22. Grandma and Grandpa

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This picture is representative of the gifts my mother’s parents gave me. Featured is Grandma’s banana bread recipe revamped and a homemade caramel hazelnut turtle in honor of my grandpa the candy maker.

In all honesty grandma’s gifts were passed onto me through genes because she died before I was born. So I never got to step foot in her kitchen and have always been envious of people who say “My grandma taught me to bake”. However, grandma left me her bright red Betty Crocker cook book (with side notes) and boxes and boxes of recipe cards.

In one of the boxes when I was a teen I discovered grandma’s b-bread recipe and fell in love. It was rich, decadent, called for lots of banana and a secret ingredient I refuse to share. 😉

It was a reminder of the woman I never got to meet and always filled me with love (possibly the beginning of my “filling” relationship with food).

This weeks version is full of roasted hazelnuts and rich dark chocolate I infused with sea salt. Sweet, salty and crunchy, my favorite combination.

Now Grandpa, he was the candy man. Always making taffy and toffee. He was a great big man with a bald head ( my sister and I loved when he would visit because we would always apply lotion on his head and give him scalp massages to make his hair grow back – we were a true tribute to the start of hair club for men). He always made us laugh and drew funny cartoons of animals when he sent us letters.

So in my cooking extravaganza I decided to make homemade caramel and add hazelnuts to for a butter caramel turtle. They came out sweet and chewy with just a little salty after touch. They were an amazing reminder of my childhood and my wonderful grandpa.

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