1910 -9- March - scrawled on the back of this photo taken of my great grandmother - exactly one hundred years ago today. Wow - I had no idea of the date until I flipped it over to scan it.
She came to this country at age fifteen, her passage paid for by a French woman for whom she became a personal lady's maid. She left her family behind in Ireland. From what I understand, my ancestors were a tough people. The family motto was "Inimicus Inimico", roughly translated "I am hostile to those who are hostile to me"...*ahem* Apparently her employer was good to her, so good in fact that my great grandmother named my grandmother after her.
This is my grandmother. I lived with her off and on when I was little. She didn't like many people, but she liked me and I liked her. She rarely ever called me Jodi. Her two favorite names for me were "Mabel" and "Maggie May, you bold brass article". She was one tough cookie and one fabulous cook. From what I remember, she spent most of her life in the kitchen. She made three hot meals a day from scratch, something I didn't appreciate as a child but I'm amazed at now, considering the amount of work it must have taken. She loved african violets. Her favorite color was pale lavender. And she made the best pork chops with pan-fried gravy that I've ever tasted. I believe my love of cooking came from her. When I look in the mirror, I see her face.
Here's her recipe for Irish soda bread:
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Mix together and form into a round loaf. With a sharp knife, slash an 'X' across the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.