Friday, July 3, 2009

Sundays at Gan Gan's

Mother in law. That one little phrase is so loaded with innuendo. Luckily, Chef's mama is pretty awesome. In fact, I have to give her a lot of credit for inspiring me to start this blog. One day she decided that since I was a writer, and was a pioneering organic gardener and new mom...that sounded like the perfect trifecta for a great blog. Like any good mother in law worth her salt, she reminded me every week for about four months that I really needed to do it. She gave me books on blogging and we brainstormed on names together...and here we are today! Thanks Gan Gan!

Gan Gan is an independent spirit with amazing taste in design and an extraordinary talent in the kitchen. Chef first became aware of his passion for food helping his mother in the kitchen. I feel very privileged to be able to enjoy both of their food now, 30 years later. Every Sunday Chef, Lil' Bit and I head over to Gan Gan's house for a fabulous meal.

Gan Gan lives in a charming pink historic bungalow about five blocks away from the restaurant. When we arrive on Sundays, sometimes there is a fresh cocktail waiting for our arrival. She made the most delicious homemade whiskey sours a few months mouth waters just thinking about them.

This particular Sunday our menu consisted of a variety of things found in her freezer and pantry. In fact every ingredient except for a few she picked up the farmers market were all things she had bought in the past and wanted to clear out. This week our menu was:
  • oven roasted turkey breast
  • Saginaw Island corn pudding
  • fingerling potatoes
  • heirloom tomato salad
  • olive oil cake with organic blueberry compote and vanilla ice cream

Gan Gan loves to try out new recipes, and we are happy to be her guinea pigs. She is on a constant quest to find the best recipe out there for a variety of dishes...the best mac n' cheese, the best chocolate cake...the list goes on and on. One day soon I will request a list of her favorites and post it. She is like our own personal test kitchen.

The most amazing thing about this particular Sunday was that Gan Gan volunteered to do our ironing. When she first offered I was not quite sure if I heard her correctly, but then as she went on to describe her love for ironing...well I was beyond thrilled. Laundry I do, I even hang up the clean clothes...sometimes a few days after I pull them out of the dryer, but they eventually get hung. But ironing, only for special occasions.

There is an art to ironing, that is being lost on my generation. Gan Gan described to me how as a child she had to wash her and her mother's clothes in a basin and then rinse in another of warm water. Then wring the clothes out, spray them with a starch that left them as stiff as a board, hang them to dry. Then she would iron them with a iron actually made of iron heated on a stove. She told me all of this as she meticulously ironed each individual ruffle on Lil' Bit's birthday outfit. She did it with such care, I was kind of in awe. I would have just taken the outfit, laid it out on the ironing board and ironed the whole little dress flat across. When it comes to most housework I am totally in the dark.

Here is a little photo montage of our meal that day. It was extraordinary that it all came out of her freezer/fridge. Gan Gan recently sent me an article about people who are deciding to unplug their refrigerators and buy their groceries daily and keep their food in cooler in their kitchen. I am all about going green, but this seems a little nuts. I mean, think of all the energy that goes into the shipping and freezing of the bags of ice needed. Right?

1 comment:

Bob Sam said...

Too cool! And she irons! Please put Gans on the list of must-meets for me...