Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Grandbitch in the Kitch

Granny Annie

I am very lucky to have the coolest grandmother in the world.  She just turned 80 in March and she is one hip chick.  She's got an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop, a flatscreen television and she knows how to use them all.  She'll kick your ass in Scrabble.  She goes and sees just about every movie that comes into the theaters, whether it be a silly comedy, like Hall Pass, or a more serious thriller, like Lincoln Lawyer.  She is 100% committed to her "stories" (soap operas), and slept in her clothes with her purse, money, and checkbook during the tornadoes in Alabama last month.  She's fun, smart, feisty, strong-willed, gorgeous and hilarious and seeing her smile makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!  And she loves my blog!  It makes her laugh.  And I love to hear her laugh.  And when she read my Chicken Caesar Sandwich blog, she immediately emailed me (yes, she keeps in touch via email...I told you she's hip) and told me that I needed to come visit her so she could give me her glass dinnerware.  They have a name.  I can't remember it.  I just sent her a text to see if she knew what it was.  She just googled it because she forgot and then texted me back to say that they are the Candlewick Clear pattern made by the Imperial Glass Company in Ohio and that they go for a TON on ebay (even though I'd never sell 'em).  This woman is absolutely amazing, I tell you!   

So I took the trek (which is only about 3.5 hours from Memphis) to Birmingham to visit ol' Grannie Annie.  And I must admit, I don't have much room for storage in my house, and I really don't throw formal dinner parties.  And I already have my everyday dinnerware filling up my cabinets.  So when we went through all her dishes, I had to turn some things down that I just don't use.  I mean, really, I won't ever use cups and saucers.  I'm just not a cup and saucer kinda gal.  So we're in her bedroom and I'm on a step ladder, pulling down these dishes that she has ever-so organized in these zippered bags and she says to me, "I mean I'm never going to use them and you're all going to have to deal with this shit when I die anyways, so you might as well just take it off my hands now."  Shit my Grandma says!  Love her for it.  Because she's right.  I love her honesty.  I love her realism.  And I love the fact that she's not afraid to speak of death.  I love that I'm thirty four years old and I have lived my entire life with this beautiful woman in it.  I realize that I'm a very lucky girl and I hope I'm just as awesome when I'm 80 years old!

So this is my thank you grandma, for the lovely dinnerware.  You may not know this, but you taught me a lot about the kitchen.  How to respect it, mostly.  You always kept the cleanest kitchen.  I remember waiting FOREVER to open Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve because we'd have to wait for the kitchen to be clean after we had dinner.  It was torture.  It drove us insane.  But I understand it now.  My kitchen is always clean.  Once dinner is finished, it's "clean the kitchen" time.  I can't rest until it's done.  Sometimes I even find myself cleaning the kitchen BEFORE I'm done eating.  You will forever and always be one of my most favorite Bitches in the Kitchen!  

Here's the first thing I made that I put into the new glass dinnerware:

 Isn't it pretty??

Here's What You Need:
4 pieces of pancetta, diced
A bag (forgive the lack of measurement...I just stuffed some Brussels in a bag and bought 'em) of Brussels Sprouts - halve or quarter them if they are really big.
1/4 cup of onion, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup of chicken stock
olive oil
salt and pepper

Here's What You Do:
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a saute pan and brown up your pancetta on medium-high heat.  Set aside.  In the same pan, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and get it hot.  Add in your onion and cook until translucent.  Add in Brussels sprouts and salt and pepper them.  Let them cook for about 3 minutes and flip them over so they get a little browned on both sides, cook for another 3 minutes.  Add in garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant.  Add chicken stock and bring heat down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 5 minutes, you should have very little chicken stock left and your sprouts should now be tender.  If not, just put the lid on and keep checking on them.  Add the pancetta back in. 

Put the Brussels into your Candlewick Imperial glass bowl...oh wait...your grandma didn't give you awesome Candlewick dinnerware.  Well, then I guess just put it in whatever bowl you have and serve.


Merry Beth said...

LOVE this story and love those beautiful dishes! Grandma sounds like a pretty amazing woman...Happy Mother's Day to her :)

Jess said...

Thanks Merry Beth!

Tara said...

That's so sweet! We do have an awesome grandma! :-)

Jess said...

We sure do, Tara!

Leigh said...

<3 this!Not sure why, but it made me cry!

Jess said...

Thanks, Leigh. It made Uncle Ronnie cry too! And I cried like a baby when I wrote it!!