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Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

inspired by hill food's post about his mom's, um, "unorthodox" meat loaf technique,


i thought it would be fun to hear some of your mom's (or any other family member or friend's) food concoctions, weird techniques, odd serving habits, strange "traditions" with food.....

with sauerkraut and porcupine meatballs (recipe to follow later), my mom serves boiled potatoes with mayonnaise. it is quite good.

i never buy pork chops today because my mom always turned them into something akin to pig hide.

she likes boiled tongue, but i could *not* get past the taste buds! eeeuuuw.

friday nights growing up was always spaghetti with meat sauce night. she served it with white bread and butter, with a fresh lettuce ,tomato and cucumber salad -- and, iirc, thousand island or french dressing. (when we ate out, dad liked roquefort dressing. mmmm.) i'd get to sit in front of the tv and watch the wild, wild west, with my heartthrob, james west. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058855/ every. friday. night. (and i was happy about it, too)! (the only celeb pic i ever asked for!


to be fair, mom used to make a mean lane cake running up to christmas holidays, dousing it periodically with a little bourbon, then wrapping it back in saran wrap, then foil, then stored in the tupperware cake container. other than the occasional pound cake (which is **quite** good, if i do say so myself) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4771...
and birthday cakes from a mix, that was the extent of her baking sweets.

mom is 86 years old now, and doesn't really cook at all. she has a bad habit these days of eating ice cream and peanut butter after her nap, and not balanced nutrition and veggies. <sigh>. i get nostalgic.

anyhow, enough about moi.

tell me your funny stories, please!

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  1. Up untill three years ago I thought that ribs were just bones with a hunk of charred meat on it. I never understood why people wanted to eat ribs since there was nothing on them and it would take 5 minutes to gnaw off a burnt piece. My poor Dad used to flambe the #@#@ out of ribs. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Texas :) LOL. He makes a mean cobbler in his dutch oven though :)

    14 Replies
    1. re: jenwee

      I'm fairly young but my Mom is obsessed, absolutely obsessed with making the perfect tofu cheesecake. I think she got the original recipe from the moosewood cookbook, there have been a thousand variations on it. Most are disgusting.One with pears was divine. The chocolate one was an unmentionable abomination that would have been kept chained in the cheesecake family basement (if such a a thing existed). Lately she brags to me that she's perfected it. I tried it, nothing special. I don't know why she's been into this for over ten years.

      1. re: YAYME

        Because she is on a quest - and like all quests, it comes from within, albeit it may be scorned, derided, or loathed by others.

        Pretty weird quest, however.

        1. re: YAYME

          My mother once made a lasagna with tofu substituting for cheese and strips of zucchine subbing for noodles. Awful

          1. re: MARISKANY

            But low in fat and good for you. :>)

            1. re: chicgail

              Most soy in this country is genetically altered and not so healthy. Many people are sensitive to soy, but don't realize it. Anyone with thyroid issues or women with estrogen issues should not consume soy products. I bought into the soy alternative movement back in the 90s. Now, I can't eat it without becoming violently ill. Check the sources of all soy products.

              1. re: terrierboy

                There's pretty good evidence that ANY unfermented soy is not a particularly healthy option.

                1. re: terrierboy

                  Me too. Migraines and worse. Ate soy daily - soy milk, tofu, fake meat…

                  1. re: fruti

                    I started using more soy when I was told to stop having dairy, then my acupuncturist started tracing my symptoms back to the soy. Even hidden soy sauce brings on a reaction. It seems every food trend eventually has nasty side effects. It makes you wonder how adulterated our entire food supply has become. I'm fortunate to be able to shop and eat locally most of the year.

                    As to the mother's cooking aspect of the thread, I'm one of the lucky ones whose mother cooked things I loved. There weren't any weird things, as far as I remember.

                    1. re: terrierboy

                      I was always fine with soy sauce, then I bought the new Kikkoman tamari soy sauce; first time I used it, I felt my throat closing up a little bit with each taste. Scary. I generally avoid soy products since I have a problem with too much estrogen, but do like a touch of soy sauce here and there. Hope this isn't a sudden onset thing and I can go back to regular soy sauce.

                      So far almond milk has been working well as a dairy sub. Soy milk I would never touch, since I tend to avoid soy when I can.

                      1. re: coll

                        I still miss tamari, which I always loved with sesame noodles or a good seaweed salad. I love Asian food, but it's pretty much off limits now, unless I make my own. I have to skip gluten, too, so eating out is a real challenge. The weirdest part is I never had these sensitivities until I became peri-menopausal. It's awfully frustrating, though apparently it happens more than we realize.

                        1. re: terrierboy

                          My mother has many severe allergies, but they change every five years or so. Her allergy specialists told her this is normal, which is nice to know. So whatever she can't eat now, she'll have no problem in a few years. She has been through them all at this point. They advised her to not totally avoid the product, but to eat a little bit every four days, alternating different things she's allergic to, sort of like an allergy shot I guess. It hit her mid life, and now it's starting for me too. Sucks getting old!

              2. re: MARISKANY

                i've done that before..... and it came out amazingly tasty. Huh, maybe she just didn't adjust the spices? did she crumble the tofu to resemble cottage cheese? or did she just use extra firm....

                1. re: kubasd

                  I've used tofu in place of some or all of the cheese in lasagne as well. I crumbled mine, and it always turned out really well.

              3. re: YAYME

                My daughter- in-laws mom is a vegetarian and makes tofu-turkey for Thanksgiving!

            2. Spaghetti with meat sauce on Fridays, that's too funny! Of all the days to pick to serve Italian-ish meat...

              Oddities in my family are tiramisu made with an anisette. Also, no idea how common it is, but serving things like tongue or squid to be carved at the table ... it would certainly freak out guests less if they were cut up in the kitchen.

              Oh, and no bbq is complete without a pizza on the grill. No cheese, of course. No matter what you do, kids *will* smear bbq sauce onto that cabbage-stuffed pizza.

              51 Replies
              1. re: tmso

                one acronym to explain that meat sauced spaghetti: wasp.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Count me in as WASP progeny with a weekly serving of spaghetti and meat sauce. In our house, the dish itself was called "spaghetti", as if topping a plateful of noodles with a quart of tomato-ground round-dried oregano sauce was the *only* conceivable way of consuming the pasta.

                  1. re: Agent Orange

                    Yep, same meal, same name. If we were lucky with a side of Texas Toast toasted with butter and garlic powder

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      yes, we called it simply "spaghetti" too.

                      1. re: Firegoat

                        Yes, how could I forget the Texas toast (although we just called it garlic bread.) Sometimes it was Wonderbread, other times it was a slice of grocery store "French bread." Always with a big schmear of butter and a heavy sprinkling of McCormick garlic powder. Wouldn't be spaghetti night without the garlic bread.

                        1. re: Agent Orange

                          You know, I've actually TRIED to make 'garlic bread' the way Mom did, and it's never right. I don't know what I"m doing wrong - maybe my garlic powder's too fresh?

                          1. re: aimless1

                            My Mom made garlic bread with garlic salt, Mix it in the butter with parsley flakes and spread it between the slices on the loaf. Heaven!

                            1. re: protzman

                              You're right about the garlic salt thing. I think salt brings out the flavor really well.

                              But I think there are (at least) two schools of garlic bread:
                              There's the keep the bread soft in the middle with butter and garlic school.
                              And then there's the crisp it up by putting it under the broiler school.

                              Being a fan of anything that includes garlic, butter and good bread, you can get me with either one.

                              1. re: chicgail

                                ya know, i'm actually nostalgic right now for my mom's garlic bread.... buy a loaf of italian bread from the grocery store, cut slices, smear loads of margarine (yes margarine, my mom never ever used butter) between the slices. sprinkle with garlic powder and dried parsley (if you were feeling fancy). wrap whole thing in foil and stick in the oven. Gooey soft and delicious.....

                                1. re: kubasd

                                  My mom made garlic toast with wonder bread, margarine, garlic salt, and a piece of american cheese melted on top.

                              2. re: protzman

                                Instead of garlic salt, use garlic powder and Parmesan. Yummy!!

                              3. re: aimless1

                                Maybe she made it like my mom did. I think it's McCormack that makes a "garlic spread" in a little spice jar. My mom mixed that half and half with melted butter and spread it on slices of Arnold bread toast. I used to LOVE it!

                                1. re: patmatw

                                  I read it somewhere else in here, it was Lawry's that makes that spread. That garlic toast recipe went so well with the spaghetti and meatballs that it was served with. Yes, the kind that is served all mixed in a bowl already. Green can of Kraft "grated cheese" passed around the table...

                                  1. re: patmatw

                                    McCormick had a garlic spread and so did Lawry's. Unfortunately they stopped producing them 2 or 3 years ago. No one has any now to my knowledge. I worked in supermarkets 45 years and never thought I'd see them discontinue that.

                                    1. re: jimant60

                                      Great news! I know this is incredibly belated since this topic is a bit older, but I did run across the Lawry's garlic spread in my grocery store last night! I live in Western NC, btw. :)

                                      1. re: bubblybarrister

                                        i hope you bought some, bubbly!

                                        ps what does a barrister do in western n.c.? (we used to have a place in highlands. i really miss that gorgeous neck of the woods).

                                2. re: Agent Orange

                                  yes, the Wonderbread/sandwich bread with butter and garlic salt. Now our "spaghetti" had mushrooms in the sauce, but I think that was a Bohemian (Czech) thing.

                              4. re: Agent Orange

                                Yep. Or if you used elbow macaroni instead of spaghetti and then baked the concoction until almost dry it was "gouloush."

                                1. re: Agent Orange

                                  This brings back memories of a receptionist that worked in my office who used to rave about how her husband just lovvvvvved her spaghetti. He begged her to make it at least once a week. She finally brought some to work so that we could all bow down before the alter of her spaghetti. It was just awful, nothing but boiled spaghetti covered with a sauce that must have been made solely of ground beef that was just added raw to some tomato sauce. There was no seasoning except for salt. We, of course, being the polite little liars we were, said it was very good.

                                  My mother used to put chopped green apples in her spaghetti sauce later in life. It was actually quite good. That was probably because her spaghetti sauce (meat sauce) was very good in the first place.

                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                    My mom always put Kraft singles on spaghetti. Go figure!

                                    1. re: Erika L

                                      Please explain how she put the singles on the pasta. Chopped? Shredded? Can that stuff BE shredded? And where oh where did the green apple idea come from?

                                      1. re: southernitalian

                                        It was cut into strips and scattered over the top of the dish. I can't imagine that you can shred it, you can barely cut it without having it gum up your blade!

                                        1. re: southernitalian

                                          Somebody, here I think, recently described American cheese as melted traffic cones.

                                          1. re: Cinnamon

                                            Here I am, over 2 years later, with tears running down my face from laughing about "melted traffic cones"!

                                        2. re: Erika L

                                          My mom did the same thing too (god awful). My mother is Korean, is yours? Maybe it's a weird asian thing. Then with the leftover spaghetti sauce we mixed it with rice and put it in flour tortillas. Other than that my mom is an amazing cook (:

                                          1. re: bitsubeats

                                            I just went for my first Korean grocery store visit yesterday. Lots of fantastic things, lots of odd things, and the selection of middle-American things was pretty funny. Among them were frozen White Castle burgers. :)

                                            1. re: Cinnamon

                                              WC: not as good as the real at 3 AM, but not too bad - hard to mess up after all.

                                              why at a Korean Grocer is anyone's guess. I'd be browsing the Daikon.

                                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                                I'd be worried--do White Castle's still exist? Maybe they are from another era and just frozen in time.

                                                1. re: Virginia Girl

                                                  White Castle is alive and well. although some apostate marketing committee expanded the menu to include jalapeno cheese and other options.

                                                2. re: Cinnamon

                                                  Kimchi burgers are popular in Hawaii. Maybe mainland koreans make them with frozen White Castle burgers, I dunno.

                                                3. re: bitsubeats

                                                  My Chinese MIL made my DH "pizza" when he was a kid that consisted of Pilsbury dough, tomato sauce, and American cheese slices on top.


                                          2. re: alkapal

                                            Do you really think so? How about the very classic Bolognese Sauce? Start with both "good quality ground beef and lean ground pork." It goes on from there, of course. One of the oldest Italian recipes.

