Sunday, July 06, 2008

Death by Chocolate

My Nana died this morning, unexpectantly. While I rarely share much of my personal life on this blog, this is important. Some of my first memories of food were when I was with Nana.
Nana loved food and loved to bake. Her love of food was forefront in her warm hugs. She had this soft, cuddly body - when you hugged her it was like hugging a big, pink marshmellow. You just sank into her and knew you were safe in her arms.
One of my first memories with food was with Nana. We use to eat kiwi together. She's bounce me on her knee and we'd talk and eat that funny green fruit with black dots.
She always had perfect bananas. We'd call them, "Nana's Bananas." No banana eaten at her house was ever too green or too brown. They were always perfect.
We'd bake. Cookies. Cakes. Brownies. Pies. Anything sweet. I've always had a sweet tooth and being the great grandmother she was, she'd always encourage it.
Nana would send me articles from her local central Texas newspaper on vegetarinism, or recipes that were vegan, or easily could be. She'd send me recipes for yeast free breads, cook from vegan cook books. She was so excited when she found her mom's "wacky cake" recipe to send to me. I think her's was called, "no egg or milk cake."

She understood my vegetarianism. When I went vegan she sat me down to talk about it. I was afraid it was going to be a scolding, but it wasn't. She said when she was in nursing school she learn how milk isn't that great for the body and how one doesn't really need meat. She didn't understand not eating eggs. I explained how veganism is about animals and equality and she just hugged me and said she was so proud of me for being compassionate.

But the point of this post is about Nana's love for chocolate. I didn't really come to love chocolate until I became vegan. I'd find vegan chocolates for her we could share. This September I was planning on visiting her for her birthday and making some handmade chocolates, but it was too late to even tell her about my plans. I never should have waited to tell her or ask all the questions I still have about her life. It happened without warning.
In my grieving today I decided to make a triple chocolate truffle in honor of my Nana who loved me no matter what and who I loved so dearly. Though she didn't die by chocolate, the name is catchy.

This is for you Nana. I love you and you will be missed.ingredients: cashews, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, chocolate chips, vanilla, a chocolate bar I found in the refrigerator, and probably a few tears.

27 comments:

Ricki said...

So sorry to hear about your nana. Your tribute to her is lovely and brings back lots of memories for me as well. And it's clear how much you cared about her! The chocolates are beautiful--I'm sure she would have loved them.

E said...

Very touching, Webs. She would have laughed and absolutely loved this story. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. Much of her compassion lives on in you.

Alex Wrekk said...

Don't forget the giant cookies we would make for Granddad when he was out of town! I never understood her love for chocolate until I was vegan either. She will be missed.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Webly. I too had a Nana who was an amazing woman who was always gentle & kind & helped make me what I am today. I miss her dearly, but I know she's always there to guide me, much like yours always will be. xo.

VeggieGirl said...

Webly, this post is so beautiful - I feel as if I knew your grandmother. She sounds like she was an amazing woman, and it's so nice that you could share the same passion for baking. Cherish your memories of her forever.

Animal-Friendly said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful woman and it's great to hear that you have so many nice memories with her.

Katy said...

I'm so sorry about your nana. It made me think of my nana and grandma (who have both passed away). Thank you for sharing some of your wonderful memories.

Sarah said...

Im so sorry to hear about the loss of your nana. It is great that you are able to use baking and writing to be able to remember some of the great memories of her. Take care of yourself.

Courtney said...

I am so sorry to hear about your nana. She sounds like an amazingly kind and loving woman. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Courtney

Melody Polakow said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.... she sounds like she was an amazing woman and such a blessing as a grandmother... *hugs* and prayers to you and your family...

Bianca said...

Sorry to hear about your Nana! She sounds awesome. Grandmas, especially ones that send you vegan recipes, are the best. I loved your description of her marshmellow hug! And the chocolates are lovely. I bet she'd be proud.

B36Kitchen said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your Nana. Chocolate loving grandma's are the best! My grandmother died unexpectantly too a few years ago. It was very hard.

Webly said...

Thank you everyone for the kind words and warm wishes, it means a lot to me.

kittee said...

weebles,
i'm sorry to hear about your beloved nana. i hope you're hanging OK, and I'm glad you have such good memories to keep forever.

xo
kittee

daisygrl said...

Hi Webs, I am so sorry she is gone. She sounds so wonderful. What a beautiful tribute you wrote to her on here. Thank you for sharing. <3

julie hasson said...

This was a beautiful tribute to your grandmother Webly. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Nana sounds like an amazing person.

springsandwells said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your Nana. it's so difficult. but your loving tribute is so beautiful. it's so wonderful that you had so many years to know her and love her and learn from her. My grandma died unexpectedly last november, and it was a very raw and foggy time. But I still think about her so much, and even after her life has ended, she's still in my heart as a friend and a moral compass. In particular, there is some magical combination between grandmothers and food... those memories are so special for you to have in your heart.

destinyskitchen said...

I'm so for your loss. I think it's very beautiful that you chose to honor your nana by making something she'd love.

Bri's Dad said...

Webly, Theresa and I extend our condolences to you. Your Nana lived a long life, and I'm sure had many wonderful experiences. Like having you as a grand-daughter.

We also extend our condolences to Brian on the passing of his G'ma. Your other G'parents are alive and well, and would REALLY like to hear from you.
God Bless. Kevin

Sam said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your Nana sounded like an amazing woman.

K.E.N. said...

sorry to hear about your nana, webly! i recently became aware(not that she's got an illness, but that she's getting old) that my grandma probably isn't going to be around for too much longer and i've been trying to get more of her life story from her (she's ex-amish and she married shortly after getting pregnant...sounds interesting to me!).
those chocolates look damn good!

Vegan_Noodle said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your nana, she sounds like a beautiful, loving person. I'll bet she would just love those chocolates. Take care.

Christina said...

webly, this is very touching. thank you so much for this blog post. i've never heard of a more inspiring acceptance of veganism from a non vegan role model. i am so glad to know that there have been people like you nana in the world. -blue

Webly said...

Thanks everyone. I was honored to have my father print this entry and take it to her viewing. All my relatives thought it was just a beautiful as you did.
Thanks. Now go write a letter to your Nana-like person and remind them that you love them. Or better yet, send them cookies.

nicole said...

I am sobbing after reading your entry Webly... you are in my thoughts...

Webly said...

Nicole - I am think I am glad I touched you! you are so sweet! I opened my mail today with the nicest gift certificate. Thank you so much. I will enjoy the much needed massage!

cassie :D said...

This is a very touching piece. She would be remembered far more then you know she would be.