Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Aunt Esther: Road meat

I was cleaning up my bookshelf yesterday and I am across an old cookbook from my grandma's house. Well, it really wasn't a cookbook, just a notebook full of recipes gleaned from the local newspaper or passed along by some of the better cooks in the family.

This cookbook belonged to my Aunt Esther who was married briefly to my crazy Uncle Ivan. I have no idea what Esther saw in Ivan, who actually was kicked out of the Army for being loony. But they were married, yes they were, and Ivan built Esther a house on our farm property. Then Esther left his sorry ass and he kept the house and let us live in it when we were growing up.

I believe Esther left Ivan before I was born and moved up to Northern Ontario. They didn't start divorce proceedings until 1975 when Ivan wanted to sell the house. All the papers were drawn up, Ivan sold the house and sent half of the money up to Esther.

About ten minutes later, on a dark and stormy night, Esther was driving a snowmobile and got hit by a transport truck. The driver was apparently terrified of losing his licence, so he picked her up and put her dead body back on the snowmobile in the middle of the road. Whereupon another unfortunate ran her over again.

No one ever knew what happened to Ivan's money, that he had held onto for thirty years. It couldn't be located. Sounds like a Tragically Hip song, doesn't it?

I wonder if she ever regretted leaving her recipe for Suet Pudding in the house when she left Uncle Ivan.

Unfortunate Esther Gilpin's Suet Pudding

3 cups flour
1 cup suet
1 cup molasses
1 cup sweet milk
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons of soda dissolved in milk

Three hours hard boiling in a bag or pudding dish.
Don't you think she could have found a more appetizing name for this dish?


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