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Holding My Grandmother's Memory: Rouladen for New Year's Eve

The other day my mother shared a recipe for rouladen that she had come across in an online periodical. She said, "This was one of your dad's mom's signature dishes. She used to make it for your grandfather."

What now? How did I not know this?

Well, I've been pondering that for a few days now, and I think that - aside from moving out of state when I was young (we still went to visit every year) - it is tied to what my mother used to say: that the "light went out" of my grandmother when her husband died, and she stopped living (I was barely two when that happened, though I do retain a memory fragment of him wearing a white T-shirt and red ball cap as we sat at a diner eating clam chowder). That sounds sad, and it is. But I realized that while my grandmother was alive into my early twenties, I never really knew her - the whole her. She was my white-haired grandma who chain-smoked, and never left her recliner in the corner of the living room. She would give…

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