Grandma’s House

Grandma’s House

I loved going to my Grandma Pete’s to stay overnight.  There were always those Grandma things that she had that didn’t exist in our house!

♥ Peter Pan Peanut Butter- we had Jif

♥ Crest Toothpaste- we had Colgate (yuck)

♥ Black Cherry pop- we were pretty much a Coke and ginger ale household

♥ Charles Chips- ok we did have those, but they still bring back memories of her house

♥ Frisky, the dog- we didn’t have a pet and I just loved and was terrified of him.  I loved walking him around the block.  I felt so grown up!

This was just a little bit of Grandma’s house.



Parma Pierogi’s

Parma Pierogi’s


Yesterday was National Pierogi Day!  There are a couple of things I definitely miss about the Cleveland/Parma area and Pierogi’s are most certainly on the top of the list.  Almost every Friday was fish fry night in our house.  My mom would go over to St. Josaphat’s on State Rd. where the little old ladies in their babushka’s were sitting at long tables diligently making these wonderful little dumplings.  They were fascinating to watch as they sat filling each of them with either mashed potatoes, sauerkraut or prune filling.  They would gently pinch the edges together and on they would go to be slightly boiled.  Mom would always purchase at least a 1/2 dozen of each.  The warm little dough dumplings were placed into plastic bags, still warm.  If I remember correctly my mom would buy fresh Lake Erie perch at the local store or once my dad started working in the Sandusky area he would stop at a fish market on the way home and bring home freshly caught Lake Erie perch (my mouth is watering right now at this point as I am writing this.) Mom lightly sautéed the pierogi’s in butter, the fish would be breaded and fried and there was always homemade coleslaw, something that I just cannot seem to replicate! Our feast was ready and we would sit down to an incredible Rath Friday Night Fish Fry.  What’s even more fun about this is that this continued on into our married life and whenever we would travel to OH to visit it was a typical Friday night dinner.  Our sons still talk about it and to tell you the truth Long John Silvers, Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks and Grandma’s Lake Perch was the only kind of fish our sons would eat.

I miss those pierogi’s.  They bring back wonderful memories.  And sadly this is what we are relegated to eating now in the Pierogi department.


Just not the same.  Maybe my brother’s need to ship me some real pierogi’s.

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?


We have a huge murder trial about to begin here in SWFL.  In 2015 Dr. Theresa Sievers was bludgeoned to death in her home upon returning from vacation.  Her husband and 2 other men have been charged in her murder.  One of the hit men took a plea deal and is serving time in prison now.  The trial of one of the hit men, Jimmy Rodgers, is about to begin with jury selection taking place right now.  Mark Sievers trial will follow.  Read more about the story behind the murder here.

Anyway, this is a pretty big trial here.  It’s a death penalty trial.  It’s all over our local &, national news.  Court TV, Law and Crime  are in Ft. Myers.  Along with Netflix is here making a documentary.   We’ve been following it on Court TV & WINK as the jury selection takes place, which is now on Day 4.  The big question is about the death penalty.

We talked about the big question this morning.  Is it up to us to decide whether someone lives or dies?  I remember a religion course in nursing school called “Come Let us Play God”.  What I learned and took away from that class still sits in the back of my mind.  I’m not sure I could conceivably, without a doubt, decide that someone should receive the death penalty over life imprisonment.

What would you do?

Grape Jelly

Grape Jelly

20191003_1018412I can’t help but think of my Gramma Pete when I look at a jar of  grape jelly.  She came frequently with my folks to visit us and she would always bring a jar of grape jelly with her.  Now mind you this was not a small jar of jelly, but one of those gigantic family sizes. There were only 4 of us so it’s not like we would go through a ton of it.  It wasn’t my favorite type of jelly and I’m not really sure if it was Jon’s, Justin’s or Brett’s favorite.  I never really understood what she was thinking- did we not have grape jelly in our stores in MI or IL, did we need to stock up in case of something, maybe it was a stocking up thing left over from her being a single mom during the depression?  But, we always knew when gram was coming to visit there would be a jar of grape jelly coming along with her.  

Now I must confess.  We always had a good chuckle.  I think I remember my mom and the boys rolling their eyes when she pulled it out of the sack and put it on the kitchen counter.  I think I probably even took more than several jars to our church’s food pantry.  But, it was gramma bringing it.  We all absolutely loved and adored her and in my eyes, even as an adult, she could do nothing wrong.  I idolized her and as many granddaughters do, I had a very special relationship with her my entire life (I pray for the same relationship with our granddaughters).  She was a gem!!  So it was okay that she brought it and we graciously ooohed and aahhed over it and thanked her for it.

Here’s my confession- I always said as I get older I want to be just like my gramma Pete and I must confess the apple did not fall far from the tree.  I find myself taking on our visits to them what our sons and daughter-in-laws and probably our 8 y.o. granddaughter find totally absurd and useless questioning “why did gramma bring this”? Thank goodness I still have a few years with our 2 y.o. granddaughter before she starts wondering.  I know there are eyes rolled and chuckles being had. But, I understand now why she might have brought that grape jelly from the junk store at the corner.  She loved us endlessly, she wanted to bring us something we could use, she must remember how much I loved my PB & J toast when I would stay overnight and it was her way of showing how much we all meant to her, and just in case there was no grape jelly to be had in IL and MI we would at least have some.  So to our sons, daughter-in-laws and granddaughters remember I didn’t fall far from the Gramma Pete tree!  

We were blessed to have her in our lives well into our sons high school years!  So Gramma Pete from all of us… Here’s to you…. I’m sorry it isn’t Welch’s.  I can’t look at a jar of grape jelly without thinking of you!  


Batch #21

Batch #21


Wow it’s been a while since we’ve done any brewing.  Being retired really takes a lot of time getting everything done.  But, we’ve found a hole in our schedule that gives us a couple of weeks at home to brew, wait and bottle.

Today’s batch is another Smash Ale but with a little bit of a citrus twist- literally a twist of fresh limes and then some dried tangerines.  Our brewmaster is being creative with this one by adding some wonderful Cuban honey to add just a little extra sweetness.  Hmmmm I’m thinking this may be a little bit sweet and sour on the palate.  It’s a 2 fermentation brew but with each fermentation taking only a week it’ll still only be about 2 weeks and we’ll be ready to bottle.  I’m excited about this one since I do love a wonderful fruity tasting beer, like a shandy.  Oh and the name- Caribe Rompió Cítricos- Caribbean Smashed Citrus! Interpret it as you desire!

Update: September 1, 2019

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It’s been a quick two weeks since brew day.  Last week after 1 week of fermentation the beer was dry hopped and our master brewer added some tangerine peel and a bit of rum-Caribbean rum of course!  After another week of fermentation it’s time to bottle.  First blush the brew has a nice medium amber color, not too dark, not too light.  First taste by both our master brewer and chief bottler and labeler agreed that the hops through it in another direction, giving it just a little bit of a bitter taste.  Taste buds are thrown in a different direction knowing that there is honey in it you’d expect it to be sweeter.  The hops definitely balance off the sweetness of the honey taking it to a nice medium balance.  We’ve still got another 2 weeks now of bottle fermentation before our final taste!  Just in time to share with our family up north!  Oh, and the ABV- a perfect 4.37%.  Just right for those that enjoy a lighter beer.