Maybe it’s because it’s July and I always think of Grandpa in July.
Maybe it’s because they are what I remember most when visiting my grandparents house in the summer.
Maybe it’s because I had a bin full of ripe plums in the bottom of the refrigerator.
Maybe it’s because Mom happened to find the recipe.
Maybe it’s for all of those reasons I decided to make Grandma’s Plum Squares.
Plum Squares. That’s what I remember calling them, although the recipe card calls it Plum Pie. There were so many times we stopped by my grandparents house in the summer and found a pan cooling on the range top. Grandma always had enough to share, and she always gave us a container to take home. They’re tart and crisp but most of all remind me of Grandma. I was in a mood to remember so I made them.
Grandma’s Plum Pie
2 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (1/2 crisco + 1/2 margarine)
7 tablespoons cold water
Mix together and roll out on to a greased pizza tray
In order add:
Sprinkle with sugar (heaping teaspoon for each 2 sections of plums)
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs
Dot with butter or margarine
Bake at 400F for 25 minutes
The recipe is less descript than what I’m accustomed to, and I’m fairly positive Grandma improvised so there’s no real way of knowing if I did it right, but there was something special about putting everything together in the same kitchen that she did. I live in my grandparents house. It’s the only house I remember visiting them in. It’s the only house I remember Plum Squares in.
My house full of little boys and their messes started smelling like Grandma’s. My kitchen that almost never catches up with itself started looking like Grandma’s . . . and I got the sense she would have been proud. Proud of me. Proud of the plum squares. Proud of the little boys she never got to meet. With the pan on the range I took a moment to step back to the other side and look at the kitchen the way I did so many years ago . . . when I was just a little girl visiting Grandma on a warm summer day waiting for her to cut me a plum square.