I was very, very lucky to know my Great Grandma growing up.
Great Grandma’s parents immigrated from Czechoslovakia. At that time their home was the part called Bohemia. Grandma spoke the native language, so did her children. In fact, her kids didn’t learn English until they went to grade school.
This is a picture of Grandma (back row, first Lady from the left), her parents (front row, in the middle), and siblings.
Great Grandma and Grandpa raised five children, one of them being my Grandpa.
Grandma was a farm girl that lived to be 102 years and 11 months old.
Great Grandma learned to cook and was feeding hungry field crews when she was nine years old. A talent she passed on to my Mom.
Grandma was famous for her kolaches and rosettes! She always had a fresh batch of baked goods on hand and her breads were the lightest and tastiest around. Maybe because lard, duck fat, and goose grease never ran short in her kitchen.
After retiring, and moving to town, Grandma ran a bakery out of her home. Great Grandpa washed many many dishes for her!
Grandma had spunk! She lived in her home until she was 100 years old and always kept her sharp mind. Grandma quilted, told great stories, and loved to have visitors. Mom says “she could bake anything, make you like it, and tell amazing stories nonstop till your ears were full. Later on, she would repeat the stories until you could say them with her, word for word, in your head.”
We were lucky to have such a strong influential person in our lives. There are many things I do today that have roots from Great Grandma’s presence in my life.
Here is Great Grandma’s bread recipe. A recipe that has stood the test of time and is still used in our family.
2 T Dry Yeast
1/2 C Warm Water
1 tsp Sugar
Combine and let foam.
1/2 C Sugar
1 C Evaporated Milk
1 C Hot Water
2 tsp salt
1/2 C Butter – REAL Butter!
about 6 1/2 C Flour
Pre-heat oven to 410 degrees.
Combine sugar, milk, hot water, eggs, salt and butter. Stir well and add enough flour to make dough the consistency of pancake batter. Add yest and stir. Continue to stir in flour until dough leaves the sides of bowl and is not too sticky. It should be springy!
Let dough double in a greased bowl. Punch down and let double again. Form into two large loaves and let rise in pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
This is the standard bread recipe in our family. Use to make bread, buns, cinnamon rolls, roliky (a/k/a crescent rolls or butter horns), and kolaches.