Thursday, March 22, 2012
I recently had a very sad journey back home to say goodbye to my dear grandma, Joyce Doughty. Here she is blowing out the candles on her 90th birthday cake, watched carefully by her first great grandchild.
She was a true inspiration to me, a woman who brought sunshine into everyones lives that she touched, right up until her last days in the hospital.
The journey to celebrate her life became a joyful one, we were able to remember the vibrant and busy woman who fitted an unbelievable amount of stuff into her days. From her younger days attending university when that wasn't quite the done thing, being evacuated out to Wales. She then started a job with the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, who assigned her to the Gambia where she met my grandfather.
It was wonderful to hear stories of her work as a nutritionist, her books, her students and how many people she taught and kept in correspondence with over the years.
It was also great to remember the political woman, the person who delivered leaflets for the labor party, who was a member of the communist party at some point and had to tell a little white lie every time she came over to see me!
We had several wonderful holidays here in the west, along the california coast, and I promised I'd take her to the grand canyon. We did it in style in a helicopter, she was the only one brave enough to take the front seat, me, my mum and my aunt were way too scared!!
She also was very creative, but wouldn't admit it, she did wonderful wood carvings, I have a green man smiling down on me from the back door that she carved as a wedding gift for me, and we all have birthday cards that she painted.
At the funeral I was able to make a small tribute based on the input of friends and family, and it was wonderful to read all the wonderful things that people said, about how welcoming her home was, about how caring she was, about her cooking, how hard it was to keep up with her on walks, and her travel.
Since this is a food blog, maybe I should focus on the food, which was a great part of grandmas life, she always worried about my nutrition as a vegetarian, one memorable meal she made for me was a peanut butter lasagna which my husband was also able to enjoy! All the grandchildren remember her wonderful breakfasts, especially the eggy bread. She made a yummy rice pudding, and wonderful shortbread caramel bars. I found her old recipe cards, so I hope to replicate those soon.