Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Chicken Pie & Grandpa ...

I've posted something quite sometime back about me being a spoiled brat and how I was grandma's pet grandson and all that. But you know what, when it came to my grandfather, it was the exact opposite. I was never on grandpa's good books. In fact I'm pretty sure he didn't really like me all that much!

I'm broaching on this subject of my grandfather because, a few days back my mom came back from my aunt's place and she brought along this home made chicken pie made by my cousin. Before I go any further, let me tell you I used to just love these home made chicken pies.

When I say I used to enjoy these pies was because grandpa made the best chicken pies in the whole entire wide universe and none of those in my family could ever make them as tasty as he did, my mom included. Somehow all their attempts at it alway fell way too short.

These pies made by grandpa was special back when I was a young boy. Special because we only got to eat them on special occasions like the Christmas supper right after the midnight mass and the Easter dinner only, no other times. It was the rule back then. That made made the longing for the pie all that much greater. And grandpa was the one who would make the pie, doing everything from start to the end.

I'll always remember the atmosphere in the house during the times when he would start his pie making process. It would be on Christmas eve morning where he'd normally walk to the market which was about 15 minutes away from our house and buy every single ingredient he needed and it would there would be lots of stuff cos we'd have the whole gang over for Christmas supper.

Then he'd get home, start cutting all the chicken, potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers, broccoli's and a lot more things that I can't really remember anymore and start cooking them while at the same time he'd be making the dough for the pie. All us kids would be milling around the table getting in his way and he'd be grumbling at us to not touch this, don't play with that, put that down , etc, etc but we'd all not listen to him ... hehehe ...

Grandpa was a nice patient man who could take a lot without ever blowing his top. Even though he'd be grumbling the whole time he was making the pie, he'd never really ask us to leave (not that we'd listen, mind you ... LOL). And by this time you could already smell the fillings for the chicken pie wafting throughout the house. I don't know about my other cousins but I'd be drooling by this time ... LOL! The pies would actually be ready late in the evening but he'd forbid any of us from even tasting a tiny bit. He'd always say ...

'the pie is only for those who attend the midnight Mass tonight'

Of course we knew he didn't really mean it. We were kids so we didn't really attend the Christmas eve midnight mass. We'd wait sleepily for the adults to get back from church. Some of us, especially the younger ones would even fall asleep but not before asking those of us who manged to stay awake to wake them up for Christmas supper later :)

And when the adults finally came home, we'd wake up our sleeping cousins, and we'd all eagerly head to the table to get our grubby paws on that sumptuous chicken pie! And only then would we all be totally satisfied. We even ignored opening our presents until we finished eating the pie and there normally is never any leftovers. No matter how many of these pies he would bake, none would remain, not one tiny crumb.

After his death, my mom, my aunt, even my cousins tried to replicate that chicken pie recipe to keep our Christmas supper tradition going and though they tried their best, none of them could even come close to his excellent pies. Eventually everyone started their own families and the tradition sort of got lost in time.

Grandpa passed away about 5 or so years after grandma. He was never the same man that he was after grandma passed away. He went into this state of depression though he didn't admit it to us. He was more withdrawn, kept to himself a lot more. Grandpa was a very active man when he was around. He'd always be doing something, be it cleaning the yard, fixing something that was loose or doing anything that he could get his hands on. After grandma's demise, all that stopped.

Eventually he became senile from inactivity. He started doing all kinds of weird things, like hiding food in the clothes cabinet, started accusing everyone of stealing all his food. He even started asking my mom who I was. He kept telling her there's this boy who keeps coming to the house (which was me) and would steal all his food! That was really sad. To see such an active man lose it all was really sad. I was around 16 or 17 years old at the time. I guessed he missed grandma to a point where life was meaningless without her.

The thing is grandma and grandpa used to always argue. The two of them were like that cartoon strip 'Pickles'. Grandpa used to get scolding from grandma if he ever did scold me, hence the part where I said I'm pretty sure I wasn't one of his pet grandsons ... LOL! But I guess, even though they argued a lot, he must have still loved her considerably to be so affected by her death that he couldn't recover from it. He eventually passed on without ever recovering from that depressive state he was in. In away, to me, I felt it was the best thing for him. At least he would get to be with her again.

