grandmothers who have ever worried about what to feed their children and grandchildren when they come home to enjoy being together. The title of the Appendix is Recipes to Feed a Crowd. This mini-cook-book has favorite recipes from reunions/family and friends At the suggestion of our daughters, you willl see a click to all the recipes on the bar below the picture with the grandkids, where you will find the recipes from the book. Click through and see what might work for you. If you like a recipe but don’t have the book handy, you can easily access the recipes from any computer or device by going to grandmotheringbook.com. If you know the name of the recipe from the book, just enter it in the search bar and it will pop up. Kudos to our darling Granddaughter who accomplished the time consuming task of entering the recipes. 

All recipes will feed about 12-16 people, depending on the ages and appetites of your crowd and the amounts are already measured for you without the fuss of doubling or tripling a recipe for 6 or 8.

In addition the final section is called Feeding a Really Big Crowd which was created by our beloved co-grandparent Tess Wade who is not only a splendid cook, but spent 18 months feeding from 60-80 people regularly as she and her husband cared for (and fed) a large group of young adults in London on a church assignment. Some of you seasoned grandmothers with lots of progeny might be ready to use those for your reunions. If your crowd isn’t that big yet, feel free to half or quarter the recipes to fit the size of your crowd. 

We would love your comments and/or adjustments that you find as you use these recipes!  

This post will be active with this initial information until after Mother’s Day (May 13th) as the book will hopefully be a nice gift for you GRANDmothers.  If “some people” have forgotten that you are still a Mother…only grander…you may want to get it for yourself. As mentioned earlier, It is available at Amazon.

After Mother’s Day I’ll begin posting new ideas that have been flooding in since the book was published from creative grandmothers. Please share your own ideas in the comment section of this and subsequent posts.

This blog will also be repository for the adventures that we have had with our grandchildren. Here is a glimpse of our latest adventure with five of our grandsons (2 twelve year olds, 2 thirteen year olds and 1 fourteen years old) on a “Crazy Cousins’ Cruise.” See those cute faces in anticipation as we began our adventure below!  Happy Days…

Thanks for joining the Grandmothering journey with me on this blog! 

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Easy Corn on the Cob for a Big Crowd

Here's a game changer for serving corn on the cob for a big family reunion or Labor Day barbecue. This is a great idea from  @R2sense.

Ears of corn
Water for boiling


1. Shuck as many ears of corn as you need for your party and put them in a large, clean picnic cooler.

2. An hour or two hours before the party, boil enough water to cover the corn, pour it over the corn, and close the lid.

3. Drain the cooler when your guests arrive, and close the lid until ready to serve! Voila! You have perfectly cooked corn!

Easy Cornbread

Serves 50-60. Goes well with the Lentil Vegetable Soup or Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili.

2 cups butter 
2/ 3 cups sugar 
16 eggs, well beaten 
8 cups buttermilk 
4 teaspoons baking soda 
8 cups flour
8 cups cornmeal
4 teaspoons salt

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

2. Add sugar and mix well.

3. Add all other ingredients; mix well.

4. Bake in greased pans for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F  (190 degrees C).

Everyday Meatloaf

Serves 50-60.

Meatloaf Ingredients: 
4 cups dry breadcrumbs
6 cups milk
9 pounds (4 kilograms) ground beef
12 beaten eggs
1 1/ 2 cups grated onion
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sage

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons dry mustard

Optional Sides:

Steamed salad potatoes Prepared frozen peas

1. Soak breadcrumbs in milk.

2. Add meat, eggs, onion, and seasonings; mix well.

3. Form into four greased aluminum pans (you can find these at Costco).

4. Combine all sauce ingredients well.

5. Cover meat with sauce and bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for 1 hour.

6. Serve with steamed salad potatoes and prepared frozen peas, as desired.

Oriental Chicken Salad

Serves 50- 60.

Salad Ingredients: 
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 large bag Costco chicken breasts, boiled and broken up
1 cup slivered almonds
8 heads cabbage, shredded
16 green onions with tops, sliced
8 packages ramen noodles, broken up

Dressing Ingredients: 

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salt
1 1/ 2 cups vinegar
4 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons pepper

1. Evenly combine all salad ingredients in several bowls.

2. Whirl all dressing ingredients in blender.

3. Pour dressing over salad, and mix to combine.

4. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours before serving.

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

Serves 50- 60.


48 ounces whole wheat fusilli or bowtie pasta
6 small onions, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
12 eggs
7 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons dried italian seasoning
1 1/2-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (optional)
12 cups chopped cooked chicken
12 cups shredded cheese
2 32-ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 large Costco bags spinach (about 15 cups), steamed and drained thoroughly
3 cups oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
2/3 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Cook pasta and drain.

2. In a medium skillet, saute onion in butter until tender, then set aside.

3. In bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, salt, and red pepper. Stir in chicken, cheese, artichokes, spin­ ach, tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups parmesan, cooked pasta, and onion.

4. Transfer to six 9x13-inch baking dishes and bake cov­ ered for 20 minutes.

5. In small bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups parme­ san cheese, breadcrumbs, paprika, and melted butter. Sprinkle over pasta.

6. Bake uncovered 10 minutes or until golden.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Serves 50-60.

Sauce Ingredients

3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups tomato paste 
3 quarts vegetable broth 
4 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Filling Ingredients

72 ounces grated cheese
6 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large bags Costco spinach (about 15 cups), steamed, drained thoroughly, and chopped
5 cups frozen corn
4 bunches chopped spring onions (divided) 
2 tablespoons cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
96 4-inch corn tortillas or 64 8-inch flour tortillas

1. Heat oil, and then add cumin, flour, and tomato paste. Cook 1 minute, whisking.

2. Whisk in broth and water, bring to a boil, and simmer until slightly thickened (5-8 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

3. For filling, combine 2/3 of the cheese (saving 1/3 for top­ ping) and all the beans, spinach, corn, the white portion of the spring onions (reserve green portion for garnish), cumin, and salt and pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and lightly oil six 9x13-inch baking pans.

5. Stack one-third of the tortillas in a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for 1 minute. Then repeat for the other two-thirds.

6. One by one, fill tortillas with about 1/3 cup filling, roll tightly, and arrange in baking dish, seam down.

7. Cover enchiladas with the sauce and top with remaining cheese.

8. Bake 20-25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly. Remove and let cool 5 minutes.

9. Top with remaining spring onions and serve.