The Grass is Greener in Grandma's Kitchen: Guest Blog today With Marianne Hansen Rencher! - J. Kenner

The Grass is Greener in Grandma's Kitchen: Guest Blog today With Marianne Hansen Rencher!

Curse you, Red Baron!
I’m so excited to have a guest blogger today–the super fun Marianne Hansen Rencher. Not only that, but how cool she’s hitting on the topics of both cooking and mom’s — both of which I’ve touched on recently. Serendipity, right?

Marianne’s a redhead – jealous! – who lives in Montana – not jealous of the winters! – and you can read more about Marianne here.

My mom is an amazing cook. And she’s the type of person who thinks nothing of whipping something up because it’s your favorite and you’re coming over.

When I call and tell her I’m visiting, I live 8 hours away now, she’ll ask me what I want for dinner. And if I tell her, it will be waiting.

I can ask for Thanksgiving dinner and if I give at least 48 hours notice, she will make a turkey with homemade stuffing, fresh cranberries, yams, potatoes, peas, and a pie. And it will melt in your mouth.

Neighbors were sad when my parents moved because they would no longer get homemade wheat bread for Christmas. She is an amazing cook.

I am not.

I have a lot of her recipes but she is one of those cooks who put a dash of this and a pinch of that while I need to know exact measurements or it will all fall apart. Literally.

I get by, but I prefer to buy my bread from a bakery and tell people I made it. I don’t really cook. I try and I can do it, sort of, but it isn’t like my Mom’s.

My husband’s mom isn’t too interested in cooking either.

In other words, the only time my kids get to have real, true, completely homemade food is at Grandma Hansen’s house. That’s it.

They get about four or five visits a year to appreciate good food.

Can you understand my dismay when my children’s favorite thing to eat at Grandma’s house – the thing they talk about for days before we go – the meal my youngest loves so much that he has declared Grandma Hansen his favorite because she cooks him this?


Not even with her homemade bread. She uses any brand she has. Wheat, even. The bread does not actually matter. And she doesn’t even put homemade jam on it; just butter. From a really big tub.

But she cuts it in half.

It’s been their favorite for two years now.

I know how to make toast. I’ve made toast most of my life. I even know what number different types of bread should be on. I thought I had toast down to an art. But whatever I do, it’s just not like Grandma’s.

In fact, the other day, when I was feeling down, my youngest asked for some toast. I took a slice of Grandma Sycamore’s bread (my favorite) with actual Land-o-Lakes butter, cut in half and gave it to him. Knowing I wasn’t feeling great, he put his small hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, Mom. One day your toast will be just as good as Grandma’s.”

Truer praise there never was.


Thanks so much for blogging today, Marianne!

My kids are the same…food always seems to be better at the grandparents. So what say you, folks? Is the grass greener in the other kitchen for your kids, too?


Kim Griffin

Well, being a military family, my kids haven’t become that aquainted with their grandparents. Sad, but true.

I will say, though, for me ~ everything was better at grandma’s house!

Loved the post :)


Oh, I’d never thought of that as a downside of military families. Certainly the fact that the world is so spread out plays against folks really getting to know their grandparents. My kids know my mom really well, but my dad and stepmom and their dad’s mom they don’t know nearly as well. It’s a shame.

Liv Rancourt

For my kids the gold standard isn’t Grandma, it’s Auntie Ruth. My friend Ruth came to live with us after getting divorced about four years ago, and in an astonishingly short amount of time, had my then-7 & 9-year-olds eating actual vegetables. Cooked and everything. They’ve since lowered their standards and will eat vegies if I cook them, but life is still better when Auntie Ruth makes dinner.


I need an Auntie Ruth to come make my DD8 eat more than the .085 veggies in her repertoire!(posting from
The WP app on my iPhone. … Hope this works!)

Carrie Daws

LOL! This reminds me of when my daughter was little and went to spend a couple days at a friend’s house. After just a few hours my friend called — apparently she didn’t know how to put socks on or make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches properly and needed my training! LOL! I’m no great cook, but my kids LOVE the way I order pizza! ;-)

Ellen Gregory

I don’t recall either of my grandmothers’ cooking being all that spectacular, but I DO remember the one who lived nearby used to buy me vanilla slices. mmmm


I remember my grandmother’s toast – no one could make it like her. A combination of the white bread, real butter and cooked to golden. I’ve never been able to do it. Thanks for bringing back the memory.


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