Feeling Blue – A Tribute

I had intended to post our first Hawaiian recipe today, but it will have to wait a bit. You see the past few weeks I have thought about how much I miss my Grandma’s kitchen. Not her actual kitchen, but the warmth, the aromas, the laughter, the sound of the dishwasher running and the little toys that sat for me on Β a shelf. My Grandma passed several years ago, but those memories have been incredibly vivid to me recently, so much so that when Mr. N and I went out to breakfast last Sunday morning, the smell of bacon sent us on an impromptu visit to see my Grandpa.

You see one of the strongest memories I have is how my Grandma would often make bacon and eggs for my Grandpa. It’s a smell I still associate with their kitchen. So Mr. N and I wrapped up breakfast and decided to bring “Pops” his Sunday paper. We had a nice visit talking about life, the kids, Hawaii and of course, politics. He always talked politics and whether I agreed with him or not, I always enjoyed those conversations. But above all he reveled in watching Mr. N bounce around his room. We left after an hour or so, joking that the next time we’d see him would be when we sprung him from rehab (He’s been in rehab building up his strength to return home after a recent illness.).

However, as is the way with life, things never quite seem to go as planned. Pops passed away yesterday afternoon. It was unexpected, but it was quick and painless, likely having happened as he dozed off after his lunch. In my opinion, if you’re going to go, it’s the best way to go. And what’s even better he saw all of his children and many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren within the past few days. He was a man surrounded by love.Β 

Grandpa and Grandma with me and my sister in 1981.

Now anyone that knew my Grandpa well could tell you that he was a stubborn man, set in his ways. He was opinionated, demanding and sometimes just down right aggravating. One of his best known phrases was, “What the hell is this?” uttered nearly every time he would open a gift. It got to be a long-running joke and I believe he was even gifted a t-shirt with the slogan at one point. But all of his stubbornness aside, he was a loyal man. He was a fair man. He was a smart, driven and hard-working man. He was gregarious, loving and enthusiastic about life, family, golf, politics, friends, crosswords, food, work and just about anything and everything he set his mind to doing.

Above all else though, he was a very special person in my life. When I was little he was the tickle monster, the Grandpa that you could crawl all over, tease and get to discover all the goodies he had in his office (pads of paper, bubble wrap, pens, old invoice forms – great stuff for little imaginations!). As I got older, he became my role model. I emulated his success in academics and his career. His guidance was important to me and I often sought out his advice – even up to this past Sunday. But I think looking back, the thing I will value the most is the friendship we shared after I became an adult. Mike and I shared a few fun-filled double date nights with he and my Grandma, and I enjoyed many lunches with him either just the two of us, or with the kids. I am so very lucky to have gotten the chance to have known him – both as a child and an adult. And my children are also blessed to have known their Great-Grandpa. That is truly remarkable.

Snuggling with our Grandpa.

And speaking of the kids…Oh, how he has enjoyed the kids! He was one of Mr. N’s first visitors in the hospital after he was born. He brought his little digital camera and snapped probably a million pictures of tiny Mr. N, his first great-grandchild. He positively beamed with pride from the first time he held him right through watching the video of Mr. N body surfing last week.

Pops showing Mr. N the dragons he picked up for his 5th birthday.

Then there was Miss A. You know how some children are a bit afraid of the elderly, others are indifferent to them and then there’s those that just don’t seem to notice the extra wrinkles, oxygen tubes and white hair – that was Miss A. She adored pops from the time she was born. She’d never cry when he held her and even slept in his arms. Her affections only grew from there. Every time she’d see him, she’d rush at him with a big hug, then run off to grab some books for him to read to her. She loved sitting on his lap and rocking with, loved bringing him lunch, doing singing and gymnastics performances for him and baking him goodies. He was often on her mind. She made up a little song about him and even in Hawaii commented, “I bet Pops misses me.”

Miss A loving her Pops.

