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

alkapal Sep 1, 2008 06:53 AM

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. jenwee RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:23 AM

    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
      YAYME RE: jenwee May 25, 2009 04:33 AM

      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
        Sam Fujisaka RE: YAYME May 25, 2009 07:11 AM

        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
          MARISKANY RE: YAYME Jun 11, 2009 06:39 AM

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

          1. re: MARISKANY
            chicgail RE: MARISKANY Aug 16, 2009 08:01 AM

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

            1. re: chicgail
              terrierboy RE: chicgail Feb 2, 2012 09:18 AM

              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
                The Professor RE: terrierboy Feb 3, 2012 07:59 PM

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

                1. re: terrierboy
                  fruti RE: terrierboy Feb 3, 2012 09:07 PM

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

                  1. re: fruti
                    terrierboy RE: fruti Feb 6, 2012 02:45 PM

                    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
                      coll RE: terrierboy Feb 11, 2012 04:05 AM

                      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
                        terrierboy RE: coll Feb 16, 2012 05:55 AM

                        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
                          coll RE: terrierboy Feb 19, 2012 02:57 AM

                          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
                kubasd RE: MARISKANY Aug 16, 2009 08:12 AM

                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
                  trixel RE: kubasd Nov 30, 2009 02:27 PM

                  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
                Hollyhock RE: YAYME Oct 2, 2009 08:15 PM

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

            2. t
              tmso RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:27 AM

              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
                alkapal RE: tmso Sep 1, 2008 07:55 AM

                one acronym to explain that meat sauced spaghetti: wasp.

                1. re: alkapal
                  Agent Orange RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 09:36 PM

                  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
                    Firegoat RE: Agent Orange Sep 2, 2008 03:17 AM

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

                    1. re: Firegoat
                      alkapal RE: Firegoat Sep 2, 2008 06:27 AM

                      yes, we called it simply "spaghetti" too.

                      1. re: Firegoat
                        Agent Orange RE: Firegoat Sep 2, 2008 01:28 PM

                        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
                          aimless1 RE: Agent Orange Jun 19, 2009 10:57 AM

                          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
                            protzman RE: aimless1 Jul 8, 2009 08:11 AM

                            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
                              chicgail RE: protzman Aug 16, 2009 08:04 AM

                              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
                                kubasd RE: chicgail Aug 16, 2009 08:16 AM

                                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
                                  sandylc RE: kubasd May 22, 2012 07:13 PM

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

                              2. re: protzman
                                Teri Davis Newman RE: protzman Mar 16, 2011 06:11 AM

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

                              3. re: aimless1
                                patmatw RE: aimless1 Sep 3, 2009 05:10 PM

                                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
                                  patmatw RE: patmatw Sep 7, 2009 06:02 AM

                                  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
                                    alkapal RE: patmatw Sep 7, 2009 08:59 AM

                                    look familiar?

                                    apparently, this replaced it: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012ZW5TG/r...

                                  2. re: patmatw
                                    jimant60 RE: patmatw Mar 31, 2010 02:38 PM

                                    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
                                      bubblybarrister RE: jimant60 Nov 4, 2011 08:18 AM

                                      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
                                        alkapal RE: bubblybarrister Nov 6, 2011 02:55 PM

                                        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).

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          Vinnie Vidimangi RE: alkapal Jun 19, 2013 11:11 AM

                                          Its her accent . She meant barrista.

                                2. re: Agent Orange
                                  Barbara76137 RE: Agent Orange Nov 5, 2010 05:57 PM

                                  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
                                ldkelley RE: Agent Orange Sep 2, 2008 04:43 PM

                                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
                                  oakjoan RE: Agent Orange Sep 3, 2008 04:08 PM

                                  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
                                    Erika L RE: oakjoan Sep 4, 2008 01:52 PM

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

                                    1. re: Erika L
                                      southernitalian RE: Erika L Sep 4, 2008 02:02 PM

                                      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
                                        Erika L RE: southernitalian Sep 4, 2008 09:51 PM

                                        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
                                          Cinnamon RE: southernitalian May 24, 2009 02:32 PM

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

                                          1. re: Cinnamon
                                            pine time RE: Cinnamon Dec 29, 2011 06:59 AM

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

                                        2. re: Erika L
                                          bitsubeats RE: Erika L Sep 8, 2008 02:54 PM

                                          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
                                            Cinnamon RE: bitsubeats May 24, 2009 02:34 PM

                                            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
                                              hill food RE: Cinnamon May 25, 2009 06:45 PM

                                              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
                                                Virginia Girl RE: Cinnamon Jun 20, 2009 04:18 PM

                                                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
                                                  hill food RE: Virginia Girl Jul 8, 2009 01:32 PM

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

                                                2. re: Cinnamon
                                                  emu48 RE: Cinnamon Apr 30, 2012 01:25 AM

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

                                                3. re: bitsubeats
                                                  Henny Penny RE: bitsubeats Dec 27, 2010 11:56 PM

                                                  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
                                            Hollyhock RE: alkapal Oct 2, 2009 08:25 PM

