April 27: In Memoriam

From “A Nomad Homecook’s Perpetual Almanac Cookbook” (c) 2020 OTBI

I’d always heard my grandmother Kate called “one tough nut.” As a child the image of an acorn stuck in my mind and I thought it meant my grandma liked to feed squirrels. For many years I understood it to mean she was stubborn, though I didn’t really know what that meant. As an adult I began to understand that she was actually tenacious, she did what she said she would. She had opinions. She like to play cards and have a good time, but you never saw her less than dressed fashionably bringing good humor and her own brand of criticism.

Knowing what I know now, after listening to my grandmother’s mind regress to young age from Alzheimer’s over the phone, was that her heart suffered for most of her life because she lost two loves at a young ages and although she had moved on she never really grieved their losses.  First, the loss of her father to complications from diabetes at 7, then the love of her life and father to her three children to infidelity at 23, a pretty brave move on her part in the 1950’s. She was apparently quite angry but kep going, kept it inside her entire life. I personally believe that’s why her health suffered so much prematurely and I hope that before she passed she was able to release that misery from her heart. Perhaps that gift for her was disguised as Alzheimer’s.

Kate was a tough nut because her spirit, like generations of her mothers before her, was unbreakable. I always enjoyed my grandmother. We had many common interests and she let me just be who I was. She had a really great wry sense of humor. She played the piano beautifully and I always knew she loved me, even though she was nothing like any other grandmas I knew but she was mine. Cheers to you, Grandma Kate. I miss you.

*Please enjoy alcohol responsibly.

Kate’s Kahlua


Bring to a boil in a saucepot. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to make a simple syrup. Cool Completely.

4 cups strong brewed coffee

4 cups sugar

Stir into the saucepot then pour into sterilized bottles. Cap tightly and store ina cool, dry place. Shelf life is 2-3 years.

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