                                            1. re: Hollyhock

                                              In Italy they don't use ground chuck like here, "good quality" means sirloin or tenderloin. That you grind yourself, not from the grocery store. Although I'm not sure who you're actually responding to?

                                              1. re: Hollyhock

                                                hollyhock, i'm not sure of your point. it's "wasp" if served on friday, a traditionally catholic (italian) non-meat day. that was my little quip.

                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                How about the classic Bolognese Sauce? The main ingredients are "good quality ground beef and ground pork."

                                              3. re: tmso

                                                We were are large family of nine on a tight budget. My Mom would make a spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. The very next evening she would take our her large cast iron skillet, put one stick of margarine in the pan and the leftover spaghetti and sauce. They were combined at this time. She would then "fry" it all together. It would be served with white bread and more margarine. My four brothers would make fried spaghetti sandwiches. I would just nibble. Can't say it was a favorite.

                                                1. re: joda

                                                  That was my father's favorite thing in the world (of food I mean). Just a little crispy.
                                                  We were only a family of eight though.

                                                2. re: tmso

                                                  I am very curious about this cabbage-stuffed grilled pizza.

                                                  1. re: tmso

                                                    We had a regular spaghetti day but it was lunch on Saturdays. You could set your watch by it. And while mom was great at cooking certain things she took many shortcuts as well. Our spaghetti lunch came from the red box of Chef Boyardee. You know the kind with the noodles, sauce, and little container of parmesan. She would brown about a pound of ground beef, then serve as follows: noodles, sauce, ground beef on top - parmesan was optional. I love all food Italian but this was my introduction. I remember being about ten and asking what those little chunks were and mom would say "nothing, just eat it", I now realize it was tiny little bits of mushroom which I would have gagged then but love now. But their oddity was they had to have toasted bread with peanut butter to complete their meal. GAG. Ahh, nostalgia! Then for Saturday supper we had steak and either baked potato or homemade french fries and salad while we watched HeeHaw!

                                                    1. re: kcfields

                                                      our typical spaghetti day was friday, but mom made her own. we ate it with a salad and white bread and butter. then i watched my heartthrob on the "wild wild west," robert conrad. http://www.papermag.com/blogs/WildWil...

                                                      --- his is the only celebrity photo i requested as a kid -- and he autographed one and sent it to me! ;-).

                                                      oh gosh, i'd better go to bed. i just realized that i told the same story in my original post to start this thread.

                                                      it obviously made a deep and lasting impression. {;^D.

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        Our spaghetti day was Wednesday - not sure why, but it was like clockwork. When I was in college I found a little cookbook called "Wednesday is Spaghetti Day" (they had other books for other days of the week) and I immediately bought it and sent it to my mom. She was not amused, but my sister sure was. Anyway, it was made with ground beef and Prego sauce doctored with a glug of red wine and occasionally mushrooms, served over slightly overcooked spaghetti and topped with green shaker parm. Iceberg lettuce salad with sliced carrots, black olives and Wishbone Italian dressing. Oh, and garlic toast - white bread toasted in the toaster, spread with margarine and sprinkled with a blend of garlic powder and garlic salt. Ah, childhood.

                                                        I only wish I could have found a cookbook called "Sunday is Roast Beef Day" and my mom's collection would have been complete!

                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          lol. This reminds me of a something that happened to me recently: a young woman came to me as a client in my business. As I was introducing myself, she said "You don't remember me, do you?" Then she told her story, and it slowly came back. When they were in fourth grade she was my older son's best friend (no, not a girlfriend....besides, as it turns out she was never that into boys anyway:-) We started reminiscing about some of their crazier antics as children, and she told me "My favorite part about knowing you guys was coming over for Wednesday Night Pizza Night." This took me back a bit, as I had no memory of Wenesday Night Pizza Night...especially since I am not a pizza fan and can't imagine voluntarily having it one night a week. But as she started talking it all came back: her mother was a single mom at the time, and had to work late Wednesday nights. So we volunteered to pick her up from the afterschool program with our sons, and feed her dinner. I also worked fairly late on Wednesdays, so the after-school duties fell to my husband. He was apparently the one who initiated the Wednesday Night Pizza Nights. The funny thing is, this lovely young lady said it was one of her favorite childhood memories....that she loved feeling like part of the family. How pathetic is that? lol.....

                                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                                            Oh Janet--it's not pathetic--I was a little misty-eyed when I finished reading it. I think it's sweet that she has fond memories of your family Pizza nights. It shows that your family made her feel very welcome and it meant a lot to her to be a part of the family gathering. Poor lonely little kid....

                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                              not in any way could that be interpreted as pathetic. we should all be so lucky to A. have a bright spot in the week at that age/situation (no criticism to the single mom) and B. encounter a relative stranger recall fond memories of our households

                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                              OMG we might have grown up in the same house

                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                The spaghetti dinner nights of your childhood sound sooo much better and tastier than they were at my house, waaahhh!! My mother's mother was an amazing cook, but my mother did not get that gene. My mother's idea of spaghetti dinner was overcooked, unsalted spaghetti noodles topped with a greasy, orange-colored, over-onioned burnt-tasting meat sauce (she didn't seem to grasp the concept of draining the ground beef prior to adding it to the sauce, blech!) We had the Wonder/garlic toast that wasn't too bad, but my tummy was ALWAYS upset after those dinners. And then I had to help clean up all of that orange grease...

                                                                Oh, and then there was the "Chinese" chicken chow-mein (La Choy?) over dried noodles, gag!

                                                                And how about the "dump cake"? Anyone's mother pull that one on them?

                                                                I think, however, that the combination of my wonderful maternal grandmother's cooking along with my mother's gross take on what should come from a kitchen is the reason that I have such a love for food and the creation of special dishes. I try to create a work of art with each meal that I prepare. And speaking of simple, anyone tried the Thomas Keller version of salmon over celery and brioche? Now there is an example of divine simplicity. I don't use real brioche, usually, but instead buy the store bakery version of unsliced hamburger rolls and slice them in half. Works great. And if I cannot get truffles it doesn't matter--the truffle oil flavors the sauce beautifully. Here is a link to that salmon recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... And also, MUST have book: Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home. Fantastic resource for every preparation method.

                                                            3. re: kcfields

                                                              OMG!! I didn't think anyone else's mother used those boxed Spaghetti "kits" except mine! I'm almost sure ours was made by Kraft though. What really mystifies me is how many boxes did my mother have to make to feed a hungry family of 6???

                                                              1. re: riversuzyq

                                                                Don't forget the boxed pizza mix from Chef Boyardee!!!!

                                                                1. re: riversuzyq

                                                                  I remember the large can of spaghetti (franco american or chef boy ar dee?) mixed in with a pound of browned hamburger.

                                                            4. That is really funny, because I was just going to mention ice cream & peanut butter! I've never heard of anyone else who ate this combination before. I got it from my grandpa, who loved chocolate ice cream with peanut butter. My grandpa also used to pour his coffee into a saucer every morning, and then sluuuurp it out of the saucer very loudly. I've never figured out the reason for this. Maybe it cooled down faster?

                                                              Other things I used to eat that get strange looks from friends when I tell about them now:
                                                              cream cheese & jelly sandwiches
                                                              deviled ham sandwiches
                                                              peanut butter and maple syrup in a bowl, eaten with a spoon

                                                              My mom also used to boil vegetables until they were practically white and completely water logged. Same with pasta. And she cooked steaks until they were black and you had to chew each bite for a solid 3 minutes just to get it down (covered in Lea & Perrin's Steak sauce to make it a more palatable).

                                                              Another sandwich that I love to this day is white bread, French's mustard, cheddar cheese and raw sliced onion. This was my dad's invention, and it is still comfort food to me.

                                                              75 Replies
                                                              1. re: dexters

                                                                "Another sandwich that I love to this day is white bread, French's mustard, cheddar cheese and raw sliced onion. This was my dad's invention, and it is still comfort food to me."

                                                                Add some black pepper to the onion and this was my fathers favorite sandwich also. Sometimes he would add very thin sliced tomato, but not often.

                                                                1. re: hannaone

                                                                  My mom eats that all the time. (Minus the mustard). Sometimes she adds radishes

                                                                  1. re: hannaone

                                                                    My Dad made exactly the same sandwich. I thought that he had invented it.
                                                                    Thanks for the memory.

                                                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                                                      My mom made potato chip sandwiches with a little mayo on them. Go figure. I thought this was normal. Otherwise, she was a pretty good cook.

                                                                      1. re: Virginia Girl

                                                                        I LOVE potato chips on sandwiches, gives a satisfying crunch (granted I put more than just chips on, usu. tuna salad or salami) and they definitely have to be next to the mayo side even if there's lettuce as well.

                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                          Did that with any of the "luncheon meat" sandwiches, and still do.

                                                                    2. re: hannaone

                                                                      And right after payday we'd put fried bologna on it!

                                                                    3. re: dexters

                                                                      cream cheese & jelly was a lunchtime staple in my childhood home - and it had to be on Wonder Bread...unless it was Passover. then, of course, it was cream cheese & jelly on matzo.

                                                                      my friends all *loved* my mother's "chicken salad," but i couldn't get it down...chunks of boneless, skinless breasts that had been poached in water with two packets of George Washington's Seasoning [pretty much just MSG & salt], combined with so much mayonnaise the chicken was practically suspended in it. gack. makes me gag just thinking about it.

                                                                      1. re: dexters

                                                                        Dexters: Was your grandpa Swedish? My Swedish grandpa, who came over from Sweden to Duluth in the early part of the last century, always drank his coffee that way, as did all his neighbors and relatives.

                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                          My father used to do this as well and he picked it up from his father who came over from Denmark.

                                                                          1. re: chilihead

                                                                            chilihead, oakjean, dexters - I don't believe that the "slurping the morning coffee from the saucer" practice necessarily had anything to do with a Scandanavian heritage, but believe it was more of a taste preference & generational thing. My dad did the same thing & his ancestors were from Scotland, but so far back that he never knew any of them. I know the reason for his "coffee from the saucer" was to cool the coffee. In fact, he'd often put an ice cube in the cup of coffee to cool that while he "slurped from saucer" his first coffee. Then he'd drink the remaining coffee from the cup. He & I are certainly opposites when it comes to way we liked our coffee. I can hardly get mine hot enough and he could hardly get his cool enough. In fact, he liked all of his foods much cooler than I like mine.

                                                                            1. re: foodisgreat

                                                                              My grandpa used the slurping saucer trick too & he was American Indian, he said because the china cup was to hot to hold until his coffee cooled down, but they boiled coffee back then & it was HOT not like this brewed stuff it gets cold in a minute.

                                                                          2. re: oakjoan

                                                                            My Swedish Grandfather sipped my Grandmother's strong coffec through a cube of sugar for each swallow. He'd use about 10 sugar cubes! I'd sit with him when I was three and when Grandma wasn't looking he;d give me a sugar cube and sip of coffee. So naughty and delicious. I don't use sugar today, but I still love having the cubes in a dish!

                                                                          3. re: dexters

                                                                            I loved cream cheese & jelly sandwiches as a kid, but I thought I was the only one who ever had them. None of my friends had them. I remember my mom buying a little square of Philadelphia cream cheese to make them. I actually tried this sandwich recently, but it wasn't as wonderful as I had remembered, but still good.

                                                                            1. re: joan mar

                                                                              I'd forgotten all about those cream cheese and (grape) jelly sandwiches, on Wonder Bread. I wonder if it was a Jewish thing?

                                                                              The wierdest thing my mother did was use matzo meal as her fried-chicken coating (we lived in Miami, she was confused). It turns into a rock-hard crust. Much preferred the Colonel's.

                                                                              My stepmother made Kraft Dinner but added extra shredded Cheddar and then a can of plum tomatoes. The acid in the tomato juice used to coagulate the cheese, but we liked it.

                                                                              1. re: mlgb

                                                                                Not sure, but I had it sometimes when I was a kid. Welch's grape jelly.

                                                                                Mom would make her meat loaf with hard boiled eggs down the center of the loaf. I always thought it looked like eyeballs watching as we ate.

                                                                                1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                                                  Mmm Welch's grape jelly. That's the only kind of jelly we had growing up other than the home canned sand plum jelly. I am completely spoiled for any other kind of grape jelly. Must have Welch's.....

