My Grandmother’s Kitchen: Homemade Pancakes

I love the title for this month’s blog post. I had different relationships with both of my grandmothers. They each taught me so much in the precious time I had with them. After our family moved from the city, I used to spend a few weeks each summer with my Grandma Milem.

She lived in a cul-de-sac with other homes filled with folks much like herself; elderly, with grown children. There were very few kids my age living, or visiting in that semi-circle of homes; so I ended up spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa. This is the place where I learned to sew, embroider, and watch Grandma cook. A favorite family memory: she loved to whistle while she worked.

There was always fresh produce on Grandma’s table. Tomatoes sliced on a plate, cucumbers bathed in vinegar, or swimming in sour cream with dill, and onion stalks with their greenery spilling out of the top of a glass of water. She taught my mother how to can the benefits from our garden, her bread and butter pickles were the best! We had jars and jars of corn, green beans and tomatoes. Grandma would take zucchini home and come back to visit with loaves of zucchini bread!

I have fond memories of holiday gatherings. Wonderful smells would fill the house. There were no store bought pies here, no sir. Everything was made by hand, and if you went home hungry it was your fault.

By the time I became a teenager, Grandpa had passed away and their home had been sold. Grandma called herself a vagabond; she lived from place to place. Mostly with her grown children in different parts of the country. She would visit us in southern California for a couple of months, she would then divide the rest of the year between Arizona, South Carolina, or Ohio.

In 1999, we were all called to my Uncle’s home in Ohio to say our good-byes. Hospice had advised that Grandma would be leaving us soon. A memory from that time, so precious to me  was when my Uncle’s home lost power, and there was no air conditioning. My cousins and I took newspaper and made fans. Then we went into the bedroom where Grandma rested and fanned her while singing hymns. If you listened real close you could hear her humming along.

When asking my cousins which recipe they remembered most from Grandma’s Kitchen our memories varied.  But we all think of her as a constant reminder of our childhood, and her great cooking abilities. I just found out recently that one of my cousins had  snagged her recipe box! Oh what a treasure! She then proceeded to send me a picture of all of those recipes. So, per her request, I am happily sharing Grandma Milem’s pancake recipe.


Grandma Milem’s Pancakes

1 Egg
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup of Baking soda
1 1/4 Cups of Flour
1 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbs. Soft shortening
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt

Mix the dry ingredients together well. The shortening should be soft like butter at room temperature. Add shortening, and  buttermilk; stir well. Let batter rest for a minute or two before pouring on hot griddle.

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Everyone’s Hero

Happy Tuesday. Ginger here. Today I’m talking about a hero that God has put into all of our lives, but first a few hero quotes I found.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. –Christopher Reeve

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. –Joseph Campbell

I think everyone’s hero should be…their MOM!

Like it or not, everyone has a mom. Some are better than others. Some are not worthy of the title of hero past the point of giving birth. And some should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Almost any woman can be a MOTHER, but it takes someone special to be a MOM.Mom hands

As a mother, I hope that my children think I’m the greatest at least once after they realize I’m not perfect, which comes sometime after the age of six or seven. It may take years.

Take me for example…my mom and I didn’t get along. She made plenty of mistakes, as do we all. However, the older I get the more I understand how difficult her job really was. As a single mother throughout my teenage years, she had to shoulder all of the responsibility for the bills, meals, laundry, etc. Most of the stress I’m sure she felt, she kept from me. Either that or I was truly oblivious. I knew we didn’t have money for much, but I NEVER went hungry or without decent clothes–even if they were homemade. But I realized too late how hard she worked and I never verbalized my appreciation.

The number of things moms do for us is endless, but here’s a short-list:

  • comforter
  • nurse
  • teacher
  • nurturer
  • taxi-driver
  • cook
  • laundress
  • housekeeper
  • counselor
  • advisor
  • beautician

In lieu of a writing prompt today, tell us why your mom is your hero. Then, if your mom is still alive, call her and tell her. Don’t assume you’ll have time tomorrow–you might not. I ran out of tomorrows. Don’t make the same mistake.


