The Stewarts Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

My grandparent’s chicken noodle soup casserole… a new holiday tradition.

Christmas is, of course, a time filled with family, traditions, and food.  Both sides of my family was all about big gatherings and huge meals. For my mom’s side of the family, this has always included my grandma Clara Lou (Peters) Stewart’s famous Buckeye Candy.  While I’ve tweaked her recipe to be less … how do I say this … teeth decaying & sugary, her tradition is still passed down each year and everyone looks forward to candy making time at our house.

There is also another piece of the Stewarts floating around that I decided to incorporate into a Christmas Eve tradition – their Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole.  It’s really one of the simplest (and cheapest) recipes I know of, if not the most unique.  I don’t know where they found the recipe, or if they created it on their own, but it was one of my personal favorites and on the few rare occasions I went down to eat at their house by myself, this is what I requested.  We lost grandpa Stewart on December 23, 2006, and his mom, Rose May (Jones) Stewart Hochmuth, on December 29, 1999, so the holiday season is a tad bittersweet.  Today though, I felt connected to them again.  The same flavors, the same smells drifting in from the kitchen…

Family Easter Traditions

With Easter right around the corner, my Facebook feed the other day, had this meme come across asking if we remembered dressing up for Easter in little coats and shiny shoes? Sure do!

It made me think back to one of my own pictures from 1979 where I’m in my Easter Sunday finest at my Grandma and Grandpa Stewart’s house. I’m donning a bright red wool coat, with a little yellow and white dress peeking out, white knee socks and of course, those shiny church shoes! Whatever made my mom think that red and yellow were a good fashion choice, I’ll never know! But that meme on my Facebook page the other day did start me thinking about our family’s past Easter traditions.  Does your family have any?

Cardinals and Candies

retro book and cherry berry

It’s been said that when you see a cardinal, it means that a loved one that has passed is visiting you.  Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my grandparents Glenn Archer & Clara Lou Peters Stewart for some reason. We’re from Ohio where the cardinal is the state bird and though I’m not exactly sure what made them collect them, my grandparent’s house was filled to the brim with cardinal knickknacks. They even had a large one painted on their garage door.  Ever since buying our house two years ago here in New York, there has been a large family of cardinals in our backyard and every time I see one of them, I immediately think about my grandparents… but particularly her for some reason as of late.  

Civil War Hardtack Ration

I’ve wrote before about my grandfather Jesse Archer and that his obituary mentions how during the Civil War, he stole from mule feed bags on pain of harsh punishment to supplement his severely reduced daily ration.  After watching this guy try a 153-year old piece of hardtack, I understand why the mule’s food was probably looking pretty good.  It just really put it into perspective for me a bit more.