                                                                                  1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                                                    My mom made meatloaf like that too!. When I was little I thought she used a raw egg and I wondered how she got that raw egg to fit in just right so that it cooked up so neatly.

                                                                                    My mom also used to make some kind of spaghetti-like dish that seemed to combine spaghetti noodles, canned stewed tomatoes and American cheese.

                                                                                    Another favorite of my dad's (and I think this is a dish of Eastern European Jewish derivation) was something called farmers chop suey that, if I can remember was basically an iceberg lettuce salad with radishes, tomatoes and onions topped with sour cream.

                                                                                    Finally I used to love, but got mocked for mercilessly at school, green olive and cream cheese sandwiches on rye bread. Haven't had one of those for years.

                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                      totally not kosher, but delicious: green olive/pimento cream cheese with rare roast beef, grilled on pumpernickel.. courtesy of dunderbak's deli, altamonte mall, orlando/winter park florida, circa 1975. the best savory sandwich -- ever.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal


                                                                                        Adding the roast beef is a great touch. More like an olive burger (for those of you who don't know it's a burger topped those pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped and mixed with mayo on a rarish burger.

                                                                                        I can only guess how good it would be grilled. Gotta try it.

                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                          oh yeah, the cream cheese gets soft and the olives come to life (well, in a good way, metaphorically ;-)

                                                                                        2. re: chicgail

                                                                                          ooh I loved cream cheese and olive sandwiches! Interestingly, there is now a coffee shop near me that takes thick yougart (almost cheese and spreads it on soft rye bread and tops it with Kalamata olives (pitted!) - my favorite sandwich all grown up!

                                                                                          1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                                                            I just had to reply! Ewwwww meatloaf and hard boiled eggs are the ONLY two foods I refuse to eat because they're so gross. Hearing of their marriage in this abomination you've described completely grossed me out!!!

                                                                                              1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                I love both of these things, I have not had them together. But this post made me laugh out loud at work. Thanks. :)

                                                                                              2. re: Shayna Madel

                                                                                                My Dad used to BEG my mom to do this.. I think his mother did it at least once..
                                                                                                She never would comply. Eyeballs, ugh.

                                                                                              3. re: mlgb

                                                                                                Not a Jewish thing I don't think. My mom's the one who made them for me, and she grew up in a pretty Christian Polish household.

                                                                                                I have to add that every Christmas, my mother makes this HORRIBLE boiled fruit dish. She's the only one who likes it (and she knows this), but she insists on making enough for everyone and getting insulted when we don't eat it. I have to give her credit for tenacity though. We've been refusing to eat boiled fruit for 25 years, and each year she acts like it's the first time this has come up.

                                                                                                1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                  No, not Jewish... I've got white trash cred from here to the nearest NASCAR track, and my mom made cream cheese, olive and walnut sandwiches all the time. Sometimes she bought this weird canned date-nut bread that was almost like dessert -- I've never thought of this before, but I adore almost anything that's salty-sweet, and I wonder if it started with those sandwiches?

                                                                                                  1. re: aimless1

                                                                                                    I'll bet it was canned boston brown bread in a can that you heat up in water, cut out the ends of the can and eat.

                                                                                                    1. re: Virginia Girl

                                                                                                      i used to love that canned boston brown bread. I used to think of it as such a treat to have it when I was growing up! I've actually looked for it over the years, but have never found it in the stores.

                                                                                                      1. re: joan mar

                                                                                                        It's fairly easily made - there are quite a few recipes for steamed Boston brown bread out there.

                                                                                                    2. re: aimless1

                                                                                                      Definitely Boston brown bread in a can. Never heard of heating it up in water, but loved that stuff when I was a kid. One of the biggest special treats we ever got in a poor household. My Mom used to give us thick slices spread liberally with cream cheese, probably the fanciest she ever got with food. I loved the fact that you had to cut off both ends of the can to push the bread out. It didn't have dates, rather raisins, the only thing I will eat raisins in. I was at the Vermont Country Store and found the original bread there. Bought several cans and just enjoyed the hell out of it all over again with nice cold cream cheese. One of the few "kid food" memories that actually lived up to the memory and rekindled my love for the stuff all over again. The Vermont Country Store has a catalogue, but don't know if they sell food things through the mail.

                                                                                                  2. re: mlgb

                                                                                                    Cream cheese and jelly (usually welch's grape) on toasted (frozen) Lender's bagels - in the 60's fresh bagels were not available where I grew up. Sometimes on matzo or sweet French from the neighborhood bakery. Never ever had wonder bread.

                                                                                                  3. re: joan mar

                                                                                                    I thought cream cheese and jelly were exotic since I had been raised in the midwest for ten years and my favorite sandwich was wonder bread and as much mayonaise as I could put inside without losing it down the sides. No meat, lettuce, just pure mayo.

                                                                                                    My next lunch special was fluffernut sandwiches. Anyone remember these? Marshmellow and peanut butter?

                                                                                                    1. re: milkweed

                                                                                                      I remember them well - my mother had just "discovered" them when a stray cat appeared on our doorstep - Fluffernutter lived to be 17!

                                                                                                  4. re: dexters

                                                                                                    My mom used to make me cream cheese and jelly sandwiches when I was little! I thought I was literally the only one who'd ever had this sandwich, and I don't typically mention it to people because they think it's SOO weird.

                                                                                                    I have to say though that my mother is a fantastic cook. She does some weird stuff like putting bread, meat, nuts, and popcorn directly into the freezer when she gets it home. I live with my boyfriend who has been more than vocal in pointing out that it's strange.

                                                                                                    My dad's good on the grill, but the man doesn't stand a chance in the kitchen. He tried making boxed brownies once and forgot the eggs. Tasted the same, but they were only about a half centimeter thick and hard as a freaking rock.

                                                                                                    1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                      just remembered... when I was sick and home from school my mom would make me "milk toast.".. cinnamon and sugar and butter on toast covered with hot milk that would float the sugar/cinnamon and melt the butter mmm...made it worth it to be prohibited from going outside to play "after school"

                                                                                                      1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                        We had jelly and cream cheese sandwiches, too. They were my favorite, especially with strawberry jam!

                                                                                                        1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                          I loved cream cheese & Welch's grape jelly sandwiches too. I remember being terribly disappointed when I got them for school lunches though- the jelly would soak through the (thin white Wonder) bread and the whole thing was soggy and awful by the time I opened my lunchbox.

                                                                                                          That was never a problem once Fluffernutters came along!

                                                                                                        2. re: dexters

                                                                                                          My mom and grandmother do the same thing with tea. They pour the hot tea into a saucer, then drink from the saucer. I used to do the same with hot milk.

                                                                                                          1. re: fallingup

                                                                                                            I think that was the "proper" way to drink tea in polite society in this country 200 years ago.

                                                                                                            1. re: Doh

                                                                                                              I keep seeing this pop up on the board, and just wanted to clarify. After some minor research, this is what I have found.
                                                                                                              "In Victorian days, tea drinkers poured their tea into saucers to cool before sipping, this was perfectly acceptable. This is what writers of the period mean by “a dish of tea.”"

                                                                                                              1. re: milkyway4679

                                                                                                                My grandfather used to do that with coffee when I was a kid. He passed away when I was young, so I had completely forgotten about this.

                                                                                                          2. re: dexters

                                                                                                            AND we eat cream cheese and jam sandwiches all the time!

                                                                                                            1. re: dexters

                                                                                                              Ugh, cream cheese and jelly sandwiches! It had to be toasted white bread with grape jelly on one side and cream cheese on the other. I haven't had that to eat in years..It was so good back then, who knows what I would think about it now.

                                                                                                              1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                Better than cream cheese and jelly - cream cheese and green olives with pimentos!!!

                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                  How about peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches?

                                                                                                                2. re: dexters

                                                                                                                  too funny, that sandwich your dad invented- "my" dad also invented. I have passed it on to my son, and he loves it. Although- the bread has to be toasted, so the cheese gets soft.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dexters

                                                                                                                    peanut butter and chocolate ice cream is AWESOME! Peanut butter and Bacon sandwiches, now there's a real sandwich! yummy

                                                                                                                    1. re: mrsmoonie

                                                                                                                      Peanut butter and bacon is a marriage made in heaven. It's also great if you add jelly or jam to it or sliced pickles.MMMMMM

                                                                                                                    2. re: dexters

                                                                                                                      We ate cream cheese and jelly sandwiches too (had to be strawberry jelly though). Other jellies were for PB (usually grape but Polaner All fruit blackberry jelly was also acceptable).

                                                                                                                      1. re: dexters

                                                                                                                        Don't know where or when it started, but a staple sandwich my Mom made us was bread, cheddar cheese, mayo and pickle relish. The bread was whole grain, definitely real cheese, mayo (not Miracle Whip) and Heinz pickle relish. I still eat it on occasion. Don't know why I love/loved it so much. My husband just sneers.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                          I ate enough of that those exact sandwiches to reach to the moon. My Mom was a vegetarian, but didn't push it on us, however everything we ate was definitely on the heathy side. Whole grain bread, real sharp cheddar cheese (sliced exactly right, not too thick, not too thin), mayo (not MW) on both sides of the bread, pickle relish on only one side, cheese on the other. Seriously, thought I was the only one who ever ate this and occasionally still do. My husband sneers as well, thinks it is the weirdest sandwich ever. Still don't know why I love them so much.

                                                                                                                          1. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                            I've been eating the same sandwich for years, but with the pickles as bread-and-butter slices, not relish. It's basically a "ploughmans lunch" stacked up instead of on a plate.

                                                                                                                            Mmm...that classic combination of salt/fat and crisp/sweet... and it's just not quite right unless you let it sit in a lunchbox for three hours.

                                                                                                                            1. re: beethoven

                                                                                                                              Oh I love pickle sandwiches. Sometimes I'll use pumpernickel bread and horseradish cheddar.

                                                                                                                            2. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                              Because they make you remember how much your mother loved you!!
                                                                                                                              My mother would make the Lipton powdered Chicken noodle soup--the envelope one with about 3 pieces of freeze-dried chicken--and she'd add a cup of Acini de pepe (little round pasta balls) which sucked up the water so it was like a thick chicken pudding. She considered this to be too much of a treat for anything but a very sick child so when we were deathly ill with chickenpox, mumps, etc. she made this and served it with buttered saltines and Coca-cola. To this day (I'm almost 53) it's the ONLY thing I will eat when I am sick.

                                                                                                                            3. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                              For a real treat, try the same sandwich, subbing Branston Pickle for the pickle relish.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                                I still enjoy a similar sandwich but with bread and butter pickles.

                                                                                                                                1. re: nosurndr

                                                                                                                                  A variety. Grilled cheese (no mayo or mustard) with relish. Dill preferred but sweet ok too

                                                                                                                                2. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                  My mom used to suggest cream cheese and jelly as a bagel topping. Ew. My sister loved it though.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                    what's wrong with cream cheese and jelly?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      It doesn't belong on a bagel. Sorry, just one woman's opinion. I hate any kind of sweet bagel variations.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                      Cream cheese and jelly is a match made in heaven...and a combination I didn't ever have a taste of until well into adulthood. Am hooked on it now...especially with red pepper jelly.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                      Yes! Peanut butter swirled with syrup, eaten with white bread. Or a variation: soft butter (well, more likely margarine, don't think Mom ever bought butter) swirled with syrup. Ours was probably Karo, since Mom never bought anything as luxurious as maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                        Used to eat this with homemade biscuits and came syrup as a child. So incredible.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: QueenOfTheSlipstream

                                                                                                                                          I've never heard of anyone else eating this! Family and I still talk about it, but I've not re-tried it in decades. Maybe it's time--altho' I use only butter, no margarine, and grade B maple syrup, no Karo--gourmet version! (Cane syrup sounds wonderful, too. Maybe even sorghum.)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                            My grandfather always had a "dessert" at breakfast, which was softened margarine mixed with sorghum and eaten on a biscuit.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              The cane syrup was homemade too. Had neighbors who made it every year, and we always got a couple of jars. It was salty-sweet and delicious. Makes me salivate just thinking about it...