Ginger signature for Writing prompts


I’m taking a bit of detour from the ‘typical’ careers. My sole, lifetime career has been motherhood. I started out young. I became a single, teen mom a few weeks before my 19th birthday. Of course, I thought my daughter hung with the sun and moon, but life was far from perfect. Her father and I weren’t married, something I was quite aware of. I held the repercussion of my sin every day, fed her, stayed up late nights with her, changed her diapers and I suffered the consequence, not just the shame but the constant turmoil of young heartache.

Somehow, the relationship between me and her father survived. Okay, that somehow was a God thing. 100% absolutely a God thing. A little over two years after her birth we gathered together with friends and family in our church and were married. Turns out our second daughter was conceived the night of our wedding. In my mind it was God’s way of forgiving our sins and blessing our union.

My husband and I had decided at that time that no matter what, we did not want anyone else raising our children. My job would be to be a full-time mother.

I’m going to go off on a little bunny trail here because I have to say, I can’t imagine being a mom and working full-time, even more I can’t imagine being a single mom and working full-time. My heart goes out to single mothers. It’s a tough job when there is the support of a husband/father. When fathers are absent it makes it even tougher.

I’m going to be honest here, there have been times when I’ve felt or wished I had a single mom, especially when my husband and I disagreed over suitable punishments. However, the emotional support I receive from my husband is  incomparable. Single moms don’t always have that support system.

BUT, unless you’ve been a stay at home mom and have never worked outside the home, you can’t imagine the stigma we receive. LAZY. Yep, all the derogatory remarks I’ve heard over the last twenty-two years can be summed up as laziness.

Not only are we looked down upon by society, but our children are rarely happy with us. It’s part of being a parent, building boundaries and keeping them, although I will admit that I haven’t always been good about those boundaries.

As mothers (most of us) we give our hearts, our every breath to provide a safe environment for our children. Clothes are washed, food is prepared and placed on the table, beds are made, floors cleaned, the water bill is paid, errands are achieved, activities are attended, and yet as far as the children are concerned, it’s never enough. I can’t help but wonder how many people I could employ at my complaint department.

Mothers are under paid and under appreciated especially since the world would cease to exist without us. And yet, somehow, even through all the ups and downs of raising children, it’s the most rewarding job ever.

Today’s blog post is way late. I had remembered sometime Friday morning as I watched my husband reattach a teddy bear’s ear that I was supposed to write a post on upholstery. It was one of those straws that had broken this camel’s back.

You see, Monday morning my teenage son ran away. He wasn’t running from us, but from consequences he needed to pay with the law. I won’t go into all the details, just know my kid is a troubled kid caught up with drugs and alcohol. But I’m sure you can imagine the turmoil wrecking our home. My two older daughters didn’t seem to understand our sorrow. In their minds there was no need to worry. My youngest daughter blamed herself since my son had told her he was thinking of running.

Hubs and I could barely talk to each other because it always came back to unbearable pain. Every time an ambulance or police car flew by our hearts stopped. Whenever our phones rang or jingled we waited with bated breath, wondering if that was the call to tell us he’d been found, dead or alive. Every morning I woke and checked his bed, praying he’d came back home while we were sleeping. Every night after work we pounded the streets, talking to people and passing out flyers.

Motherhood, excuse my language, sucked at that moment. I wanted to quit. I was tempted to leave my daughter at my mother’s and just walk away. I didn’t want to do this anymore. But I knew God had called me to this, called me to be a mom to these children.

Again, I can’t imagine going through this as a single mom, but I tell you what, my husband and I were in the pain together. We weren’t doing each other any good, except that we both knew the pain the other felt. There was no consoling each other, we couldn’t. Our friends, family, and the Body of Christ showed up in droves. They offered help, they offered their love and they took my son to the foot of the cross.

We were fortunate that our son was found in only a matter of days. I pulled out scripture and brought it to God to answer us swiftly. Our journey is far from over, but one of the many things God has shown me is that a mother’s prayers are effective. Motherhood begins with prayer and it never ends. And when things go array we have to trust that God has heard our prayers and that His ways are higher than our own.

I don’t leave you with any great wisdom or training research. If you’re a mom you know your wisdom comes from experience, training comes from being rooted in the Word of God, but I do leave you with this, when things seem more than you can handle know that God’s grace is sufficient and His power works through our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9