Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Tribute to My Gram & Her Pickled Beets

Last week my Grandma Walters passed away. Grandparents and grandchildren share a very special relationship, and this was very true for my Gram Walters and I. She wasn't just my Grandma, but my friend, confidant, shopping buddy, and cooking mentor. My Gram was an extraodinary cook. She is the main reason I wanted to learn to cook once I got married - Grandma lovingly cooked for my Grandpa, her children, and Grandchildren as long as she was physically able to. Every dish she made was an effort of love. 

I decided to devote the next several recipes on my blog to to my Gram as a tribute to her. I just spent the last hour or so going through the family cookbook that the Walters women put together a few years ago and browsing through some of Gram's cookbooks that I inherited. It is bittersweet to revisit the memories of my Gram, and remember sitting in her kitchen surrounded by the smells of her home cooked food. I hope you will enjoy learning a little bit about Grandma as I share more of her best loved recipes and honor the life of the woman I was so blessed to call my Gram. 
This photo is of my Grandma and her four children (my Mom is the toe head on the bottom left) at one of their summer vacations to the lake. My Mom says one of her best childhood memories is the week they spent swimming, fishing, looking for frogs, roasting marshmallows and drinking soda (Grandma and Grandpa did not buy soda except on special occasions). 

Back to the food!
Here's a list of Gram's recipe that were previously posted:
Crab Salad
Three Bean Salad
Monkey Bread
Creamy Cucumber Salad

I have also added the label "Gram's Kitchen" to her recipes so that they can be organized all together. 

Today I am going to share Gram's Pickled Beets. These beets were almost always in Gram's fridge. She would serve them with just about every Sunday dinner and I never passed them up. They are sweet, tangy, and get better the longer they sit in the fridge. 
Gram's Pickled Beets
Printable Version
2 cans drained beets
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Sprinkle of caraway seeds (I didn't have these on hand, so substituted celery seed - bad idea!)
3 or 4 cloves
1 onion, sliced very thin
Boil vinegar and sugar together for five minutes. 
Pour over drained beets and add remainder of ingredients. Let set overnight. 


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Ashley. Grammas are a special breed of person and you're lucky to have so many special memories with yours. May she live on in your kitchen and your heart.

  2. Asher, how sweet to look at your blog and find the tribute to Grandma, it makes me happy to know that you had such a special relationship with her. How appropriate that her memory will carry on in our hearts, but also in all of our kitchens. She was a fabulous cook and was so happy to know that you were having so much fun cooking for Eric. Thanks for making me smile and reminding me that I'm hungry for pickled beets! Love, Mom

  3. So sorry to hear about your grandma. This is such a nice way to remember her. My mother's mom was a terrific cook, too, and I remember her recipes so fondly. We now live in my grandparents' house and I feel such a kinship with her still whenever I cook in her kitchen. =)

  4. I'm sorry for your loss. But what a great tribute to your grandma. Food memories are always some of my favorites.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss Ashley. I love that you are doing a tribute to your grandma with her recipes. Some of the best recipes are passed down from our moms, grandmas, great grandmas, etc. I hope to try these pickled beets soon! In the last year or two I found a new love of beets! I will have to go out and buy some caraway seeds though, definitely not something I have in the house.

  6. Another thing we share with our Grandma's - pickled beets. I just finished off a jar of them today that my Grandma made for me.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I look forward to reading more about her in your recipe tribute.

  7. Hi Ashley - I'm going to make these in the next week and was thinking about using fresh beets... have you ever made them with fresh? Which do you like better?

  8. I haven't made them with fresh but I'm sure that it'd taste great. I think you'd want to boil them first. Let me know how you do it and hope it turns out!



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