In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Norma Robinson

I’m sitting at Panera, my current favorite place for a coffee shop entrepreneur. I’m about to work on creating a website for a family member and planning out my year on Mrs Bundy Cooks. I woke up so warm that I thought I’d want to walk outside in a t-shirt and jeans but as soon as I did I was quickly back inside for a sweater and jacket. Snow covers the ground from the night before and icy rain poured on my head from the deck upstairs. brrr.

So my temperature is somewhat stable and I’m sitting here sipping my latte. I’d like to call it a cup of Joe, but once vanilla syrup and fat free milk have been added, a cup of joe no longer seems appropriate.

So I’m pondering, I’m pondering what the year holds for me and my husband. Will we start a family this year? Will Mrs Bundy Cooks be successful? Will we move back to Minnesota? Will I spend all of our savings on lattes at Panera or Starbucks for free wifi?

All I can say is Uffdah! (A tribute to my heritage.)

Then I think of what I need to do. A few years ago my grandma passed away. It was so sad and terrible. She passed away about a month and a half after my husband and I got married. She only met him twice. Thankfully she knew he was a good man. My grandpa told me that. Losing grandparents is hard for all of us. Losing my grandma broke my heart. First my grandmother had a huge part in raising me. You see, when I was 5 my parents got divorced. After that My dad would watch me during the day while my mom went to work. Then in the afternoon my dad brought my sister and I to work with him to meet my grandpa. (My dad and grandpa worked together.) My grandpa would take us to his house, all the while eating peeps, chewy sticky candy orange slices, and chewy orange peanuts. Candy that makes sugar addicts cringe. I’d wear my grandpa’s fur hat, which was 2 sizes too large and we’d sing “Over the River and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we’ll go.” Then we’d reach the bridge on the drive into Eagan, where my grandparents lived. My sister and I would countdown until we reached the sign welcoming us to Eagan, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/10, 0!!!!!!!!!! (Sometimes we’d have to add in a few extra halves because we started too early. Or we’d start at 10….9….8…7…654321…because we started too late!)

When I was 7 my mom, sister, stepdad, and I moved a block away from my grandparents. It was perfect for us. You may be wondering now who’s side my grandparents were on…they were my dad’s parents. But they loved my mom as if she was their own. My grandparents would help my sister out of jams again and again. My grandma would yell at us and they’d both cry with us. There are moments I’ll never forget. I remember going to my grandparents house on a particularly sad day and complaining to my grandma about my dad. (As an adult I can only begin to imagine how heartbreaking it is to listen to your grandchildren be brokenhearted by something your son did.) And my grandma would cry with me. Every time. And when I missed my dad, which was often, my grandma would cry with me. She made sure we were all together on the holidays, that everyone called each other on birthdays, and that we all behaved..because no one wanted my grandma after them. I have never met a women that could yell quite like my grandma. But she loved us. I still talk to her sometimes. My grandpa says he forgets that she’s not there and talked to her in the middle of the night. It’s difficult when someone that is such an integral part of holding the family together passes away.

Well, now that I’m crying in Panera I’m going to move on to the subject I want to address…

My grandpa. While my grandma was an integral part of holding the family together, my grandpa was the one who took care of all the details. He cooked and put up the tree while my grandma barked orders at him! Poor grandpa. He knows how to cook all the good stuff, Norwegian Kringlas, Mince Meat Pie, Lefsa, Lutefisk. If it’s Norwegian he can cook it. So this year I want to learn how to cook all our favorite Norwegian treats. It’s pretty great, my grandpa is actually German, but he considers himself a proud member of the Lutefisk party. He was raised Norwegian because his stepfather was Norwegian, and my grandmother was all Scandinavian, maybe a little scottish and english too, but mostly Norwegian. I would have a Kringla, which is a Norwegian sweet bread, and my grandma would force me to put butter on it, “It’s not good without butter!” Had to have the butter. So in the next few months I’m going to find out what my grandfather and grandmothers favorite treats are and start making them and blogging about the stories I hear (and there will be plenty of stories!), the foods I make, and the tears I shed. I’m excited to find ways to integrate my families traditions into my life and my future children’s lives. Maybe even my husband, who is half polish and irish will even consider himself a proud member of the Lutefisk party! You never know…


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