                                                                                                                                        2. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                          cold coffee mixed with powdered sugar, some butter and a little salt on graham crackers..with a cold glass of milk.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: dexters

                                                                                                                                          White bread with mayo and thick slices of cheddar cheese! YUMMMM!
                                                                                                                                          Oh we also had the tomato version, white bread, mayo, and slices of tomato... best eaten over the sink where the tomato/mayo juice could drip!

                                                                                                                                        4. My mom made porcupine meatballs too. I think her strangest combination was chili (made in the pressure cooker, very soupy and bland) and mashed potatoes. To her credit, though, I was never afraid of the pressure cooker and love using it today, too.

                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                            I would say about 60% of the food my mom made was in the pressure cooker. I remember all of the meat done that way being incredibly moist and tender.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: trixel

                                                                                                                                              i just got an electronic pressure cooker last month and am loving it! tender meat roast -- fast. quick chili. good bean soups. i'm having fun experimenting. next up: curry.

                                                                                                                                              my mom always made pole beans with bacon in the pressure cooker. it was done in a *snap.* (get it? LOL!). by the way, harris teeter has frozen pole beans that are quite good. so far, i've only used them in making a lebanese dish with tomatoes, onion and garlic, loubiah bin something or another (green beans).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                I made that this summer when the green beans were fresh, it was so good. It was just weird to cook them so long, doing it in a pressure cooker sounds like a good idea.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                  the great thing about that loubiah dish is that i can eat it without ANY guilt (LOL) and it is savory and so delicious. plus, it works warm or at room temp. try it next time with some good, fresh, warm pita which you can tear off and in which you can wrap little spoonfuls of the beans.

                                                                                                                                                  for those who'd like to try it, this will give them an idea: http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/600/...

                                                                                                                                                  i don't use that much oil, and use more garlic. it is really flexible, to taste.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    This is great, I will make it in the pressure cooker next time. I was picking out whole beans from the dish for days and eating them like they were hors d'oeuvres.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                  Bit late re: pressure cooker & curry. But if I might offer a suggestion, lamb shanks, neck and shoulder are good cuts, ditto for chevon, in the pressure cooker.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GTM

                                                                                                                                                    I just made curried goat and when I realized I had to simmer it for quite awhile, with only an hour or so til dinner, I remembered my pressure cooker. It was fantastic!

                                                                                                                                            2. i forgot to mention, my dad would always use this ploy when he wanted something that was not on the table at dinner (some condiment, e.g.):
                                                                                                                                              "amy, wouldn't *you* like some A-1?"
                                                                                                                                              "georgia, wouldn't *you* like some worcestershire sauce?"
                                                                                                                                              and.... when he knew that we knew that he knew, it became "wouldn't *you* like some ice cream for dessert?" while we were watching tv in the family room. ;-D

                                                                                                                                              it became a big joke, and if he's watching me from heaven, he is laughing every time we all still pull that trick! i sure miss that twinkle in his blue eyes when he said it!

                                                                                                                                              ooooooh, and he'd get really ticked off when i had "mined out" all the fudge "veins" in his favorite winn-dixie fudge royale ice cream!!! i couldn't help it <sheepish grin>.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: WendyBinCT

                                                                                                                                                  Ah, the favored omlette of my cartoon-watching mornings when Mom was not home and Dad had "control" of the kitchen. I was convinced that I was eating Green Eggs without Ham - dad would never make that!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: WendyBinCT

                                                                                                                                                    There's a breakfast place in Berkeley, Ca that makes marmalade omelets and serves them with a croissant and two grapefruit halves. Yummy yum yum yum.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I was in college before I realized that everyone else didn't eat (plump, luscious) raisins in their taco meat.

                                                                                                                                                    My mom always, always put raisins in the spiced meat, and we at it very simply with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream. To this day I crave it. Now it sort of cracks me up-- a Moroccan-ish technique from my Pollock meat and potatoes mom!

                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                                                      Actually, many traditional Mexican picadillo (taco meat) recipes include fruit. Raisins and olives are one classic combination.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                        Many versions of Veracruz sauce for shrimp and fish include golden raisins and green olives.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                          That is too funny- I had no idea! My mom wouldn't touch a green olive, and I'm sure traditional Mexican food has never been on her radar. I'll have to ask her where she learned to do that! (Her taco seasoning is out of a packet!)

                                                                                                                                                          Learn somethin' new every day!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                          and remember country captain with the raisins in the chicken "curry"!

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                                                          LOL! I was in college before I realized that chicken salad didn't have red grapes and almonds in it!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mrsmoonie

                                                                                                                                                            ahhh...but real chicken salad does...

                                                                                                                                                          2. Ah, yes, mom food! We lived up north so the only tacos available were the frozen ones, I think it was Patio brand. She mixed grated cheese with minced onions and mayo, and when they came out of the oven we would pry them open and add a dollop of that odd mixture, and let it melt a bit. It was actually pretty good, until we got back to Texas, anyway!

                                                                                                                                                            Sometimes we would have white bread smeared with fresh butter (that was delivered to our back door), and then sprinkle sugar on top. If she was being lazy, or I guess just had a craving, she would get a pat of butter and dip it in the sugar bowl, coating it on both sides. Not exactly health food. She had a real sugar fixation, come to think of it. She would cut up fresh fruit, mix in a bowl and add heaping tablespoons of sugar on top. ICK!

                                                                                                                                                            The jello with fruit cocktail mixed with miracle whip. It was okay, but looked pretty disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                            And my least favorite of all was the noodles, or elbow macaroni dish she made where you boil the noodles, and then dump a can of chopped tomatoes in it. Stir and add salt. No herbs, pepper, or anything that could have made it go down easy. It was truly awful, but I had to eat it.

                                                                                                                                                            Oh and I have mentioned this numerous times, but it still blows me away - her ham salad was made with bologna. I have recently found out that a lot of her generation did that. I guess it was growing up in the Depression sort of thing.

                                                                                                                                                            49 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                              My grandfather makes his ham salad with bologna too. I don't like bologna on its own, but always loved his ham salad before I became a vegetarian. I still salivate over it when they make it for Christmas eve in my family.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                                                                                                                                                My Mom also made the Bologna Ham Salad. I can see her now putting a big chunk of bologna in the hand crank grinder. She then added sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip to that. Served on white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                Like Dani's Mom mine also did the bologna on white with Miracle Whip. We just got one slice though. I would ask if I could use mustard instead and she would just say no. We also brought this or the "ham Salad"to school every day for lunch. Not sure why we never got fod poisoning with that sitting in the locker all day.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                Dani - our moms must have been swapping recipes over the back fence. The elbow mac w. canned tomatoes was on our dinner table too, although my mom added browned ground beef to hers and called it "slumgullion" (do NOT ask me where this name came from - even today, she can't tell us why she called it that). I liked the meat and the macaroni, but the tomatoes were just gaggy to me. We also had jello with fruit in it, but it was usually red jello with bananas (still comfort food for me today).

                                                                                                                                                                Mom's signature sandwich was bologna (always Oscar Mayer) on white bread (always Wonder Bread) with Miracle Whip (which we called mayonnaise until we knew better). No lettuce, no tomato, just bread, "mayo" and bologna. And you only got 1 1/2 slices of bologna -- a regular visitor to our refrigerator could usually open the package of OMB and find 1/2 a slice sitting there. And I swear mom COUNTED the slices. Once she caught me putting TWO slices of OMB on my sandwich and made me put half a slice back.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                  OMG, my mom made "Slubgullion" too, or sometimes it was called "American Chop Suey." Except my little sister hated tomato sauce at the time, so she just got a pile of cooked ground beef next to a pile of buttered elbow mac.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Raedia

                                                                                                                                                                    My Mom was never what you would call a good cook. She came from the Irish American culinary tradition (Boil it. For a long time. It might not be dead yet).

                                                                                                                                                                    American Chop Suey was a box of elbow macaroni, a large can of crushed tomatoes, a pound of ground beef, two coursely chopped onions, and two (count them) two whole sticks of butter. I think she might have used garlic powder as well (I never saw a head of actual garlic until well into my teens). She would season her plate with a whole lot of black pepper, and maybe an extra chunk of butter. I really hated this as a kid; oddly enough, I now find myself really craving it once or twice a year.

                                                                                                                                                                    She also used to fry up bacon and eggs (hers: over hard), and then would make a "gravy" out of bacon grease, water, and ketchup to put over the eggs. I couldn't be in the same room with this (and have an aversion to ketchup to this day).

                                                                                                                                                                    When I was little, we went home from school for lunch during good weather and I remember her "cooking" Franco-American canned macaroni and cheese. It was about as revolting as it sounds.

                                                                                                                                                                    Friday lunches (catholic family) were either egg salad, cream cheese and jelly (yuck), or cream cheese and green olive on pumpernickel, which I still love.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Raedia

                                                                                                                                                                      I think my step mom made a version of "Slubgullion" too that we LOVED as kids. She'd take the bologna and dice it up into flat squares then fry it up in ketchup and maybe some other stuff but I doubt it. It'd go on top of a pile of mashed potatoes and it was delcious.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also a lot of talk of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches but what about peanut butter and butter (probably margin actually). I hated PB&J but loved PB&B just like my dad.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lannanh

                                                                                                                                                                        My Mom made a version of this she called "Slumgullion."

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Raedia

                                                                                                                                                                        must be something... my mom would serve canned stewed tomatoes whenever she made mac and cheese which she poured milk into that would coagulate in veins around the elbows...I've tried to replicate w/o success

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                        Cheflambo and Dani: MY mom also made this dish with ground round and elbow noodles, but with a tin of tomato soup-we called it "muckygutchi" and I have no idea why. I still love it and my husband and daughter both consider it the ultimate comfort food with huge debates over whether putting onions in it is a great addition or the ultimate desecration!

                                                                                                                                                                        This recipe is so old that, growing up in Newfoundland, it was not possible to buy elbow macaroni pasta on its own. The only shape of pasta available was spaghetti.

                                                                                                                                                                        However, my ingenious Mom would buy Kraft Dinner, use the pasta and then save the cheese 'sauce' packet to cook with niblet corn, from a can! (Oh, I feel old when I admit this stuff...but my Mom did her best and we all grew up thinnish and in good health!).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                          You guys are lucky you got some meat in that dish! That may have made it better. It was those chunks of tomatoes that turned me off! To this day I still don't care for elbow macaroni. It may have been better with soup.

                                                                                                                                                                          As far as her "ham" salad, it was delicious. I tried doing it with bologna, but it wasn't the same. Back then we got the bologna from a deli, in a big chunk with the red wrapping on it, and then she hand cranked it with her meat grinder. I can't replicate it and maybe that's a good thing . . . not really sure!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                            We rarely had fresh vegetables when I was growing up. It was either canned or frozen (but more than likely canned).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                              Cheflambo, Dani and LJS, are you from Long Island? I just posted about my mom's "slumgullion" recipe and thought she made it up. I cannot believe that was an actual recipe! I'm having a blast reading these replies "after" I posted. Wow!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jarona


                                                                                                                                                                                I can only speak for myself and I am not from Long Island. My mom was raised in Ohio, during the depression, so that probably explains a lot of the wacky recipes. Or at least I like to blame it on that. ;-)


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                  Jarona...well I'm from an island, but not LONG Island...I am from Newfoundland...sorry I didn't catch up with this thread sooner...there's some great stuff on here and many memories!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                that's my mom's "goulash" I still request it every time I go home. I love to make sandwiches out of it with white or potato bread and butter!

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                                The word "slum," as used in the US with regard to mining, means sludge, while "gullion" is a Scots and/or Anglo-Irish word meaning quagmire or cesspool. So "slumgullion" would be the sludge in the bottom of a cesspool. Appetizing, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                  alan, that sounds about right to me, as in the swill my mom served!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh alan ....your definition is waaaaay to close to being true! I need to print this out and send it to my "I just dont understand the interweb" mom -- she would be amused to see how close that word came to being accurate.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Slumgullion was a minor character in Walt Disney's children's book Bongo the Bear as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ewwwwww. When my mom went out for the day and didn't have time to cook, she'd open a can of chow mein, heat it and dump it over those greasy crunchy noodles. OMG, how we hated it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                                      wow, if i didn't know better I'd say we're related....