So today at Eat, Play, Love we’re honoring Pops. While mourning is part of the process, he wouldn’t want us to dwell there long. He’d want us to make the most of everything – our lives, our families, love and of course good food! He was an avid reader of our blog, often asking when we’d be bringing over some of these dishes. He was particularly fond of all of our blueberry posts. He couldn’t stop talking about those. A few weeks ago Miss A and I baked up some blueberry tarts and a blueberry pie all for him. He couldn’t have been more thrilled – and she couldn’t have been more proud. So here’s to you Pops…the best of our blueberry goodness!

Maine Blueberry Sauce

And of course that gets served with some vanilla ice cream.

Or if you really want to indulge, serve it up with vanilla ice cream and Handmade Shortbread.

Don’t forget the ever-delicious Maine Blueberry Pie.

Miss A and I whipped this recipe up in individual ramekins when we made it for Pops and it worked really well that way too.

It is practically mandatory to eat that with vanilla ice cream as well. πŸ˜‰

If you’re feeling a bit fancy you could opt for a delectable Blueberry Ice Crumble.

This recipe features an Ontario ice syrup.

And lastly, for a fast, but delicious dessert you could whip up a Peach-Blueberry Crisp.

Is there any doubt it goes really with vanilla ice cream too?!

“The song is ended but the memory lingers on.” From lyrics by Irving Berlin.

70 thoughts on “Feeling Blue – A Tribute

  1. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb says:

    I am sorry to hear about your grandfathers demise.
    My grandmother died some months ago and I am at times fretting for my grandfather too. I am not sure if I ll ever see him again, the same what happend with my grandmother… I hadnt seen her for 4 years. They live far away and life situations are sometimes difficult….

    blueberries are fitting, they are wonderful fruits, my favourite.

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Helene. Thank you so much for your comments. I can definitely empathize with you about being far away and with how life situations arise. I hope that you will have a chance to visit your grandfather again. And we thought blueberries were rather fitting too. πŸ™‚ Thank you.

      Like

  2. Grammie Mom says:

    Honey, thank you for this beautiful tribute. I am seeing my Dad through the lens of a Grandchild. He was something special, wasn’t he? And a part of him lives on in us.
    Love you always and forever…

    Like

  3. Stefanie says:

    So sorry for your loss 😦 I know how hard it is, but I’m sure he would have loved this tribute. So many wonderful memories and pictures. And beautiful blueberry recipes. Sending you and your family my condolences

    Like

  4. Laura says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa, Kristy. He sounds like a very special person! And I love that he read your blog πŸ™‚ Not many grandpas read blogs! I’m sure he’s enjoying lots of blueberries with your grandma today πŸ™‚

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  5. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    Beautiful post Kristy. I am so sorry for your loss. You have amazing, kind and lovely children. I love that Miss A. was thinking that Papa was missing her while she was in Hawaii. I’m so glad you got to spend time with him and followed through on your whim to go visit. There are some sweet and heartfelt family photos here. I’m sure he will be missed greatly but you all got to spend so many great times together and that is something you will treasure forever.

    Like

  6. Caroline says:

    What a sweet tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kristy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your grandpa sounded like a truly amazing man! This brought tears to my eyes as well. I know how hard it was when I lost my grandpa. What a great recipe to celebrate his life. xx

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  7. kitchenbelleicious says:

    oh kristy. what a wonderful and endearing post. It made me cry. I have the same similar memories of my grandparents ( my nanny taught me how to cook). I am so sorry for your loss, my heart and prayers are with you. I know he is now with the love of his life!

    Like

  8. Amy says:

    So sorry to hear your news. My mom told me about it when she came over Saturday to babysit, but reading your words here have now caused me to weep on my keyboard. You loved him well!

