Thursday, September 17, 2009

Old Tradition, New Family

MMMmmmm....don't you just want to reach through your screen and eat one?! I know I do! These tasty little treats are called "raspberry turnovers" and they are one of my family's most beloved traditions beginning with the best grandmother in the world, Gramma Willey. There was never a woman who lived quite like Gramma. Her turnovers could very well be a confection comparison to that very character trait...

Any time there was a family party, these pieces of heavenly goodness were brought faithfully and in large quantities by Gramma Willey. They would barely make it through the door when one of the many cousins (and there are many) would grab the tray and run to hide them. They would keep it for their very own stash. You would then see them waltzing around, quite proud of their accomplishment, with two or three turnovers happily fulfilling their destiny by melting into their mouth.

"Where did you get that?!", you would forcefully demand.

"I'm not telling....Oh, and by the way, these are SO good!", would be the snooty reply.

You frantically (and unknowingly) ransack the house by analyzing every nook and cranny that would be just the right space to contain these coveted confections. If you were lucky, (and there were times you were) you would come upon the hidden treasure and then steal it for your own. And because you have already mapped out every good hiding location due to your search, you would have the perfect place for them never to be found by anyone else's grubby hands and for you alone to fully enjoy. Every. Last. One.

Until you see another cousin, turnover in hand, blissfully enjoying your treasure. As they pass by, their eyes glimmer, because they are now the proud owner of the flaky and fruity pastries and your hopes of ever tasting another have vanished, as if a dream, never to return until the next holiday. The defeat will wash over you like an ocean wave and leave you speechless...and they know it.

I only tell you all this so you can grasp the concept, even if only for a moment, how much raspberry turnovers are desired more than gold in my family.

Now that Gramma has gone to be with the Lord, their value has become priceless.

The tradition goes back before my birth. They were as much of a food staple as the hot dogs found at every cookout. That's why, when Mike's family (on his dad's side) had a family reunion, I had to attempt to introduce them to a piece of me. Raspberry Turnovers.

Although, they haven't quite gotten the concept of how precious they are (precious enough to tempt me to sin through coveting the entire tray...they are lucky the tray even made it to the dessert table. Sorry. Old habits die hard.), they do honor them in their own way.

"OOOoooo! Who made these? They are SO good!"

"I must have the recipe!"

"Your 'tarts' are wonderful!"

I suspect that it will only take a few more years of me (graciously) making a batch for the yearly reunion until the tray is whisked away from my hands to be enjoyed alone by the temporary keeper of the priceless treasure.



  1. Oh Michelle, those look so good, my mouth is watering.

  2. YUM!! This is one thing I really miss about all the get-togethers with Grace in Massachusetts! They were so delicious! My mouth is watering too:)

  3. Oh, I absolutely loved those turnovers! And now I'm really craving one. Thanks a lot!


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown