My alpologies to Liz at Pocket Farm, but her entry about her Beema's million dollar cake made me miss my grandmother. So...here is my Grandma Sophie's story.
Sophie lived in a small German/Polish border town. Her mother had died and her German father re-married. Sophie and her step-mother had numerous problems. Fourteen year old Sophie left home and boarded a ship to America. On board the ship, she was taken in by an Italian family. Single women were not allowed to leave Ellis Island without someone responsible for their welfare. She stayed with this family as they moved from New York to the Geneva/Rome of Central New York State.
Sophie was a beautiful girl. Petite with flawless skin and chestnut hair. She fell in love with a young polish boy. Up to the day she died, she mourned his death. He died on the battlefield during WWI. Throughout those years she was persued by my grandfather. He swore to her that he would someday marry her.
After the death of Sophie's sweetheart, her 'adopted' family arranged for her marriage with my grandfather. I am sad to say that she never grew to love the overbearing Italian man who later moved her to Buffalo and later to a small town on Lake Ontario.
For as long as I can remember, my grandmother was an "old" woman. Her thin white hair always braided and coiled on the top of her head; the smell of Jean Nate clung to her heavy black winter coat.
But Sophie made a pizza bread...bread dough stuffed with ham, eggs, and cheese. Throughout my childhood we would receive phone calls at random intervals, "Come over, I have pizza bread!" We never took long to respond. It was always best eaten slightly warmer than room temperature. My sister and I have tried unsuccessfully over the years to recreate the recipe, but to no avail. And maybe that is just as well. Because no one can replace Grandma Sophie.