Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Than Just Pie

She was known for her pies. Cherry especially, but also lemon meringue and chocolate. But I'll never forget the butterscotch brownies. The brown sugar, buttery scent would fill the house when she baked these. It is one of those smells that instantly takes you back to another era, when women still wore aprons in the kitchen and set the table before all meals.
I grew up on a farm homesteaded by my father's ancestors. He was the only boy in a family of six. Aunt Sylva was the only one of his sisters who lived nearby when I was growing up. My parents were "blessed" with two daughters and our aunt and uncle were the parents of two boys. They often traded kids when extra farmhands were needed or there was a mother-daughter banquet to attend. She was our "other mother".

We lost her yesterday. A lady in all respects, she was always quick to offer her help to anyone who needed it, whether it was baking a pie, accompanying someone on a doctor appointment or just making a phone call to see make sure if a friend was "okay". She had her own sense of style and fashion and always had a kind word for everyone. She would probably be appalled to see that I've posted a photo of her in her housecoat ! But this is the last photo I took of her last fall when my sister and I visited. I love the expression and slight smile on her face as she listened to Karen. She was always interested in our families activities and was so proud of her own grandchildren.

I have the urge to go make some butterscotch brownies and go buy some Jergen's Hand Lotion (another scent I associate with Aunt Sylva!) I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I shared the brownie recipe with you.

Melt one 6 oz. package of Nestle's Butterscotch chips over hot water (or in microwave)
Add 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Remove from heat.
Stir in 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
Cool 5 minutes
Blend in 2 eggs, 1/2 teas. vanilla.
Stir together and blend in 1 cup flour, 1 teas. baking powder. 1/2 teas. salt.
Add 1/2 cup chpped walnuts.
Spread in greased and lightly floured pan (13 x 9 for thin brownies, 9 x 9 for thicker)
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Cool. Enjoy.

We'll miss you Aunt Sylva.


Martha said...

Hi Janet -- sorry to hear about the loss of your Aunt (from both E & your blog now). I am in a baking mood today, so I'll have to try that brownie recipe!

Grampa Phil said...

Thanks for the memories of Aunt Sylva. I particularly remember pulling taffy in her kitchen. Don't recall doing it anywhere else.
Cousin Phil

joeks said...

I had a hard time putting down my thoughts about Aunt Sylva. Thank you for sharing yours.

Pickles! Her dill pickle and sweet lime pickle recipes are the ones I always use.

Yes, we will miss her.

Janet said...

Gosh ! How could I forget the sweet lime pickles! Once my mom quit canning, Aunt Sylva was our only source and we would hoard the jars she'd give us for special holidays. I'm sure that is one memory all my kids will cherish!

See you in Oz on Friday?