Erin Napier credits her “mammaw” — her father’s mother — with her love of cooking. But she might never have known how to cook many of her family’s favorite recipes if not for a little divine intervention after her grandmother’s death in 2020, she says. As Napier celebrates her favorite holiday traditions, the HGTV host shares new details about the story that has intrigued fans since she first shared that her family’s search for her grandmother’s missing recipes miraculously ended.
Erin Napier shared a special bond with her ‘sweet grandmother’
When Napier’s grandmother, Ouida Walters Rasberry, died in May 2020 at the age of 97, the “Hometown” presenter shared her grief on social media, but also wrote that she was so glad that her grandparents finally found their afterlife could get back together 19 years had passed since her grandfather’s death.
said Napier Southern Living Magazine in May 2022 that after her grandfather’s death, she began staying with her Mammaw occasionally to keep her company and had to learn some of her special southern recipes, including making biscuits from scratch, and spicy rice and tomato sauce.
Napier thought she had enough time to learn other recipes, but her grandma had a stroke in 2008 that affected her memory and communication skills. Though she eventually regained a limited vocabulary and was able to cook simple meals for herself, Napier wrote that old recipes would have been too difficult for her to remember and teach, so she just hoped that one day she would come across a written collection of her grandmother’s recipes.
In a new essay for Guideposts magazine Posted in December 2022, Napier shared that when their mammaw died, the family still couldn’t find any of these recipes when they went through all the Rasberry physical things.
“We helped Daddy sort through her belongings: the crocheted doilies, the Blue Willow dinnerware, the glass teapot, the dented aluminum cookie bowl,” Napier wrote. “I photographed each room exactly as she left it so we’ll always remember the Christmases, birthdays and Sundays we spent around her dining table and her out of tune piano. I found a few cookbooks but not her recipes.”
Napier, now married to Ben and mother to daughter Helen, was saddened that she could no longer prepare some of her grandmother’s beloved recipes for her family, such as one she called Mother Goose’s Sunday Rice – a “concoction” made with rice , Chicken Broth, Onions, Peppers, and Velveeta Cheese,” which Napier called “one of our many favorites.”
“It was finally time to give Goodwill her last things,” Napier wrote in her essay. “We were just picking up her dining room console when the door flew open and the contents almost spilled onto the sidewalk. Inside were two ceramic canisters, one like a ripe peach, the other like a basket of strawberries.”
For Napier, opening those canisters was like finding a treasure chest.
She wrote: “They were stuffed to the brim with her handwritten recipes. Peanut Brittle, my cousin Jim’s favorite Christmas cake, spaghetti and meatballs, her famous creamy dessert called Chocolate Delight. It felt like a wink from heaven when God let Mammaw give us one final gift that would live on in us and our children.”
Erin Napier turned her momaw’s “Wink From Heaven” into a family gift
Thrilled by the last-minute discovery – and that the recipes didn’t accidentally end up in a donation pile – Napier wanted to make sure they were never lost again. So she turned them into a meaningful gift for the whole family for Christmas.
She shared: “I took these recipes, scanned them into my computer and put them together in a book along with the photos I took. Everyone in our family got a copy on Christmas morning. They all cried.”
Napier dubbed the cookbook “The Book of Ouida” and shared a video of her using it as she prepared for Easter 2021. It shows that she divided her grandma’s recipe book into several categories — mains, sides, desserts, and tips — and all her handwritten recipes in there.
Wish you could try some of Napier’s favorite recipes from her Mammaw? She has now shared one of them with Southern Living: her Mammaw’s “famous” chocolate treat Dessert. And Napier’s mother, Karen Rasberry, added her mother-in-law’s cookie recipe Volume 1 of a family recipe booklet she created for Laurel Mercantile.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hgtv/erin-napier-gift-from-grandma/ Erin Napier Reveals Grandma’s Amazing ‘Wink From Heaven’