                                                                                                                                                                                      slumgullion was a staple but no butter in ours like poor sablemerle had to suffer through, every party we went to we were dragging the jello mold bowl along, usually red with banana and I promise, if you looked in my fridge right now, you'd find 1/2 slice of bologna on top of the package.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have upgraded to german bologna w/ real mayo but it still has to be on white bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Miracle whip was also a staple and could be found not only on the bologna but also on the gawd awful jello salad....

                                                                                                                                                                                      I never knew the origin of the name slumgullion either but we hailed from Western PA, is there a connection there?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, boy, I remember my grandmother putting out lime jello with fruit cocktail in it, and Miracle Whip on top, as the "salad" with dinner. Yes, in Western Pennsylvania. Even as a child, I wouldn't eat it.
                                                                                                                                                                                        The other food oddity was that my mother would make "chinese food", i.e. celery and onions, in a pressure cooker until they were absolute mush, add soy sauce, and put it over rice. It, too, was one of the only foods I would refuse to eat. I never ate in a chinese restaurant until a boyfriend took me when I was 18 years old, but again, as a child, I knew what my mother made was not worth putting in my mouth.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Other than that, she actually was a terrific cook!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                                        Slumgullion is a mountain pass in Colorado, but also the muddy deposit in a mining sluice- so think tomato component=red mud, corn=pebbles...

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                        my mom grated spam and mixed with Miracle Whip and sweet relish and called it ham salad

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                          What??!! That's NOT the way to make ham salad???

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know, I'm still back there thinking about how spam can be grated..........

                                                                                                                                                                                            honestly, you people make me feel like my mom just didn't try hard enough. . .not the cooking part but the lack of decent story material!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jenn

                                                                                                                                                                                              Spot on. My mom and aunties were such good cooks, I can only get vicarious thrills from this great thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe if you slightly freeze the Spam first?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm thinking the spam is "grated" with a fork!

                                                                                                                                                                                                When I was a kid mom would get the Underwoods Deviled ham, spam and various other potted meats, but I am not sure what she did with them. Obviously I must have eaten them, but she must have mixed them with lots of other stuff because I sure don't remember what they tasted like. I went to the store to get storm supplies and looked at all of that stuff, but just could not bring myself to get any of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Deviled ham sandwich from my childhood: 2 pieces of Wonderbread, 1 spread with deviled ham, 1 with Hellman's. Sometimes some iceberg lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom would make the exact same sandwich and to this day I still enjoy them. Your "Hellman's" threw me off for a second, but then I realized it is the exact same thing as the Best Foods we used. Toasted bread was required.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sleepyscience

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I loved this sandwich, still do! In a guilty yukky sort of way... I upgrade it with some red pepper relish sometimes. (PS It's never really as good as I remember it being, because I always have one and then waste the rest of the can.....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                    potted meat and vienna sausages with white bread and crackers were what my parents took on road trips for lunch in the pre-interstate days (and pre-interstate food stops). and a thermos of coffee. more than once the little cup got left on the roof of the car when we drove off from the little roadside rest-stop with the concrete picnic tables, benches and canopies (florida, 1960's...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    when we annually traveled to our summer home in highlands, nc, i sipped coca-cola from the little greenish bottle (the *only* bottle from which coca-cola should be drunk, according to my atlanta-based aunt martha "it tastes different"!). the coke and saltines helped with my queasy tummy from going around all those mountain curves. it helped!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG we had a summer home in Highlands NC too!!! We drove up from Florida in the 60s--do I know you?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      What part of FL??? I live in Highland IL now--how's that for a coincidence??

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Teri Davis Newman

                                                                                                                                                                                                        funny, teri! but....you don't look familiar. our place was near the country club. i am from fort myers, fla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We were on the east coast--and I was 5 or 6. I'm 52 now! I look a bit different!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We always grated our spam on a box grater. My mom would open english muffins, spread them with tomato sauce and top them with grated spam and mozzarella. Spam Pizzas were our standard school holiday lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                a friend of mine who was Japanese-American from Hawaii used to make Spam sushi...she also caught her kitchen on fire cooking Tamago. Never tasted the "sushi" and the Tamago was cinders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                  SPAM musubi (it isn't sushi because the rice isn't sweetened) is one of the great culinary developments of the last century. If you've never had it, you're missing out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please don't be offended, but I'll trust you on this. My parents always said the two greatest contributions to Hawaii during WW2 were quonset huts and spam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No doubt. My introduction to SPAM was at age 40 in a plate lunch shack on Maui. Still tastes like paradise to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most folks don't like the **idea** of SPAM. And some have negative taste associations that can't be overcome (hey, Mark!). But lots of folks who never thought they'd enjoy the stuff have found a crisp-fried slice quite tasty. An open mind is a wonderful thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't had it in many years, but loved it as a kid. I remember my mother once frying it for breakfast (clearly had run out of or forgotten to buy breakfast meat!), but she usually put it in sandwiches. Maybe I'll have to get some ... oh, it was also the meat in 'chef's salad.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My dad loved Spam. But then he came from a generation that struggled to keep food on the table. When he volunteered for service in WWII, at 6' 1" tall he weighed in at 120 lbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm nearly a foot shorter, and I wish I weighed 120 lbs now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So given the high caloric content I imagine it was a pretty satisfying food to people who (1) didn't necessarily have access to fresh meat all that often (2) didn't have refrigeration when they could get meat and (3) spent significant portions of the winter subsisting on parsnips, turnips, and potatoes once the home canned stuff gave out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                            To repeat my mantra: forced to eat SPAM 3 meals a day, for nearly 3 weeks, in the heat of the jungle, under great duress, is enough to kill it for anyone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Druther eat Ham Muther's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like spam. I also like fried bologna and especially fried salami. I almost never eat any of them, but they taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried salami is especially good in soft scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                      There was so much baloney salad around when I was growing up that I thought real ham salad was quite a luxury.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mom also made ham salad with bologna - ground up and mixed with sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip on white bread. Haven't tried it since I was a kid but might give it a try one day just for the heck of it.:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My family is from Indiana and while I have grown up on the East Coast much of my food experiences were and are informed by the Midwest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Couple of good ones from my mom:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Pork Chops in Pickle juice- In the spirit of nothing goes to waste, my mother would reserve the juice from the pickle jar and soak the porck chops in it then pan fry. People loved it but I became a vegetarian when I was 11 this was one the reasons why.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Besides shell fish which she does very well! I believed fish only came frozen and breaded until College- when I became a pescatarian and now I have converted my parents to the joys of fresh fish at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Lastly perhaps the most midwestern of them All- Jello makes anything a party.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vinegar goes in place of the water for a savory jello mold and sour cream or mayonaise gives it the spookey cloudy complextion. And as much as I still find savory jello molds odd I love them to death. My Mother's Miller Salad: Lime Jello, Sour cream, Carrots, Celery, Pears- It's great

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: poached

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So now you're a Pescajellaterian?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. These are from my mom and grandma:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Peanut butter and butter sandwiches.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tuna salad on a hamburger bun, with the crown of the bun sliced to add a thin layer of ketchup and homemade icebox sweet and sour pickles. Then heated in the microwave.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Chop Suey" hamburger with the Chun-king bi-pack
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chuckwagon sandwiches - onion bun, baloney, salami, swiss cheese or monty-jack cheese, american cheese, mustard on top, Miracle Whip on bottom. (Mom still makes this for me)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fried egg sandwich with Miracle Whip and soft white bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GeeBeeEmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Peanut butter and butter sandwiches are the best. Everyone always looks at me like Im weird but that is the way my grandma and dad made them for me so now I make them for myself this way. I also love potato chip sandwiches. White bread with mayo on both sides then lots of chips smushed in between.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LisaMarie86

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love peanut butter and butter too. Peanut butter and potato chip is an old favorite, so is peanut butter and bacon (on toast). My mom used to eat peanut butter and thinly sliced onion, but to this day I haven't tried that yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LisaMarie86

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Loved the PB & B! Was my father's specialty. Don't know that I could eat it now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Guilt factor. Would love to have one....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Dried Beef Gravy (I never understood this, and at that time hated gravy, so I had a couple of slices of the dried beef in a sandwich when that was the nightly meal).
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Minute steak -- well done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Orange Jell-o with grated carrots inside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mom also made sloppy joes that were browned hamburger, brown sugar vinegar, yellow mustard and ketchup simmer together. That's it for ingredients. Every 3-4 months or so I get a craving for it and make it myself with a dollop of cold ketchup on top. The part that falls out of the bun is best scooped up with fritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I loved creamed dried beef on toast. We used to crush potato chips on top of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My mum has always constantly experimented, she rarely does the same recipe twice the same way. Have something great at our house and 2 months later when you ask for the recipe, it's been altered quite a bit. My dad just ate what was put in front of him with the exception of one morning my mum put spinach in the omelette. It wasn't the spinach anyone objected to, but the fact she had put the omelette through the blender before cooking it. It was a bright medium spinach green! My dad refused to touch it, unfortunately I'd already taken a bite, I wasn't about to tell everyone it was edible, if not especially good. I was just waiting for the ham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chocoaddict

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    green eggs and ham...a perfect Seuse breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My mom is an incredible gourmet cook and I'm a pastry chef and the whole family loves good food, fancy restaurants, etc....but she did make a few things that might raise some eyebrows (but were delicious) like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Apple Jacks cereal mixed with melted chocolate chips, then dropped on wax paper like cookies and refrigerated (never saw these made anywhere else)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chocolate soup--she would make My-T-Fine pudding and simply serve it hot for --amazing on a cold morning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Canned string beans mixed with sour cream--I think this was from one of my European-born great-grandmothers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A dinner of veal parmesan served with Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese dinner--probably what made me the salt addict I am today

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum yum yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cakegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still remember spaghetti with ketchup accompanied by fried flounder (not bad, but I prefer gourmet Italian sauce now), date nut bread with cream cheese (my favorite school lunch), and my mom still eats saltines dipped in coffee (go figure, nothing I would ever eat). I used to eat cream cheese and jelly sandwiches as well. My mom evolved as a cook and became quite accomplished, but I'll always remember these meal offerings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: petitgateau

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        date nut bread mini-loaves. i baked so many in high school, and loved them with cream cheese. yummy! i haven't made them in a coon's age, so i think i might just find that old recipe and make some for little treats for christmas or turkey-day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: petitgateau

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spaghetti and ketchup accompanied by a glass of chocolate milk (Fox's U-bet) is still my #1 comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: howboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spaghetti (or any pasta) with ketchup and butter. I stayed overnight at my babysitter's house once in a while, and her mother would make it for me, called it Polish spaghetti. My best comfort food, it has since morphed into pasta with ketchup, cream, a small dab of butter, and lots of pepper. I'f i'm feeling grandiose, i grate a little parmesan in too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: petitgateau

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I remember a bread that came in a can. I think it was date nut bread and it was delicious (believe it or not!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: joan mar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember that! It was date nut bread and it was good, especially with a little cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joan mar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i remember it too and it was served with cream cheese and it was tasty. I seem to recall my mother goofed once and bought something called Boston brown bread which was in a can just like the date nut bread but not nearly as tasty despite the liberal schmear of cream cheese.........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: joan mar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That was our "special sandwich" it tasted like dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Cakegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The "Chocolate Soup" (sounds more like a thick cocoa, actually) and the Apple Jacks snack clusters sound delectable! I think my mouth watered all over my keyboard :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cakegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Mom was Scotch Irish and from Western NC where I live now, (but I spent the first 5 years or so near Poughkeepsie, NY). My Dad was Italian and from NYC.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mom had some strange habits such as putting Mayo on everything! Canned green beans, corn on the cob, fried liver, etc. I thought it was really gross until I was about 15 and we had corn on the cob but were out of butter. I tried the mayo on it and I was amazed, I LOVED it! It has to be REAL mayo though, I prefer Kraft but she liked Hellman's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To this day I eat mayo on my corn on the cob and even canned green beans...but I don't eat Liver...Fried or otherwise! Like me, my two daughter thought it was disgusting until they tried it, now they eat their corn on the cob with mayo too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Dad used to make Spaghetti once a week in a huge bowl; Two boxes of Elbow macaroni and two jars of Ragu with meat sauce with Parmesan cheese mixed in.. And of course the green can of Kraft Parmesan cheese to top it with as well! Salad was a lettuce wedge topped with a mayo and ketchup mixture that I suppose was Mom's version of 1000 Island dressing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate milk was made with Hershey's cocoa powder mixed with sugar then mixed into the milk .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom also loved Onion sandwiches, white bread with mayo and sliced onion. One of my weird favs is lettuce and mustard sandwiches! Another favorite from childhood compliments of neighbors who moved to NC from Lowell MA is a Boston Creme Sandwich, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Creme, they also introduced me to PB Toast!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RavenWilde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love toasted onion sandwiches