    Like

  9. Karen says:

    Words can’t express how much I feel for your loss. It is so hard to loose the ones we love when they have been so much a part of our life. Please know how lucky you were to have your grandfather with you into your adult life and that your children will have such wonderful memories of him. My thoughts and prayer are with your entire family. May you be comforted by those around you and know that your blogging family is with you as well. Karen

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  10. profiterolesandponytails says:

    When I read your post yesterday I couldn’t help but feel there was a reason that you had bacon last weekend. It is so nice that you’ve been able to have regular visits with your grandfather. Grandparents are such special people in our lives — so glad that you have such wonderful memories. I think of my grandma every time I have lemon meringue pie. Thinking of you this weekend….

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Thank you so much! I think there had to be a reason last week too. πŸ™‚ And yes, grandparents are definitely special people in our lives. We’re so fortunate to have had him with us for as long as we did. Thank you for your warm thoughts and kind words. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Eftychia says:

    My grandmother passed away years ago too, but I still miss her very much! I remember the olive bread she used to make. The best I ever had… I can understand why you feel like this…

    Like

  12. Deborah says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, he sounds like a wonderful man. My granpa passed away last year, and I was so glad that I had the opportunity to spend some time with him just before his passing. It’s always hard to lose a loved one.

    Like

  13. Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says:

    Oh Kristy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your tribute post is a wonderful account of what Pop’s meant to you and to your family. You are indeed fortunate and your children are also fortunate to have known him. I barely knew my grandparents (mother’s side, farther’s not at all) so I cannot even relate to the wonderful lessons he taught you. And that Miss A was oblivious to the differences of the elderly; she will definitely grow up a wonderful and caring individual.
    How wonderful that you were able to see him just before he passed; I love it when the universe works that way. The blueberry recipe is also a glorious tribute to Pop’s. May he rest in peace.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Eva. I feel so grateful that I was able to see him last week. I love it when the universe works that way too. And you’re right, we are so fortunate to have had him in our lives for so long. I’ve been a very lucky girl. Three years ago was the first time I lost a family member (my Grandma). I mean, talk about lucky. And my children got to know all of their great-grandparents on my side of the family. That I think is quite remarkable. πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Raymund. My grandpa was also in the service – Navy. I loved hearing his stories of his time in the military as well. Thank you for your kind words. πŸ™‚

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  14. Dawn says:

    Kirsty, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. One of my grandmother’s is still living, and although she lives thousands of miles away, I think of her every day. What a gift that you were able to swing by and visit him. This has been a tough week for losses, there must have been something in the air. Just continue to think about all the wonderful memories. I will be thinking good thoughts for you.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Dawn. I’m so grateful for our spontaneous visit last Sunday. There’s part of me that wishes I knew it was going to be the last time I’d see him, then there’s another part of me that’s happy that it was just a good normal visit. Sounds like you’ve faced some loss this week too. You’ll be in my thoughts as well. Thank you so much for your words and thoughts. I appreciate it. πŸ™‚

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  15. Purely.. Kay says:

    Kristy, I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I know how it is to loss someone suddenly and have a lot of emotions going on. You and my blog family supported me and my family when I lost my uncle.. and me and my family will be here to support you and yours whenever you need us. I know we’ve only ‘met’ online, but my email doors are always open to you if you ever need to talk, smile, or laugh. The one thing I do know.. he is happy. Trust me, he is happy now :). Whenever I think of my grandmother and grandfather, I also frequently think of grits, eggs, and bacon :). Always keep that memory close

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Kay. Thank you so much for your support, love and kind words. I have thought of you several times the past few days. I know you were close with your Grandmother and the tribute you wrote about your uncle also came to my mind. And you’re right – he’s happy now. I’m sure of that. Miss A told Mike the other night that, “Pops is happy now. He’s with Maw.” (my Grandma) It’s amazing what little ones understand. Thank you again Kay. It means a great deal.

      Like

      • Purely.. Kay says:

        No thank you’s needed :). You’re lucky we don’t live near you. My mother and I would be over cooking dinner for you and your family. It’s tradition in my family to do that when a loved one, of a friend, passes onto heaven. Again my email doors are always open.. and remember to breath. He’s with you always

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  16. Courtney says:

    Oh, Kristy, I am so sad for loss. Pops sounds like he was an amazing man – and how lucky were your kids to meet him and be a part of his life – and vice versa. I’m glad to hear you got a chance to spend some special time with him. Sending comforting thoughts your way.