You know, I never realised I could get so sentimental about my grandpa because of a chicken pie my mom brought home but I have this to say, I do miss having him around at times, especially during Christmas. Grandpa and me may not have got along too well, but he was one great grandfather and I hope someday I could be as great a grandfather to my grandchildren as he was ...

35 comments:

  1. sure you will be a great grandfather one day..'wink'

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  2. Deanacakes - welcome to my blog. I seriously hope to be a 'great' grandfather one day ...

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  3. How sad.. I'm the one getting emotional after reading your post.. He really couldn't accept life without your grandma.. That's true love I guess..

    Hmm.. Makes me miss my grandma so much. I never got to know my grandpa.. MY grandpa (from my mom's side) died when my mom was only 17.

    It makes me even sadder that my own kids didn't and would never get the chance to meet and know my father.

    Anyhow, I bet you that you will turn out to be an awesome granpa.. Who knows, one day your grandkids will tell their friends all about their Grandpa who does paid posting.. LOL!

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  4. Really touching post... sometimes i wonder how important all these memories are and how they work. Once they are deep inside and the next moment you are all into them remembering, thinking, feeling.

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  5. thats beautiful! :)
    sounds so much like something we read in "The chicken soup for the soul" series..
    lovely i shud say!!

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  6. Wow Nick, that was really beautiful. A touching tribute to fond memories and love everlasting. It was a pleasure to read this.

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  7. Bud I remember your grandfather well...I guess we knew him during his "quiet time"! Always remember him staring out the window.

    Well maybe you can try to make chicken pie and see how it turns out...might be good!

    Oh and i think I know why he always says the boy who stole his food LOL

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  8. Sniff! Sniff! A touching post, reminded me of my late grandparents... not too close with them but I miss them anyway:*(

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  9. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing...

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  10. what a great sentiment about your grandfather.

    but now I am craving chicken pot pie!

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  11. Aww, that's really touching. I'm sure at the rate you're going, you'll be the best grandfather to your grandkids. :)

    I never knew my grandfather. In fact, I've only ever known my maternal grandmother. I shudder to think of a time when she's no longer with us. :S

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  12. *sob* So touching.. you remind me of my grandfather too. :-(

    I'm sure you're gonna make a great grandfather someday (when you're older) :-P Maybe not good in making chicken pie; but blogging! Hehehehe.. (just kidding on the blogging part)

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  13. Shemah - I was emotional writing it. Yes, I would say that what they had was true love, something which is really lacking nowadays.

    I'm sure you'll fill your kids with memories of your dad and they'll see what a cool granddad he would have been. Besides they've got a cool mom already.

    LOL! I was ROTFL when I read Who knows, one day your grandkids will tell their friends all about their Grandpa who does paid posting. I guess they probably would :)

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  14. Just a nice girl - I think these memories are what really shapes us.

    Without it, we may just be soulless beings who just live from day to day.

    I know I'll treasure and cherish all my memories for as long as I can remember them, even the bad ones.

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  15. Anonme - first of all, a warm welcome to my blog.

    You're right though, it's like something right out of the chicken soup for the soul series :)

    But that's way life is, it leaves imprints upon your soul. Good or bad. It shapes what we become.

    Hope to see you around more often.

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  16. Gypsy - I'm glad you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it :) I've never really given grandpa the due credit that he deserved from me for being a cool grandfather and it's better late than never. I just hope they have blogs in heaven for him to read this :D

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  17. Adrian buddy, yeah you did get a chance to meet him in his quieter days :) Sad that you didn't get to know him before he got senile. He was a cool sorta guy :)

    Oh, I am going to try to make my own chicken pie for Christmas this year, I was actually just discussing with wifey to assist me and see if we could start a tradition of our own so the kids will have something to write about in their future :D

    And I didn't steal his food, k! LOL!

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  18. Nessa, strange that only when they're not around do we really miss them. I mean, when my grandpa was around, I couldn't care less about him, I'd always have fights with him and there were times when I even said I hated him (oh how I regret those words now).