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    will have to try the mayo and corn next season

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RavenWilde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mayo and onion sandwiches!!!! YUM! My grandparents made them for every holiday. They'd get a loaf of white bread and use a biscuit cutter to cut out little circles from each slice. Every round got a liberal smear of mayo, a slice of onion, and another bread circle on top, and then they rolled the round in parsley on the outside edge. Every once in a while I have a serious craving for them that I need to indulge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Cakegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      'Apple Jacks cereal mixed with melted chocolate chips, then dropped on wax paper like cookies and refrigerated (never saw these made anywhere else)'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like the chinese noodles with the chocolate chips. Did she get it from that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now home-made Apple Jack whiskey is another matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many years late, but ftr Apple Jack is brandy, not whiskey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. My mom was a good cook and pretty adventuresome, but there were a few things we had that nobody else did. Granted they came over on the boat in 1955 so there were lots of items the other "normal" kids never had, but I mean overall. The dictated format for dinner was green salad, a vegetable, a protein and a starch. I think the only variation was on Fat Tuesday when she made the homemade donuts with some lucky coins slipped inside. For some reason she fell into this pattern where at least 70% of the time the starch was Uncle Ben's converted rice sauteed in a little margarine and then cooked per directions, and the vegetable would be the frozen blend of peas, corn and carrot cubes tossed with margarine and green can parmesan before serving. The green salad was always red leaf lettuce only with bottled Wishbone Italian. Dessert was frequently this red rennet pudding that kind of looked like jello but was starchy and not as clear. It didn't taste bad, but it was just an odd assortment for someone from the Austro-Hungarian Empire kind of cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: torty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, I recognize that dessert-thats 'Junket Rennet Custard-"the growing up dessert"...came in 6 flavours, one of which was a lurid raspberry colour-do you think thats it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          God I still love that stuff.......Huge fan of the chocolate..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Their website is a childhood flashback:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pondrat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pondrat: thank you so much for that trip down memory lane AND the neat source of rennet tablets and recipes. I have recently been inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and we are thinking of doing our own cheeses next year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which if you think of it, isn't really off topic...how far we have traveled from our Mom's cooking while still honouring her offerings...I wonder what our grandchildren's attitudes to OUR food will be?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pondrat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Junket! I just had it a few weeks ago! I found boxes at an outlet store -- they only had vanilla flavor, so I put some almond extract in -- it was great, and still had that lovely flubbery texture. Wonderful as dessert in the summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yes- it was definitely the raspberry. Then again this WAS the era of all kinds of jello related and whip type desserts. The one that you blended and it had 3 magic layers and all those cool whip + jello concoctions. I looked for the rennet one in several large chain grocers recently and could not find it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: torty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1-2-3 Jello!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And for us, there was the lime or orange sherbet mixed with jello and molded, too.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Well starting with my Maternal grandmother who was a phenominal cook and hosted HUGE Holidays for all of her 6 children, their spouses and nearly 30 grandchildren, my favorite gourmet dish with her was butter ( delivered by Kennedy Butter and Eggs in Boston) on saltines. I recall having this delicacy at her kitchen table and her telling me to hold my tongue with my tiny fingers and say " molasses on the table" Try it...my 5 or 6 year old foray into a " swear " word...then my Mom who worked with my Dad in their business before it was fashionable or even acceptable for women to work outside the home. She made quick dinners and not a one of them bad..loose hamburger sauteed and doctored up with some sauteed onions A-1 and God knows what else, served over mashed potatoes and frozen tiny peas, lasagna with the quick sidestep of cottage cheese although she made her own quick red sauce using canned tomatoes, more onions and sugar !!, corn chowder with the sauteed onions , canned cream corn and frozen Birdseye corn kernals and chunked potatoes ...the treat was when she came home early and did a beef stew from scratch with big chunky potatoes, chunks of carrot and some canned stewed tomatoes...I thought as a kid I ate like a queen...the appetizer royale was celery stuffed with cream cheese... she was appalled when McD's took off and we NEVER ate there...it was quick , basic , not terribly health conscious and with lots of short cuts but it was good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll never forget the day I looked at the dinner table, did an about face and walked out of the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mother had made lamb tongues and there was one on everyone's plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mar52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Poor thing! scarred for life, huh? I am so glad my mom never made a tongue for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom never made tongue. But my grandmother cleaned a brain once to cook, and I saw the process and left the house and didn't come back for hours.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I first saw tongue at a fancy restaurant in L.A. called Cafe de Paris, now long gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They brought an hors d'oeuvre tray with a bunch of the usual French stuff, but one dish was unidentifiable for the first few minutes. It looked like a small dish turned upside down and covered with mustard sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To my horror, as I watched, the sauce started sinking into what turned out to be the crenelations of a brain. I've never gotten within 10 yards of one since that day. Yuuch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, I've always loved tongue, but only if somebody else cooked it. I can't stand to skin it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've always loved tongue also...and one of the reasons I've always liked it is that it is one of the few dishes that my mother really did a good job with (she wasn't much of a cook in general). Oddly enough, however, I've never even tried to cook it. These days, most of my tongue is from taco trucks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          third vote for tongue! Mom skinned it with hemostats (my father was a physician)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My friend tells the story of growing up poor in Germany with an English-speaking mother. She ordered what she thought was tongue at the butcher, and when she got home she discovered it was an udder! The mother cooked it, but my friend doesn't want to talk about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rememberme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, i learned the hard way that "oxenmausalat" is ox tongue with salad-y stuff like radishes -- in german -- by ordering what i though was a regular salad, and finding the tongue all sliced up on top!! i'm glad the beer came in those huge glasses! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mom's version of tongue had tomato sauce and green olives with pimento. She called it "Spanish" tongue. I hated tongue and it took me years to get over it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: mar52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My brother calls tongue the food that tastes you back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He's in marketing--always has that snappy idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mar52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mother made tongue (beef tongue) in the pressure cooker. I loved it, but have to admit the taste buds were ... odd. (Even though she skinned them, the taste buds were still evident directly underneath.) Haven't had tongue in many years now ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She was a fiend for using organ meats, such as beef heart. When someone would ask what it was, I *delighted* in telling them. A teenage boy once ran outside and spit a mouthful of what I had just told him was 'cow heart' in the snow. Good times, good times ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom was big on boiled beef heart, with stuffing between the ventricles. OK if it was cooked long enough, otherwise a bit too chewy. The best use for it was in a soup she made from a recipe of - of all people - Pierre Berton's (a Canadian jourmalistic eminence who wrote a cookbook in the '60's).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mother's never got past the chewy stage ;) The night of the snow incident, it was the 'beef' in beef-vegetable soup. Other than chicken livers, I'm not an organ meat girl ... but I would go for some tongue (if I didn't have to prepare it!). There was a tongue or two in every butcher's case in town when I was growing up ... now it's been many years since I've seen one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just about the only place I get tongue now is in a good Jewish Deli - the first time I saw it on a menu I was thrilled!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I saw some in Wal-Marts Super center last night in Branson MO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My Mom made beef tongue as well and I loved it although I didn't want to be around when she skinned it! Still get it out when I see it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I remember on Thanksgiving & Christmas my mother would make celery stuffed with cream cheese. We thought that was wonderful. Such a fancy appetizer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Lasagne made with cottage cheese!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nosey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mom too on that one. Didn't know what ricotta was until I went to college!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My mom had two standbys, one of which I loved (and to this day remains one of my favorite calories-be-damned meals...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Chicken parm. Chicken coated with breadcrumbs, sauteed, then put into a small casserole dish, covered with sauce and cheese and finished in the toaster. It was the only thing she ever used the toaster for besides toast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Chicken and broccoli. She'd break out the wok -- but it only served as her way of making this dish "authentically" Asian. She'd cook the hell out of the chicken AND the broccoli and I don't recall much in the way of sauce. If she was feeling adventurous, she'd top off with some sesame seeds. The funny thing was, this was the one dish I always ordered from Chinese restaurants as a kid...so maybe she thought she was making something I liked?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She's gotten slightly more adventurous since I've moved out of the house actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. liver. mum used to boil liver, chop into small pcs and add to a yoghurt cilantro sauce, then refrigerate it. pretty yummy but the catch was she somehow felt i needed the iron so would make me drink the water the liver was boiled in. looked and tasted like pure blood. it was awful. i dreaded/anticipated this dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  my mom was always insisting i needed "iron"! (i was perfectly healthy, of course, other than the typical adolescent lethargy, melancholia, antsy-ness, malaise.....) ;-) (hmmm..... sounds quite familiar even today! ;-) or... ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i was anemic once and unfortunately it never left me ! seriously she felt i needed feeding, fattening etc etc. you get the drift. the 'soup' or whatever we call it was awful, the end result which was the liver slices in a yoghurt sauce was quite delicious except by the time i got through drinking the blood i was in no condition to want anything to do with it. i have never made it but after writing about it, i think i have a faint craving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alkapal, you flatter me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I've posted this somewhere before, but it's apropos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      when a toddler I was anemic as I refused almost anything but bananas, as a result liver became a regular meal in the house much to the resentment of my sisters. still not sure if I developed a taste or pretended to out of spite. but mom came up with rarely successful ways to mask and deliver the liver years after the issue was over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      anyway, she has always made a great pizza dough, but once in 1974 (age 8 now) after kneading the dough, she took a short cut with the cheese and used pre-sliced sharp Kraft sandwich swiss, not the wrapped oil based singles, but sort of real swiss (she was using a rectangular pan and all - very time/effort efficient) and decided this would be the ideal utilization of the weeks liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      she denies liver and swiss cheese pizza to this day, but I have witnesses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: foodwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    UGH! That liver cocktail sounds awful. When my daughters were young and I got concerned about iron I got a cast iron skillet, rather than try to get them to eat liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is the most dreadful thing I've ever heard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that blood liver cocktail is horrible. my mom only made me eat liver and onions, or "iron pills". i never cook liver, though mr. alka likes it. (exception, i cook chicken livers to make pate sometimes, but am really liking schaller and weber liverwurst varieties for that flavor profile.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i used to work in a hotel that made liver with a mustard sauce. it was a great combination actually. for liver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother ordered sauerbraten calves liver in a German restaurant once and made me try some. It was the only time I was crazy about it (chicken liver and hearts is another story, love 'em). Although I've never tried to duplicate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, I'm guessing there's a generational difference at play here -- but my mother only cooked us liver for special occasions. You know, because of the cholesterol. But oh oh oh, sauteed calfs liver! That was maybe my favorite meat as a child. Not to mention pâté, leberwurst, Jewish chopped liver ... yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Bad Tommaso, you're low-fat this month ... fantasize about lentils, not liver)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Vetter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When my daughter was young she loved what we called "liver cookies", i.e. a quite delicious chicken liver pate, made with cream cheese, cloves, brandy, etc., eaten on Carr's whole wheat crackers. Now that she's 17, she blanches when I bring it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rememberme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              she'll like it again! good pate is good pate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rememberme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When my grandchildren were very young, their favorite meal was sauted "puppy parts", aka chicken livers. This was my daughter's way of getting them to eat chicken livers. However, it backfired once when they were in the grocery store and began clammoring for sauted "puppy parts" for lunch. She was the recipient of many horrified stares.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: recipelover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oooh, the "bad uncle" in me has to remember that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Geez, sounds like something out of Sybil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. When I was a kid, one of my fondest memories was my summers down South with my Grandparents. When we went fishing on the White River in Arkansas my Grandfather would always bring a cast iron skillet a pound of bacon and a bag of lemons. Some of the best freshwater fish I ever ate was Rainbow Trout fried in a cast iron skillet in bacon fat finished off with a little lemon over a campfire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gramps was sure to send a whole cooler of frozen trout back home with me at the end of the summer. Unfortunately this was the time that the microwave became popular and Mom promptly turned all my precious trout into rubber.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I grew up thinking my mother's beef stew was the very best I ever had. She would brown the beef, add potatoes, carrots and "french cut" frozen string beans, and a can of stewed tomatoes. She always served this with warm Jiffy corn bread squares with butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She also would make meatloaf with Ragu tomato sauce and put crushed cheezits on top. The next day she would chop up the leftover meatloaf and make American Chop Suey with macaroni and another can of stewed tomatoes, but it was good!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some times she would make cold meatloaf sandwiches with sweet relish, to this day it's one of my favorites sandwiches. A few other staples we had were fried baloney sandwiches on white bread with mustard, Junket rennet custard, strawberry or chocolate, and pineapple upside down cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. my mum had a couple of dishes that myself and my siblings just hated and dreaded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One was her stuffed cabbage, meat and rice in slimy cabbage with a sweet and sour tomato sauce. Still can't look at it. And the worst was some kind of gedempt baked huge meatballs in a brown gravy she called Klops. They were ghastly and we made the kind of jokes about both the meatballs and their name which reduced us to giggles, and the meatballs were surreptitously fed to the family dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She did make great bubbelas though - fried doughy things drenched in white sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha ha. My mother made something called Konigsberg Klops. Must be the same thing. Inedible!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As long as I'm here ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      She made creamed chipped beef, which I later (much later!) found out was called S*#%-on-a-Shingle. Also inedible! She put ground beef on rye bread and broiled it. That was pretty good. She did some stir frys that were ok. She made something called American Chop Suey, which was salad with sour cream. I didn't get it, and still don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      She did a fabulous brisket and a fabulous roast beef with browned potatoes, but those were special, company meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ErikaZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a recipe for Konigsberger Klops in The Joy of Cooking - or Mrs. R as my mom always called it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ErikaZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ErikaZ we had what my Mom called Canadian ChopSeuy. It was ground beef fried with onion and garlic, add two cans mushroom soup, celery and bean sprouts. Served over rice, we actually believed this was Chinese food! I still make it once in a while, reminds me of home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: beekeroc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I remember this but we called it Chinese Laundry - all the same ingredients except we added canned mushrooms. It was very popular "back in the day" in Eastern Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the stuffed cabbage is actually Ukrainian in origin - my grandparents, who were both 100% Ukie, used to make it and called it hallupchi (I'm sure I'm spelling that incorrectly). They would serve the cabbage rolls with catsup though, and when I was little I LOVED them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Mom's Stuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Strawberry Shortcake - those little yellow cakes, soaked in skim milk, topped with sliced strawberries (which I choked down), then topped with Reddi-Whip - i loved getting rid of the strawberries, then mashing up the milk-laden cake and whipped cream into a soup of sorts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tuna Salad- made with mayo, red onion, red apple, sometimes celery, and curry powder - one of my friends had a conniption when we were 10 and i put apple in the tuna salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Chicken Divan - made with chicken breast on the bottom of the casserole dish, then broccoli florets, then topped with mayo (low or no fat) mixed with condensed cream of chicken soup (low or no fat), then baked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Chicken Soup - chicken eaten on the side dipped in mayo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Mix-in style frozen yogurt - vanilla w/ double espresso and double cinnamon mix-in's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grandma 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ice cream float - diet grapefruit soda over vanilla ice cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken Soup made from scratch "I started making this at 6 am for you today, so don't tell me you don't want it now"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grandma 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Canned corn - i gobbled that stuff up as a kid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cottage Cheese noodles - egg noodles mixed with cottage cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper for my grandfather

