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Share your favorite Grandma recipe

This soup my grandmother concocted is super simple (the prep takes about ten minutes) and it's delicious. It comes out tasting like you spent a lot of time on it (know what I mean?). I thought I'd share it with all you hounds.

Does anyone else have a favorite Grandmother recipe they'd like to share?

Gertrude Johnson’s Chowder

1 bag of carrots
1 bunch of celery (with leaves, preferably)
2 large yellow onions
1 1/2 to 2 quarts water or chicken stock (soup should be thick with veggies)
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Tomato* or Tomato Bisque soup
1 8-10 oz. can of creamed corn
1 8-10 oz. can of corn niblets
1⁄4 cup oil

Thinly slice carrots and celery (with leaves). I use the thin blade/Cuisinart. Medium dice the onions. Add these three ingredients to the oil in a heavy soup pot and sweat them (covered) slowly for about half an hour or more until onions are golden, stirring occasionally. Add the liquid (stock or water) and the canned ingredients, the thyme and some salt and pepper and simmer for an hour.

*If I can't find Tomato Bisque and I use Cream of Tomato, I add a small 4 oz. can of diced tomatoes.

Of course, it tastes better the second day, and it freezes well. It makes a nice Thanksgiving soup course.

On occasion, I've added cooked shrimp, or clams to this near the end of the cooking time and made it into a entree that I serve with crusty bread and a salad.

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  1. I am afraid my Nana couldn't cook to save herself!

    The best thing she made was "Blueberry Stew". Throw several pints of fresh blueberries in a saucepan, add a ratio of 1/2 sugar to blueberries and a little water. Slowly simmer until you get a compote.

    Very sweet, but as I said the only thing my Nana could make. Her other speciality was white broccoli. That's broccoli boiled until there is nothing green left. Terrible cook my Nana, but I loved her!

    1. "Terrible cook my Nana, but I loved her!"

      Yep, Nana's can do no wrong :-)

      My Granny used to make Candied Yams:

      3 cups of white sugar
      Pound of yams
      stick of butter
      Tablespoon of Nutmeg
      Tablespoon of Vanilla

      Put it all in a pot, and let it slow cook till tender. Then put it in a baking dish, and sprinkle with some white sugar, and let bake at 350 degrees for a 1/2 hour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mickey Blue

        You sure she used enough sugar? :) :) :)

      2. My mothers mother was a great cook, but like your Nana, my father's mother COULD NOT cook. I remember her cooking green beans on a cookie sheet in the oven, neatly spaced out. And NO, there was nothing wrong with her mind. Lol. My mother tells me she made great stew but I guess I missed that. Unfortunately the one that was a great cook died when I was too young to have inherited any recipes...

        2 Replies
        1. re: prunefeet

          I bet your paternal Grandmother could bake, though....

          1. re: Gary Soup

            Oh god no. Nice of you to look for something she could do well in the kitchen, but her talents lay elsewhere. She was a great lady and was a social worker back when that was unusual for women...

        2. My mother's mother will probably be remembered by most of our family for her butter mints, which she handed down to her daughters (I need a lesson from my mother soon!). Posting a recipe would probably be silly because it is more about technique -- knowing the right textures at each stage of pulling and cutting -- in order to make a successful batch. They are so buttery and melt in your mouth. I also fondly remember something she kept going in a jar on the kitchen counter for my grandfather to put on his ice cream, but no one seems to have gotten the recipe. It was a brandied fruit compote that she would constantly add more fruit to, both dried and fresh. I loved it.

          My paternal grandmother cooked almost everything to death and wasn't the best cook, but somehow made the most amazing navy bean and ham soup -- no written recipe but my family seems to think mine is very close to hers (a few cloves in the bouquet garni is the secret).

          1. My dad's mom passed away before I was born, but my mom's mother lived into her 90's. A superlative eater, she was a dainty size 6 till she died. Strangely enough, though she a widow living alone for 50 years, she was never a cooking grandma. She lived in a studio apartment in a building with "quiet" tenants, so we were hardly ever there because my brothers made too much noise. She always came to our house for shared meals.

            She did have her specialties--she would join in at candy making time at the holidays when she and Mom made fondant- and walnut-stuffed chocolate-covered prunes. They were divine. And she always made the turkey gravy--deglazed the pan with the broth from the simmered giblets (which were fed to the cat) after carefully removing all the fat, thickened it with a flour and water slurry, seasoned with S+P--it is my gold standard of gravies. So rich and full of escence of turkey and not greasy....After watching her for several years, she let me start making it under her supervision, and I still make all my roast poultry gravy the same way.

            Those are all the "gram" food memories I have. I do remember her food preferences, though! No garlic (heavens!) no onions, boiled (but not to death) or roasted veggies, roasts; simple English cooking. What a revelation when I went to college and started living with a Jewish roommate. She taught me about garlic, sauteing, slow roasting, etc.