    It's only when they're gone do we realize what they really meant to us. Weird ya? I guess that's life. As kids we see things different than as adults with kids of your own.

    I'm sure your grandparents were pretty cool people in their own way too :)

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  19. Sweetiepie, you're welcome :) I love sharing my childhood experiences for all to read :) More to come, so keep reading, ya :)

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  20. Meleah - LOL! I've been craving for chicken pie myself. Why do you think this post came about ... LOL!

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  21. Haizum - thanx for the vote of confidence in my grandfatherly role in the future ... LOL!

    But on a serious note, I do hope I'll be able to give them something to cherish like what my grandpa gave me, even though at that time I though he was a pain in the you know where!

    I wish I could have told him what a great granddad he really was, but I guess he knows, ya? Or at least I'd like to think so.

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  22. Cindy - LOL! yeah, I'll probably leave my grandkids something to tell all their friends that grandpa used to sit for hours and blog himself silly all day ... LOL!

    Oh, I am going to try to make that pie for Christmas this year and I hope it'll turn out fine. I'll let you know how it went, ya :D It's probably gonna taste horrible though ... LOL!

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  23. Absence makes the heart fonder. I only start to miss my late brother after he passed away too. I can imagine how lonely your grandpa was after his wife passed away. I've heard a lot of cases that they actually become out of their mind after constant thinking.

    I love chicken pie too. For my case, the chicken pie reminds me of Zac. He simple loves it. I will get it for him whenever there are nice ones :)

    Janice Ng

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  24. Nick, I left out an important mission the reason why I am here this morning is to congrates you for winning that mug. Good writer lah, Nick :)

    Janice Ng

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  25. Hai nick..
    This is my first visit to your blog..and first article i've read..what i can say..it's really touching!!Can't imagine your feeling while wrote it.

    You remind me of my late grandparents and my dad too..I lose my grandparents (both sides)when i was kid..That's why i so jealous to those who have. No "nenek" or "atuk" that i can call..:(

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  26. that being said nick, you will be a great grandfather because you gave so much respect to your grandpa and writing this post is like a tribute to him, he is surely happy wherever he is, by the way, i got some present for you on my site...^^

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  27. This is such a good post! I love it! Both my grandpas died when I was little. My maternal grandpa doted on me and hoped that his clever little granddaughter would become a doctor one day. Oops... something must have gone wrong along the way...

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  28. Janice - It's human nature to only start missing someone when they're no longer around.

    I'm sure he must have gone through hell when grandma passed away but he never did tell us the pain he silently when through.

    Oh, Zac's a pie lover huh, Cool :) And thanks for the congratulatory note, I never expect to win, but I'm happy I did ... :D

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  29. Jiejah - welcome to my humble blog. I'm glad I did get to know both my grandparents before they passed away though I wish I was a little bit closer to grandpa though.

    I'm sure your atuk and nenek were wonderful people and your parents would have told you lots of stories about them for you to cherish :) Hope to see you around more.

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  30. Lord Manila - I'm really hoping I'll be a good grandpa but I'm not looking forward to getting so old so soon ... LOL!

    You've got a gift for me? Cool, I'll go check it out right after reply my comments :)

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  31. BT, I'm sure your grandpa is proud of what you've become. At least you know what dreams he had for you. I don't know what my grandpa would have liked me to become, probably to be someone who treated him with a little more respect I guess. Sad that I never did get to achieve that.

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  32. Food is so interconnected with our memories, Nick. Some of my best family memories have to do with my mom's cooking and my grandma's. What I would give to sit down to one of those wonderful dinnners now!

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  33. Josie - you have actually a good point there Josie. Somehow food does rekindle a lot of fond memories. Well, we can always make new memories so our kids will have something to remember later, right?

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  34. That was a really heartfelt story which I thotoughly enjoyed. I love chicken pies too!

    www.mamapumpkin.com

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  35. Big Pumpkin - thanks, glad you enjoyed the read. I'm sure a lot of people love chicken pies ...

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