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh jeez....Chicken Divan. My mom made that all the time and I hated it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            she also made grey leathery pork chops, grey leathery roast beef. Served with a side of partially-still-frozen microwaved frozen green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              emme - those cottage cheese noodles are a total comfort food from my childhood, and the combo wound up coming in handy for me. i was a counselor at a sleepaway camp for a couple of summers in my late teens, and i was a vegetarian at the time, so i didn't have many options at mealtime. we had a salad bar, though, so in addition to the veggies, i pretty much *lived* on cottage cheese mixed with plain cold pasta from the salad bar for the entire summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I grew up on noodles w/ cottage cheese (no sour cream or pepper, but lots of salt). to this day, that is my #1 comfort food. I'll make it w/ noodles, elbow macaroni or, my favorite, shell macaroni.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My favorite sandwich growing up which my mom concocted was peanut butter and miracle whip on caraway rye bread. I haven't had it in years and years but I can vividly remember how yummy the combination was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mom would also make a delicious casserole of cooked spaghetti that was mixed w/ canned tomato soup, melted Kraft singles, and sauteed onion & green pepper. On top of that she'd place 6 or 8 hot dogs, which were slashed on the diagonal and sprinkled w/ Kraft parmesan cheese, and then the whole thing was baked. The best parts were the corners of the casserole, where big chunks of spaghetti would get stuck together, and I loved how the hot dogs got all brown and crunchy. I'd even eat the leftovers cold the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mdepsmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had the ol' noodle and cottage cheese favorite last night! I like it the classic European way, with wide egg noodles. Comfort food indeed...simple and sublime. I do go a little easier on the salt these days though.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My family (extended, with my Grandmother living with us for as long as I can remember) was Hungarian on both sides and hence, everyone cooked and everyone cooked _really_ well. At least one side of the family came from peasant stock, arriving here in 1905. As such, they made use of everything so I grew up thinking that no food was weird (the weirdness factor is strictly cultural anyway). That's carried over into my adulthood. In retrospect the only thing weird my mom cooked was vegetables. They were REALLY cooked, to the point of cruelty to the vegetable. The first time I had somewhat authentic Chinese food it was a revelation. (Broccoli is crunchy??? Oh, wow).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Except for the veggies which I do my own way, I do enjoy some of the old family faves now and again. So far, my arteries are fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I admit to liking cottage cheese with bottled french dressing on it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have no room to point fingers at my mother. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go, hungarians! Yes, they're great cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a hungarian/german background. My grandmother would boil macaroni, drain the water (leaving a little), and add condensed unsweetened canned milk, some butter, salt and pepper. MMMM, macaroni soup. I actually crave it and it is an ultimate comfort soup. No nutrition, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Virginia Girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Hungarian grandmother would boil macaroni, drain it, and then fry it in a cast iron pan with butter until it got a bit brown and crispy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That dish is still one of my guilty pleasures to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mom (whose mom is from Hungary) did the same. That's what I used to get to eat as a treat if I was sick, or maybe my birthday. I tried to get my kid interested but he doesn't seem to like it (maybe I'm not using enough butter).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Doh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You do need to use a fairly good amount of butter...don't worry too much about that though, since much of it stays in the pan after you dish the macaroni out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I treated myself to this old favorite last week for the first time in a while. It's one of my ultimate comfort foods. After frying, just a sprinkle of sea salt, and I was transported for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. No one cooks worse than a step-mom. Imagine these two gems:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cut up Eckridge-type sausage into two inch long pieces. Place them on their ends and brown...to a crisp. Then turn over and do the other side. Serve with white rice. At the end of a meal, you'd have all of these black discs on your plate from cutting off the ends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spaghetti - make the noodles. Put a pound of ground beef in a pan and brown. Don't remove the grease. Add onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir in a can of rotels and throw all of that in the noodle pot. I always assumed spaghetti was orange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, rudeboy, I figure you wrote the "No one cooks worse than a step-mom" bit to rile people up and you've succeeded. I am a well-loved step-mom and a really good cook. My step-son has also become a really good cook due to my influence...so no generalizing, okay?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm with oakjoan here and I think my step daughter would disagree as well. My stepdaughter learned of the whole world of food beyond white sauce and swedish meatballs from me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What you have is just a person who can't cook really cook.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I know both of my step-daughters would vehemently disagree. One of our favorite things to do together is cook - last weekend we made my great-grandmother's recipe for lime pickles and even the non-pickle eater loved them! The youngest one even decided not to take a cooking class in school because she said she had lots of good cooks to learn from - including me and her grandma!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I'm sorry y'all. I guess I should have said "no one cooks worse than MY step mom."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've met plenty of lively, pleasant, and cookwise step-moms of OTHER people!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry she isn't a good cook, but I hope overall she's a good step mom. She can always learn how to cook, but I think being a good step-parent is a lot tougher to learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rudeboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lol I had to be just ONE more stepmom to weigh in and say I have a lot of fans!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then again, one night I made a terrible beef stew and left it in the crock pot for the family. When I got home (late) my hubby told me the boys didn't like it but they ate it anyway cause they love me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hey take it over to the "Well That Was Kind of Nice" thread on Not About Food sister.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but that IS kind of nice, ok a lot more than just kind of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I have a fondness for many of the dishes mom cooked when I was growing up, with the exception of her spaghetti and meat sauce (mentioned above.) I now find it way too salty and heavy on the oregano. Although I did introduce her to imported parmigiano, so you will no longer find any "green cans" in the back of the fridge at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My mom was and is a good cook. She knows how to follow a recipe. The downside to her cooking, though, was that she did not take risks. When she found a recipe she (and we) liked, she stuck to it. We mostly had the following meals over and over again:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemon pepper chicken breast with white rice (bone in, skin on, of course. Lots of pepper!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meatloaf with a mustard-brown sugar sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Black beans with yellow rice (topped with cheddar cheese and diced onion)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pork chops and applesauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bean-tomato-ground beef chili (heresy, maybe, but tastes just like home)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Garlic studded pork tenderloin with a sour cream gravy, with rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The aforementioned spaghetti and meat sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At least once a week, we would have grilled steak. When I was younger, it was sirlion, but in the last several years it has always been ribeye. We ate a LOT of beef when I was growing up. I still get most of my beef consumption when I go home to visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think mom was slightly more adventurous when I was around the age of ten or so, possibly before that. I remember many occasions being served lamb chops with a mint sauce. I *hated* the gamey taste of the lamb. I think it may have been less expensive then (early-mid 90s), because now having lamb is a very rare and delicious occurrence for me. Another thing about mom in the kitchen is that she is very rigid about following recipes exactly to the letter. Even recipes she has been making for years she sees no reason to make the slightest change. I, on the other hand, have probably never followed a recipe without making some change or substitution (baking's another story.) I guess that might be my repressed rebel spirit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Infrequently, my mom or stepdad would cook fish. Usually a fried white fish filet. I hated fish even more than lamb at the time (foolish boy.) I complained so adamantly that seafood rarely made an appearance on the dinner table. How much I missed out on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Although she often stuck to the same old recipes (usually straight out of Southern Living and Joy of Cooking), she was much more committed to using fresh ingredients. Her mother, on the other hand, served canned vegetables almost exclusively. She still does too! A couple of years ago, I was visiting my grandparents, and fixed a chicken picatta with pan-roasted asparagus. The fresh asparagus was a relevation to her! I think that really may have been one of the first times that she'd had it. She wrote down my method word for word and now makes it for guests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mom, especially, was always very encouraging in my cooking endeavors, although I didn't really take off until midway through college. The family is happy to serve as guinea pigs, which they inevitably are anytime I go home for a visit. They are quite willing to eat the (relatively) distinctive and exotic food I like to cook, but my parents have not become much more adventurous in their own cooking. Although, a few weeks ago, my mom randomly cooked up some dry-rubbed slow oven-baked baby-back ribs. They were delicious until my stepdad and I burnt them beyond recognition during our brilliant "charcoal and wood chip" finishing phase. Maybe I'm the impediment!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                we used to have lamb chops on a pretty regular basis but i seem to remember that in those days the terms lamb and mutton seemed to be used interchangable...ooohh the mutton would smell like dried blood, really yuk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. my mom would:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - boil baby back ribs, and then finish on the grill - yuck

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - make "South Side Irish Spaghetti" as I call it.... = canned Franco-American spaghetti, with browned ground beef, and canned mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - served slamon loaf at least every other week

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - served creamed tuna on toast every other week

