In the past few weeks my precious grandmother has moved in with my mom and my aunt in Nashville. She’s going to split time between here and Tennessee because if there’s one thing my grandmother does not mind, it is a change of scenery now and then. In fact, her eyes light up when someone says “trip.”
However, this new arrangement has made her having an apartment no longer necessary so our entire family has pretty much been pillaging her apartment over the last few weeks.
I went over on a Sunday afternoon, intending of course to take only a few things as keepsakes, but so much of my grandmother just seemed to be poured out all over the apartment that I kept filling up boxes in order to catch her. I don’t particularly want multiple plaques with verses, kitschy phrases and hymns on them, but I can’t bear that I won’t walk by them any more for the rest of my life and remember being at her house when I was little just at the sight of them.
What ARE all these things? Taido wanted to know when I put them on our bookshelves. Taido doesn’t notice very much, so that should clue you in to the fact that these babies stand out.
I just couldn’t bear for them to get thrown away, and nobody wanted them.
I also came across this orange tupperware, and even though I am slowly banning plastic from my house, I brought it home. When I picked it up out of the piles, I looked at my Grandmother and said,
Oh you used to bring me bran muffin mix in this.
She started to tear up. Yes. Yes, I did.
How do you face not doing something anymore that you have done a thousand times?
Like mixing up six week bran muffin mix. That’s right. This stuff can sit in your fridge for 6 weeks.
I’ve never put that number to the test, seeing as it only requires about two mornings to polish off the tub of batter around our house.
I brought it home, mixed up muffins, filled it up and put it in my refrigerator. Every time I open the door I think about my grandmother.
And I also remember her when I walk by the shellacked onto faux wood Great is Thy Faithfulness. It is her favorite hymn of all times. I look around for her on the rare day that we sing it in church just to see her smile. Her faith is a force to be reckoned with. Backed both by years of knowing God’s faithfulness in her own life and and her iron will, Grandmother’s faith is one of many strong towers I have looked to all my life.
Wherever I am, I know when the rain starts pouring down that she is at home praying me safely on my way.
Even though her apartment is all cleared out and much of what she has accumulated on this earth has been scattered about, she still has what matters. And I’ll take her prayers for me and my loved ones over her cooking any day.
Grandmother’s Bran Muffins
4 cups bran flakes
1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups whole wheat flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
Pour melted butter over bran flakes. Add sugar and eggs. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture in. Stir in flour and salt and stir just until mixed.
Store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Note: It should come as no surprise to you that I have tinkered with my grandmother’s recipe. I’ve changed the white flour to wheat, the margarine to butter and cut the sugar in half. So you can change it back if you want these muffins just exactly as my grandmother would make them.