By Shirley Prihoda
There was a time - and frankly it seems only yesterday - when my grandchildren would jump up and down with glee to open the door and find me standing there.
Of course, I usually had something in my hand for them until my daughter put a stop to that. It seems she had some idea they should want to see me and not what was in my hand. Go figure.
I always longed for eight grandchildren and couldn’t figure out why the seven I had seemed incomplete. When I approached my children about this, to say that they were not favorable to accommodating my longing would be an understatement.
When my youngest grandchildren, twin girls, were 19, their father surprised us with the news that a new baby was on the way.
He’s eight months old now and the most beautiful blue-eyed bundle of joy. At last, my quiver is full, as the Bible says, and I have hope in recapturing the jumping-up-and-down moments.
Number eight has mastered, sort of, the sitting up part; the jumping-up-and-down part will come later. For now, this has been regulated to my granddog, Posie. While it is exciting to see a Bichon ball of fur falling all over itself to impress me, it lacks the full impact, since she can’t say, “Nonnie’s here; Nonnie’s here!” This, however, is a sensitive subject since my granddaughter thinks Posie can talk and converses with her as if she were a founding member of the Mensa high IQ group.
As I wait for number eight to gain his sea legs, I am also waiting to see what he will call me. My naivete with the first child that this would be an effortless process, was just that naïve. I soon found out that they call you what they want, regardless of how many times you say your preferred regal- sounding grandmother name.
Our oldest grandchild made his own decision for my name, and when number two and three came along, they chose a different name.
This does tend to make it interesting at family gatherings when the noise level often replicates Hobby Airport on a good day, and I am not sure who is talking and how to appropriately respond.
I am Mimi to some and Nonnie to others. I have often thought a hybrid (sort of like a half electric and half gas car) would work. But then, MiNon sounds more like a camera than a fun-loving grandmother.
The Mimi side of the hybrid has remained the same over the years, but the Nonnie side has undergone variations as the grandchildren have grown into maturity. What began as Nana in 1993, morphed into Nonnie around 1996 and has now been truncated to Non by my number-three grandchild.
I feel confident, sort of, that truncating my name is a positive statement with little bearing to one of the definitions of truncating, “without its top or end section.”
On second thought, without my top and end section, my weight would probably fall within the preferred guidelines. Then I wouldn’t have to suffer the looks from the Cardiologist as he questions my eating. I tell him repeatedly, and with a straight face, that I simply have no difficulty eating.
For some reason, he is unimpressed, so I took another approach in an attempt to explain that I am a wanna’ be author/chef devoted to my computer and pots and pans.
Therefore, I sit and/or spend a lot of time in the kitchen developing or plagiarizing recipes and baking cookies for my grandchildren in hopes they will jump up and down.
The doctor was able to subdue his enthusiasm. What can one expect from a man who can still wear his High School Letterman’s jacket?
Going to see the grandkids, so it’s time to make cookies!
Butter Pecan Cookies
2 cups roughly chopped pecan pieces, toasted
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup bits-o-brickle (you know - those English toffee bits, broken up)
Additional bits-o-brickle for the tops
To toast pecans: Spread chopped pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes or just until fragrant. Cool completely.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy and light beige in color, around 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl periodically. After all of the flour has been added, beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Mix in the chopped pecans and bits-o-brickle by hand until evenly distributed in the dough. Cover with Saran Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2 oz ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake in batches for 14-16 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. For best results, keep the dough chilled between cooking the batches.
(To contact Shirley, please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)