January 26, 2011

Grandma Pabst

Giving her a birthday kiss

Tuesday was my grandmother's funeral. Probably the toughest thing about being a 'traveler' is that I miss many weddings, births and now, deaths. My grandmother was a wonderful person. My brothers and I spent many an afternoon after school at her house while mom was at work. Those are some of my fondest memories of my childhood. From grandma I became a big fan of peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches and I've tried for decades to replicate her Coffee Cake recipe with only little success. She was 98 and had not been well for a long time. It is with sadness but also relief that she doesn't have to suffer any more.

In Mongolia, one tradition is to give people sweet rice with raisins when someone dies. This practice of generosity is to give the deceased more merit, so they might have a better rebirth. In a society that ate foods largely from animals, any kind of meat (killing) wasn't seen as appropriate for this. And since other foods like fruits and vegetables are scares, rice became the best choice. I bought what was needed and the kitchen staff was kind enough to prepare enough for all the staff. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to receive this gift on behalf of my grandmother.

We'll miss ya' Grandma.