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Courtney. We were all very lucky, that’s for sure. I’m so glad that my kids were able to get to know him. I know Mr. N will remember him and I’m hopeful Miss A is old enough to have a few memories too. But most importantly, I’m happy he got to know them. The smile they brought to his face all the time was priceless. πŸ™‚

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  17. Three Well Beings says:

    I’m so moved by this tribute, and send my hugs to you in such a big loss! Yes, a peaceful passing is a blessing, but it’s a loss. I miss my grandparents all the time, and funny, but bacon does it for both my brother and for me! I loved your pictures, and my husband and I spent today with our two young granddaughters. You gave me such a warmhearted feeling when you mentioned how you thought of the love and sense of place you had in your grandmother’s kitchen. I had that, too, and now I’m doing all I can to be sure my two little girls have that same feeling about us–as many memories as we can squeeze in! I hope this isn’t too hard on your two little ones. It was obvious that they loved their Pops! Peace, Debra

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Thank you so much Debra. Your words are so touching! I often watch my own kids with my parents and it reminds me of my grandparents as well. The bond/relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is a special one. I have no doubt that you’re going to give your little granddaughters tons of special memories. πŸ™‚ Thank you again.

      Like

  18. Charles says:

    Aw, Kristy – internet hug! I’m so sorry for your loss – for all your losses. He sounded like a wonderful, kind man. I think it’s just wonderful that you all had a chance to see him so recently.

    I don’t want to write too much – I don’t want anything I say to sound trite, but I hope you’re all doing ok! Take care of each other, and enjoy some blueberry pie in memoriam!

    Like

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    Sorry to read of your family’s loss, Kristy. You’ve written a loving tribute to this special man and his memory. I’m so glad that you have so many wonderful memories of him and that you were able to visit him that one last time. May he rest in peace.

    Like

    • Kristy says:

      Thank you John. Your thoughts and words mean a great deal. He was a special man indeed. I think I’ll be making your Uncle’s pasta this week in his remembrance. (He was the pepper lover I referenced in your comments. πŸ˜‰ )

      Like

  20. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Kristy, you are such a special person. I had to read this twice because I couldn’t see through my tears… What a beautiful post. I can’t think of a nicer way to commemorate your loving Grandpa than to celebrate him in pictures and words the way you have here with sweetness, honesty and humour. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope Mr. N and Miss A aren’t feeling too sad. Warm hugs to all of you ~

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Kelly! Your words and thoughts mean a great deal. The kiddos are holding up ok. Mr. N is working on a poem and Miss A named her bear after Pops. She misses him, but I think it’s a bit hard for her to grasp. Although she did say to me last night, I wish we had a tv in our heart so we could see what Pops and Maw (my Grandma) are doing. From the mouths of babes… Your thoughts mean a great deal. Thank you Kelly!

      Like

  21. smartfoodandfit says:

    Oh Kristy, I am so sorry! Reading your post brought tears to my eyes!. Thank you so much for sharing your memories of your grandpa. This was definitely a beautifull and thoughtful tribute to a special grandpa. The pictures are wonderful too. Sending my condolences to you and your family. πŸ™‚

    Like

  22. A_Boleyn says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpop’s passing. It was lovely to hear about the great relationship between your little ones and him.

    I don’t remember either of my grandfathers (or mothers) as we left Yugoslavia when I was quite young but I did have a brief chance to meet my mom’s dad when he came to Canada for a 1 month visit when I was still in university. Unfortunately, we weren’t really able to connect as it had just been too long apart. I envy you all for the time you had together.

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  23. Erin and Molly Reeder says:

    We are so sorry to hear about your grandpa. I feel like I never even really knew my own grandparents, so how lucky that even your kids got to know your grandpa. He sounds like he was a great guy! You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    the Reeders

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