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - only use salt, garlic powder, and black pepper as seasoning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                with the above said she could make some of the best gravy, beef roasts, and corned beef and cabbage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL, I totally forgot that sometimes mom would put browned ground beef in a big can of franco-american spaghetti when I was a kid. (no mushrooms)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  God help me.... I snarfed that right up. Yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spaghettios! Loved them as a kid, would eat them straight out of the can if I could. Tried them as an adult -- they're inedible. Even my kids won't eat them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We had creamed everything on toast - chicken, hard boiled eggs, tuna. And we had creamed veg to get us to eat them - it didn't work. Leftover meat from Sunday dinner was chopped up and combined with relish and mayo for sandwiches. Hard boiled eggs and chopped cheddar cheese were used to stretch the tuna salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You kindled a horrible memory of those jars of dried beef. My mother creamed it with hard boiled eggs and served it on toast. My father called it "skinned indian". I was 5 years old, and didn't want to be a cannibal...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        our dried beef came in a foil packet, not a jar..... no eggs in it... but definitely the gravy or cream or whatever it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I still make creamed chipped beef over toast. One of my favorites for breakfast or lunch. The only change I've made since childhood is now I make the white sauce with cornstarch instead of flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thankfully cream of tuna is all we were subject to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The leftover meat from the Sunday roasts(pork, chicken, beef) were served later in the week warmed up in the leftover gravy and served with the leftover mashed potatoes made into potato pancakes. Since I love gravy, meat, and potatoes these were the better meals of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I remember the left over beef roast from sunday being torn up and microwaved with BBQ sauce and served on buns. I liked those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the best part is while we were "stuck" with these leftover meals & meals made by her and put in the fridge for later in the week.. My mom, who was a flight attendant, was off in Cairo, Madrid, Istanbul, London, Paris, Athens, etc. exploring their cusine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat, we had this too! But pre-microwave, we just had the meat chopped into small bits and simmered with Kraft BBQ sauce and served on buns. It was great, and sometimes a lot tastier than the dried out roast had been a night or two before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I am noticing a recurring theme here -- why did so many of our moms overcook food? I can understand the fear of trichinosis that once came from undercooked pork, but why did so many people cook the color, flavor and texture out of vegetables? For those of us who got our veg in cans instead of fresh from the garden, I understand. But my grandmother, who had a huge vegetable garden, brought in fresh carrots and green beans on a daily basis, then cooked them to rubbery mush. These days my uncle lives in gramma's house, and maintains that equally elaborate veg garden (now proudly calling it "organic" although it truth, it always has been). HIS vegetables come to the table blanched or at least just lightly cooked, and they're fantastic! (He never liked gramma's overcooked veggies either, and the poor guy had to eat a lot more of them than I ever did!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hear, hear! I didn't realize that I liked vegetables until I reached my 20s and started cooking for myself. Prior to that, they were all served as an overboiled, indistinguishable, and viciously disgusting mash. I still have trouble overcoming those strong associations in some cases: for example, despite the fact that I now enjoy the flavour, I find it psychologically difficult to eat broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love, love, love creamed sliced hard-boiled eggs on toast. The eggs have to be perfectly cooked, and the cream sauce a good home-made bechamel, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I was a kid, Sunday supper was often "Eggs a la Goldenrod": hard cooked egg whites in bechamel over toast, yolks crumbled over the top. It was extra special because this was the only meal of the week we were allowed to eat while watching TV. I'm not sure the dish would taste as good without The Wonderful World of Disney.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, this brought back a terrible food memory from childhood-- creamed asparagus on toast! It was simply awful, totally inedible. I unhooked the screen on the window by the table (when no one was looking) and dumped the whole thing on the woodpile. Yeech!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CookieWeasel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me too, it would have been OK with fresh asparagus, but Mom used canned. You can't even bite into those limp things. What a waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OMG - creamed tuna on toast. Now that takes me back

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nvcook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How do you "cream" tuna?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm curious yet slightly horrified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    a couple cans of drained canned tuna, a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup.. heat, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Mom would have added a nice dash of sherry. That was the standard recipe, cream of something soup with the protein, thinned out with sherry. Probably mellowed us out for the night anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ...that actually doesn't sound bad. Iwould definitely try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Served over noodles, corn bread or rice. Depending on the protein.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is the kind of thing I'll remember next time it's 2am and I'm starving and am surrounded by 'ingredients' but nothing to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In my house, it was creamed salmon on toast. My brother and I weren't good at eating milk, so in order to get more calcium into us she'd make a standard white sauce and throw in a can of salmon. A sprinkle of dried dill weed and lots of pepper topped it off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was nostalgic for it and made it once. Once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My mother would "extend" the deviled ham in our ( 5 kids ) sandwiches, with a couple mashed hard boiled eggs. We knew we were being had. And despite being wasps, we ate fish on Friday's "in sympathy" with the catholics. But it was because fish was cheaper than meat in the 60's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To her credit, she concocted a wonderful summer beverage from the wild currants we picked. She would boil and strain them, add sugar, and serve it 50-50 with club soda. Delicious.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        currant "saft" , very Skandinavian! We planted red current bushes for the same purpose. Makes good wine too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Mom's homemade spaghetti sauce: add soy sauce, ground meat and other Chinese seasonings to jar of Ragu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bless her heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Not a weird concoction at all but I’d probably be subject to Child Protective Services if this were to happen today…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On Mondays I’d walk home from school (pre-busing) and arrive at 3:45 or so. The house smelled fantastic. Ground beef, onions and garlic perfumed the air. Mom would be busy stirring things around in what I remember as a huge wide pot, opening cans of whole tomatoes and tomato paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While I was getting changed she’d add the tomatoes and whatever magic seasoning needed to be added (probably Spice Island Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She’d lower the gas stove to low, plop a lid on the pan and out the back door we’d go, walking a mile to my tap and ballet class at 4:30.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We’d get home around 6:00 and the smell of that wonderful spaghetti sauce would almost make me feel weak with ravenous hunger. I’d assemble the salad so I could nibble and not whine while the spaghetti cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally, dinner was served.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As a kid, I loved Mondays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A couple other things at my house:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Company = Cheddar Goldfish and cashews both in cute little bowls I now have and use for that same purpose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanksgiving and Christmas meals were not complete without a relish tray. Black olives, green olives, watermelon pickle and cream cheese stuffed celery. I continue that tradition as well, even if it’s just for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One other thing that I guess is weird but I don’t know. Sometimes I just craved Hollandaise so we’d just have an artichoke (the perfect Hollandaise delivery device) for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Growing up, my mother hated cooking, well maybe hate is too strong a word but she is not and never shall be, a person who cooks. She likes restaurants--french food, japanese food, middle eastern food---but she can't cook any of it. For not less than 5 years and honestly I think it was more like ten, she did not have a working stove in her house. She used a toaster oven and her beloved microwave. One by one the burners on the stove died and since she hated cooking, she never got them fixed. Growing up, food was prepared because you had to feed children and thats it. I was the first kid on the block who knew what a frozen swanson dinner was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One thing she did very well was cooking frozen veggies until they were just right [this was the 60s and thats what you got in the big city]---I never touched a canned veggie except at houses of friends. Along with the veggies there were lots and lots and lots of hamburger pattys. She also made meatloaf and did baked chicken. In my early years, she would do chili on Christmas eve---straight from the favorite pre-package mix with added ground beef and tomatoes. She could do a good roast aka hunk o meat in the oven but she could NEVER EVER EVER not burn the rolls nor could she handle getting a complicated [ie more than 3 dishes] meal on the table. I am familiar with the fried egg sandwich with mayo but in our house it was always wheat bread because it was "healthier." I was the only kid in school who never ever ever had white bread. I was also the only kid who brought liverwurst sandwiches to school. Now mind you, it is true that I liked liverwurst with pickle relish but as those of you who were there know, elementary school in the 60s was NOT a time for creative lunches. A proper lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or maybe baloney but never ever liverwurst. In other words, eatting lunch at school was hellish. [Tomorrow is the first day of school and my kids, at their request, are bringing bi bim bap....itsn't it lovely how things have changed?].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We did---when it could be afforded---eat out so I also knew alot about sushi and eventually greek food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The real cook was her mom, my grandmother who canned like fiend and made awesome beef veggie soup and chicken and all sorts of stuff. I remember her bringing us tons of home canned tomatoes one year and my mother, by then completely brainwashed to the idea that consumption of home canning meant instant death, never opened a single jar. I still miss my grandma's veggie beef soup--never got the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jenn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jenn: I had exactly the same experience with my school lunch. It was always black bread or rye bread with meatloaf or liverwurst and NEVER peanut butter and jelly on Wonder Bread. Oh, how I craved that. Sounds as if wonderful changes have taken place in the school lunch area! Nobody would ever trade with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I went home to my parent's house recently. (see the story of great pizza on the chow crush thread)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hadn't been home in years due to a variety of estrangements, problems, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr. Firegoat and I arrived for lunch. A pork loin that was stuck in a crock pot. Mashed potatoes (real!) canned corn, some fresh sliced tomatoes, and a salad of iceburg lettuce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The next day for lunch we had hamburgers, charred so badly on the grill they were like hockey pucks, along with some cantelope my dad grew himself, some of mom's tomatoes and a can of Bush's baked beans.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best meal I've had in at least 3 years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sometimes it isn't the food, it is the company you keep and the love they have for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Firegoat, that was beautiful and you're so right. Food made and served with love is good, no matter what (usually).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mom made some interesting lunches:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Creamed Egg on Toast: hard boiled eggs diced w/ a can of Cream of Mushroom soup mixed in and thinned to the consistency of thick gravy and poured over toast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tuna Broccoli casserole: Boil some broccoli and put in an 8x8 casserole. Dump a can of drained tuna on top. Thin out to the consistency of gravy a can of cream of mushroom soup and pour over the tuna and broccoli. Crunch up some soda crackers (saltines) and sprinkle over the top. Bake til heated through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She usually made chili w/ slightly crunchy beans, but for some reason my friends really liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I still make her macaroni and cheese when I need comfort food: Macaroni mixed w/ a can of condensed tomato soup and a bunch of cheddar cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Petrichor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow - I love this thread - haven't ready all the posts yet but they're great! My mom passed away 5 years ago but memories...wow....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Turkey was the driest meat known to man (I didn't know she always overcooked it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meatsauce (similar to spaghetti recipies above) consisted of a pound of pasta, a pound of chopmeat, and some tomato sauce and was very big in our house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also something called Arizona Skillet Dinner which had elbow macaroni, some canned beans, and various vegetables - never really liked it but kind of ate it anyway as it was sort of benign.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Salsbury Steak! With canned cream of mushroom soup! Hah!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pasta with peppers (pasta with italian peppers and a can of tomato paste and some spices)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The episode where she made 15 cups of rice for 6 people :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She made this really good dish I called breadcrumb chicken. I have no real idea how to make it and she hated making it for some reason but I loved it - was baked in the oven, maybe with cornflake crumbs?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother made THE most awesome sandwiches and great Cuban food. I miss that...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is nice is that she left me 2 books - one of her recipies and one of my grandmother's - so not the little things they made every day but the big holiday meals and such are all in there and I am SO grateful for that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ironically I don't know if my mother was a good cook but we had no money and there was always a delicious (at least back then) meal on the table and we were never hungry...so to me, she was a good cook. But what's ironic is that I am not such a great cook - I can bake like a fiend but cooking is a whole 'nother story :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. my aunt billie used to make my favorite: softly scrambled eggs, on white bread with mayo spread on the bread. she'd cut off the crusts, then cut it into 9 squares. i felt like quite the special one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  she also introduced me to creamed chipped beef on toast. i like it as comfort food, and really hate to hear when people on these boards call it that bad name. you know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and, relish trays were de rigueur for turkey day and christmas dinner. easter, too. little pickles, black olives, celery sticks, radishes....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry. I knew it was iffy, but my source of trauma was the name, not the product. (I was too young to recognize the poor humor). I just reported myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh veggo, i didn't mean for you to turn yourself in! ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had to. I was tired of runnin'. I had no place to hide. I was gettin' hungry and thirsty, and I ran out of money. I could feel the long arm of the monitors gettin' closer and closer...:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      after the gross out liver story, in defence of my mum who passed away when i was a teenager, my first cooking experience and love of food came from her. she woke me up early on a sunday and wanted to show me something in the kitchen. i went there and she was showing me how to make scrambled eggs. she was a very good cook and there were some things she made which i havent been able to recreate and i miss them dearly.