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Oct 22, 2007 02:49 PM

Runs in the Family?

I've seen a number of comments as asides in other threads about parents' awful cooking: everything from cans, burnt, veggies boiled to mush and so forth. And the offspring become chowhounds in spite of it. I've always thought I became a 'hound because of my parents' cooking and enthusiam for food; they loved it and prepared it well, and passed on that love to my sisters and me. Does chowhounding run in your family? Know anyone raised in a chowhound family who failed to pick up a love of food?

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  1. My father would go to the grocery store and come home with at least one thing he'd never eaten/cooked before (which was how he came to cook a duck when his eldest child was about 7). When we ate out, the parents would almost always look for something on the menu they'd never eaten before. My (four) brothers' friends used to tell my mother, "Mrs. B., sometimes I'm not sure what it is you're making for dinner, but it's always interesting - and usually good!" She subscribed to just about every "women's" magazine of the day - and tried just about every recipe she could. Entire family is food-crazed - and cannot understand one cousin who insists "Food? It's just fuel. What's the deal?"

    1. In her own truly weird way, I guess you could say my mother was a "foodie." She loved weird recipes. And I've already mentioned in another thread how she once kidnapped my haute cusine roast Christmas goose and took it to her house to make goose tacos.

      One time I went home on a visit and she proudly served me a slice of "Mock Apple Pie." It was sort-of okay, but if it wasn't for the cinnamon, there was no clue it was supposed to be apple But she was so proud. "Mom, what is this?" "Well, you make a double pie crust and you fill the bottom crust with a box of Ritz cracker. You break them in half or thirds, then you cover them with sugar and cinnamon and a little lemon juice and lots of butter. Then add the top crust, cut a vent,, and bake. Isn't it wonderful?"

      I stared at her a minute. My mother was *always* on a diet. "Mom, you got a box of Ritz crackers handy?"

      She reached in the pantry and handed me one. I handed it back, calorie count up. "How many calories you think there are in the whole box?" She blanched, then fed the remaining pie to the garbage disposal.

      When she died, I inherited her cook book with a gazillion weird recipes she had clipped from newpapers, magazines, and food boxes. Among them was a recipe for a popcorn stuffed turkey. Yup. You stuffed the turkey with popcorn and baked it in a very hot oven until the popcorn popped. I am certain that recipe was a joke. Maybe from an April Fool issue of some magazine. But I aslo have this feeling deep within me that at some point in her life, she tried it...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        Love the stories, but am sickly intrigued by the pop-corn turkey recipe. How bad could it be?

        1. re: Shayna Madel

          i googled it, apparently you can use popped corn, but not unpopped

          "And whatever you do, don't fall for that hoax popcorn stuffing the myth goes, you put unpopped kernels in the stuffing and when it blows its a** off, the turkey is done. Doesn't work...never will, because the internal temp of the bird is too end up with a mess of stuffing that is inedible because of those kernels, too."

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            I found the same type of thing when I googled after I posted. But it's so intriguing, just the same.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              That's my mother's recipe! The one where you blow the a** off. And I have this feeling she probably tried. Hey, if anyone else shares her compulsion, maybe with a Cornish hen... '-)

        2. My mother is a wonderful cook who has great enthusiasm in food. My whole family enjoys eating at new places, trying new things. I think it may also be a cultural thing as I've learned many Vietnamese people really enjoy eating. Though, I don't think anyone in my family is as much a fanatic of food as I am.

          1. My parents were both foodies. My dad (now deceased) was Persian and would eat anything and everything. He just wasn't afraid of food. My mom has been involved in the restaurant business her whole life and most recently owned a gourmet biscotti company. She is an amazing cook. I don't like things too crazy, but I'll try mostly anything. My brother, on the other hand, was the kid who would only eat McDonald's. We ate out 4-5 times a week, but he would be the kid at the Korean place eating just rice and chicken. He's 29, and a little better now, but I'm sure that fast food wrappers still line his apartment.

            1. Probably got most of it from my father, who traveled all over the world on business and would bring home "ideas" of meals he had while traveling, which he'd then experiment trying to make himself. I get the "open the cabinets and combine flavors" cooking method from him, whereas Mom was more a by-the-cookbook type of cook until she got comfortable with a particular recipe and it became second nature. Mom likes good food, but she didn't much like cooking it (even less so now that she's in a retirement community, and her taste buds have been increasingly less able to taste as she gets older). She abdicated the preparation of things to me as soon as I showed interest in cooking.