Our Thanksgiving plans were cancelled this year due to the passing away of my dear, dear Grandma. She was 92 and had lived a beautiful long life. Hearing stories about her from both strangers and family was such a blessing. The undercurrent behind all of the stories being that she loved unconditionally and always thought of others first, and was quick to laugh and show her bright smile. I spent most of the 10 hour drive there (and back) thinking about the wonderful memories she brought to my life and the amazing ways she impacted my life for the better (such as raising my Dad to be the best Daddy a girl could ask for). She had 40 grandchildren and 95 great-grandchildren and somehow she made us each feel special.
My fondest memory was when we got snowed in one year while we were visiting them in B.C. for Christmas. At the suggestion of my grandma, me, my brothers, and cousins bundled up and headed out into the winter wonderland of my grandparent’s retirement community to shovel the sidewalks of the elderly who couldn’t do it for themselves. This was who my grandparents were. My grandpa was in his 80′s at the time and would be shovelling the sidewalk for people 10 years younger then him, who were no longer physically able. They were givers and it shone through everything they did.
When we came in from the cold, Grandma was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. This is where most of my memories of my grandma take place. In the kitchen. Listening to her joyful humming while she prepared food for the ones she loved.
I remember waking up one morning to pancakes and homemade syrup. I took one bite and realized that my grandma made the most delicious syrup in the world. I was too young then to think to ask for the recipe, or even what kind of syrup it was, but years later when I made buttermilk syrup for the first time, I was instantly brought back to that memory and it has remained a favourite ever since. This may not be her exact recipe but it is comforting and delicious, and brings back that treasured memory that will forever hold a special place in my heart.
P.S. I now know why I loved buttermilk syrup so much as a child – it tastes like the glaze from my favourite doughnut. Meaning, it makes your pancakes taste like doughnuts for breakfast. Yes, please.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
Add butter, sugar, buttermilk, honey and salt to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in baking soda. Boil and stir for one minute (it will foam up triple the amount). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Stir until foam subsides. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge (reheat to serve).
Makes: 1 2/3 cups