Our paternal grandmother Myrtle Eliza (Weiser) Player Severinson was quite the cook. She “put up” food every summer and fall to last till the next year. I remember her bare dirt floor basement in the cottage on 2nd in Puyallup. Jars of jams, jellies mustard pickles, corn relish, sweet gherkins and watermelon pickles were arranged in neat rows on shelves near the bottom of the stairs.
In the 1950s, Grandma’s gardens were filled mostly ornamentals like dahlias, so she bought quarts and bushels of fruits and vegetables from the local farm stand. It was owned by Hazel and Al Duris at 6012 Riverside Road, Puyallup, Washington. I know this because I shopped with her, and Grandma’s mustard pickle recipe was published in a small 3×5 inch Duris farm stand booklet that has somehow survived through the years and is now in my possession. (1)
Blackberries and raspberries used to grow wild in those days, so I imagine she picked those much as I did 20 years later when stocking my own shelves for the winter.
On the Sundays we’d visit, she’d serve tender fried chicken with mounds of mashed potatoes and a side of carrots sweetened with a light glaze of buttery brown sugar.
In the last month of Dad’s life he asked the local crepe restaurant cook to add the carrots to her menu. I provided Grandma Myrtle’s recipe and the proprietor surprised dad the next time we visited.
My favorite was Grandma Myrtle’s apricot preserves and I longed for her secret recipe. Before she passed away in 1972 from Lou Gehrig’s disease, she sent a short letter admitting it wasn’t a secret after all. The recipe is easily found on the back of the Certo label. (Certo liquid pectin is used to thicken the fruit for jam or jelly.) 💕
(1) See “Food Traditions & Gramma Myrtle” posted 16 Sept 2010 in DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog. (http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2010/09/food-traditions-gramma-myrtle.html : viewed 16 Nov 2018.) Grandma’s