Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Manicures, Bingo, Pepsi, OREOS and Ice Cream with Grandma…and above all don’t forget the See’s Chocolates!

Essie Ballet Pink Nail Polish edited
     For the past several months my Grandma, Grandma Love From Scratch, has been in a nursing home.  Her nursing home is close to where I live and I try to see her as much as possible, ideally everyday. 
     The home that she is in is very nice and I am grateful for them, and for the wonderful staff, but I try to help out with my Grandma as much as I possibly can.  She loves and visits, and gets so sad on days that I am unable to see her.  When I was on my last cruise poor Grandma did not fare well in my absence.  Grandma is a character, she has been my entire life, but the nuances of her character are only increasing with age.  I may be biased but I think she is a pretty entertaining lady.
     Twice a week her home has BINGO for the residents, and let me tell you I have never seen people take BINGO so seriously.  My Grandma actually has decided to become a bit of a trash talker when it comes to playing BINGO.  It is good to find something that she enjoys.  Its interesting, that even with her in a home I am able to create memories and have so much fun with her.
     Sometimes its me coming to give Grandma her weekly manicure.  She’s so funny, she wants her nails done at least once a week.  As much as I tease her and try to get her to branch out and try new colors, its always the same, Essie Ballet Slippers.  It’s the only one she will ever wear.  She is always so excited every time I do her nails, and is patient with her Granddaughter (me) who is as far away from a professional manicurist as they come!
     Then there is always my Grandma’s love of treats and goodies, the woman has a sweet tooth that will never end.  Its really quite amazing.  Sometimes after a lunchtime visit we chat over dishes of ice cream, or there is always her requesting me to bring PEPSI, OREOS, or chocolate, and not just any chocolate, its always the same, See’s Chocolates, the only thing she requests over and over again.
     Where to begin when it comes to See’s Chocolates?  I have so many memories of these little gems.  I can’t even remember my first chocolate, its really been an institution in my family.  Every Christmas we’d get a box and we’d all hover over the candy counter picking out our own individual favorites, while making sure that all of the family realized that those selection were “off limits”.  Or there were the chocolate Easter eggs that the Easter Bunny was always good to remember to get for us.  So many memories.
     As an adult I still love those chocolates, and I still feel like a kid with my grandparents celebrating every time I bite into one.  I taste so many different memories, and I love it.  Now as an adult with my Grandma I have to say it is something amazing to watch her bite into one and have a childlike grin spread all over her face and watch her light up.
     Sometimes at home I try to replicate my favorite See’s Chocolates at home, some replications are better than others, that is for sure.  One of my favorites is my version of the famous Bordeaux candy.  I love these little beauties and I love to make these for great gifts for the holidays.   Also be creative with the sprinkles and have fun with it!  Make these for someone you love and create memories of your own with your loved ones!
Almost See’s Bordeaux Candy

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (must be butter)
1/4 cup whipping cream
pinch salt
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
12 oz dark or milk chocolate (your preference)
Melt butter and brown sugar together in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil, and boil for two-three  minutes. Stir in cream, salt and bring to boil again stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Let cool for 10 –15 minutes. Add sifted powdered sugar to mixture. Stir in well. Chill until mixture holds shape of a small ball. Roll into 2-inch balls. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, being careful not to burn it. Dip candy balls into melted chocolate. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired. Makes approx. 30 candies.

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