Delicious and Dedicated to My Grandma

I have a lot of good memories with my grandma. I remember spending a lot of time with her, particularly when my sister and I were younger. We often went to Grandma’s house for sourdough pancakes, sleepovers, playdates, and library trips. We spent our first few Christmases there, I had many a birthday party with my grandparents, and my grandma lived close enough that we were over there often as little kids.

When I hit my teenage years, I remember going to my grandma on several occasions for much-needed advice. My grandma is as wise as they come (probably wiser), and I have often relied on her advice heavily for some big (and sometimes not so big) decisions I’ve had to make. As I have grown older (and inherently busier), I haven’t been able to go my Grandma’s as often- but when I do, it is always with a warm hug and usually a bowl of ice cream! (She is known as the ice cream Grandma because it is just common knowledge among us grandkids that if you visit Grandma, she always has ice cream!).

I know that my grandma truly enjoys the time she spends with her grandchildren. Looking back, it means a lot that we were able to spend so much time with her and feel her genuine love, despite the fact that she has 11 children, over 80 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren- that’s a lot of people to love! But she does it, and so sincerely too. She is an amazing woman and I am grateful for her love, her wisdom, and her example in my life.

One of my favorite memories of things we used to do together was cooking treats. One of the things I remember making is red hard candy. I loved making the candy- it was always such a beautiful red color when it was all finished. It was just pretty to look at! I also loved the fact that we often made 2 different flavors- cinnamon and black licorice! Black licorice is not always a popular flavor, but it is one of my absolute favorites, and I loved that my grandma always made sure we made some black licorice-flavored candy. I included her recipe with my article today.

Another thing I remember making with my grandma was Jello eggs around Easter. She had a few purple egg molds, and I remember making big boiling pans of hot Jello, pouring them into the molds, and anxiously awaiting the moment an hour or two later when the Jello would be cooled and my sister and I could finally devour the eggs! To this day, Jello makes me think of my Grandma. I love the smell of hot, boiling Jello- probably because it reminds me of cooking with Grandma.

I recently found a fun way to eat Jello, and while it’s not in the shape of an egg, it made me think of my Grandma because it’s a fun and unique way to eat this gelatinous treat! Jello can be messy- and those eggs were definitely no exception. Once the Jello was molded into the shape of an egg, my sister and definitely didn’t want to waste it by eating it from a bowl with a spoon! It’s much more fun to just eat with your hands. That is one thing I love about this recipe for Jello oranges- it’s a fun and very convenient way to eat Jello!

Slice the oranges in half; using a melon scoop or spoon to scoop out the insides (you could juice the orange to be resourceful). Carefully pour the prepared Jello in the orange halves (you might want to make the Jello Jigglers recipe on the side of the box for a firmer Jello that will slice easier). Place the Jello oranges in the fridge to allow them to set. Once they are hardened, slice the Jello orange halves into slices. You could use a variety of flavors for a very colorful and fun dessert!

Whatever fun treats you make, I would encourage all of you to leave a legacy with your children and grandchildren- and one of the best ways I can think of is through time spent together in the kitchen!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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Grandma's Hard Candy

This sweet concoction can be a beautiful addition to any holiday. And you can change the flavor and color for endless possibilities!

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serving size: 1
Calories per serving: 0

4 cups sugar
1 cup karo syrup
1 cup boiling water
1 red food coloring
3 lid-fulls cinnamon oil

Mix the syrup, water and sugar in a large saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. At this point, do not stir again. Boil the mixture to a hard-crack stage ( if you put a little in a bowl of cold water and then chew it, the candy should shatter, not stick to your teeth). To add your color, put a few drops (amount will depend on the shade you want) in the pan- tip the pan around to get the color everywhere (if you need to stir it in, do not touch the edges or bottom). Do the same with your cinnamon oil (or whatever flavor you choose). Pour into a greased pan. Once completely cooled, break into small bite size pieces.

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