Sharing recipes and life lessons from the special women who have forged our path to Monday Lunch.
Meet Miss Ellie
I didn’t know the history of the pasty when I served a version (mine was a ground beef wellington recipe) for our weekly lunch, but when Old School Mama likened my offering to one I Googled it and the historical context proved absolutely appropriate. What better way to honor my gramma (she didn’t like the word “grandma”) than with a pastry dish derived from her ancestral England.
It is told that Miss Ellie's parents came from Cornwall, England and then headed West in covered wagons. When we used to visit her in Nebraska, she would often take us to historical sites to see parts of the Oregon Trail and to nearby Fort Laramie. History and heritage were paramount to both my gramma and her son, my dad, who taught junior high history throughout his career in Alberta, Canada.
Spending time with my gramma also meant sitting through endless stories of days gone by. The stories often focused on my dad’s growing up and gramma’s days on the Colorado farm where she was raised. As children and pre-teens, you can imagine our interest was lukewarm at best. I admit there may have been eye rolling.
Happily, with time and wisdom, juvenile irreverence transitions to gratitude.
I am now grateful to have heard all the stories my gramma and dad shared what seems like hundreds of times. Consistent repetition is probably the only way I have remembered these past accounts with such confidence.
All of those historical sites that I was dragged to in my youth? My child is not immune. I have learned to take his eye rolls and inevitable boredom in stride.
And that Colorado farm my Gramma grew up on, which was also the place my dad spent his summers? That place is now a local working farm that my family visited recently. The original family home is still in use and we were allowed to look inside. Pretty small for four girls and their parents!
Our family also lives close enough to visit gramma’s niece who still lives near that original farm in Longmont, CO. Judy and her husband live a stone's throw away on her father’s family farm that was homesteaded over 100 years ago. We used to visit this farm with my dad and gramma in the summer. When we visit now, the land and farmhouse feel like sacred ground.
Some things in this fast paced world, despite modern accessibility and conveniences, are neither disposable nor replaceable. My suggestion is that even if you have heard that family story 99 times before, it’s worth another listen.
History and heritage are irreplaceable.
Just like Miss Ellie.
The Busy Buddha
Talk Back to the Trio
What are some ways you keep your family history alive?