My paternal grandfather was born on September 23, 1897. His name was Art and so was my dad’s. He lived in Chicago and I lived in California, so I never got to know him very well (he died in 1977), but I always kind of liked that we shared the same birthday. There are a few things about him that stick out in my mind: he was a housepainter, he used to call people “kid”, and he was well-known for his whiskey sours and blueberry muffins. Seeing some old photos of him recently made me want to remember our birthday connection, so I decided to make a batch of his whiskey sours yesterday to celebrate the day. They were very good – a little sweet, but I liked them a lot with the fried chicken wings I made last night.
That’s my grandpa sitting on the ground at my parent’s wedding in 1954. He seems like a fun guy, doesn’t he? I really love this next photo too. I don’t know who the fellow on the right is, but the one on the left is Art again. We read the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins last spring so when I saw this photo recently I couldn’t help but think that here was my own Mr. Popper or perhaps a personal patron saint of housepainting.
Here is Art’s recipe for whiskey sours as my mom wrote it. I don’t know if he used cherries in his sours, but I think they are a must. Did you know that you can find maraschino cherries made with natural food coloring? Tillen Farms and The Silver Palate both make them.