                                            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
                                              coll RE: Hollyhock Oct 3, 2009 05:52 AM

                                              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
                                                alkapal RE: Hollyhock Oct 19, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                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
                                                Hollyhock RE: alkapal Oct 2, 2009 08:28 PM

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

                                              3. re: tmso
                                                joda RE: tmso Sep 6, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                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
                                                  coll RE: joda Sep 6, 2008 02:55 PM

                                                  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
                                                  sonia darrow RE: tmso Jun 23, 2010 11:58 AM

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

                                                  1. re: tmso
                                                    kcfields RE: tmso Sep 11, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                    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
                                                      alkapal RE: kcfields Sep 12, 2010 01:47 AM

                                                      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
                                                        biondanonima RE: alkapal Sep 27, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                        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
                                                          janetofreno RE: biondanonima Mar 15, 2011 08:33 PM

                                                          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
                                                            Teri Davis Newman RE: janetofreno Mar 16, 2011 06:05 AM

                                                            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
                                                              hill food RE: janetofreno Jun 10, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                              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
                                                              Gmarie RE: biondanonima Jul 13, 2011 09:53 PM

                                                              OMG we might have grown up in the same house

                                                              1. re: biondanonima
                                                                chefmurray57 RE: biondanonima Apr 21, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                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
                                                              riversuzyq RE: kcfields Jun 16, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                              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
                                                                sandylc RE: riversuzyq May 22, 2012 07:33 PM

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

                                                                1. re: riversuzyq
                                                                  Firegoat RE: riversuzyq Jun 20, 2013 02:28 PM

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

                                                            4. d
                                                              dexters RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:34 AM

                                                              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.

                                                              69 Replies
                                                              1. re: dexters
                                                                hannaone RE: dexters Sep 1, 2008 10:33 AM

                                                                "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
                                                                  livetocook RE: hannaone Sep 5, 2008 10:01 PM

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

                                                                  1. re: hannaone
                                                                    gfr1111 RE: hannaone Oct 28, 2008 02:28 PM

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

                                                                    1. re: gfr1111
                                                                      Virginia Girl RE: gfr1111 Jun 20, 2009 04:21 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        hill food RE: Virginia Girl Jul 8, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          hannaone RE: hill food Jun 23, 2010 12:13 PM

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

                                                                    2. re: hannaone
                                                                      hippioflov RE: hannaone Jul 13, 2011 11:11 AM

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

                                                                    3. re: dexters
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: dexters Sep 2, 2008 03:39 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        oakjoan RE: dexters Sep 3, 2008 04:10 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          chilihead RE: oakjoan Oct 22, 2008 09:06 AM

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

                                                                          1. re: chilihead
                                                                            foodisgreat RE: chilihead Oct 23, 2008 05:12 AM

                                                                            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
                                                                              Sand2kat RE: foodisgreat Jun 11, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                              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
                                                                            milkweed RE: oakjoan Mar 15, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                            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
                                                                            joan mar RE: dexters Sep 10, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                                            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
                                                                              mlgb RE: joan mar Sep 10, 2008 03:34 PM

                                                                              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
                                                                                Shayna Madel RE: mlgb Sep 27, 2008 09:32 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  Firegoat RE: Shayna Madel Sep 29, 2008 07:17 AM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    chicgail RE: Shayna Madel Oct 14, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                      alkapal RE: chicgail Oct 14, 2008 02:16 PM

                                                                                      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
                                                                                        chicgail RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2008 08:17 AM


                                                                                        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
                                                                                          alkapal RE: chicgail Oct 15, 2008 03:56 PM

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

                                                                                        2. re: alkapal
                                                                                          Cinnamon RE: alkapal May 24, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                                                          That is/was a good little deli.

                                                                                        3. re: chicgail
                                                                                          Bigley9 RE: chicgail Oct 23, 2008 11:46 AM

                                                                                          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!

                                                                                        4. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                                          Lucyblue RE: Shayna Madel Jan 5, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                                                          Now, THAT'S pretty funny! :o)

                                                                                          1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                                            iheartcooking RE: Shayna Madel Sep 27, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              alkapal RE: iheartcooking Sep 27, 2010 05:21 PM

                                                                                              gag me with a spoon! like, totally!

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                ChristinaMason RE: alkapal Oct 24, 2010 08:09 PM

                                                                                                lol, snark.

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                  alkapal RE: ChristinaMason Oct 29, 2010 06:39 AM


                                                                                              2. re: iheartcooking
                                                                                                CKRIKORIAN RE: iheartcooking Apr 16, 2012 11:55 AM

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

                                                                                              3. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                                                patmatw RE: Shayna Madel Nov 5, 2011 03:24 AM

                                                                                                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.

                                                                                              4. re: mlgb
                                                                                                Al_Pal RE: mlgb Sep 27, 2008 10:01 PM

                                                                                                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
                                                                                                  aimless1 RE: Al_Pal Jun 19, 2009 11:05 AM

                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                    Virginia Girl RE: aimless1 Jun 20, 2009 04:26 PM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      joan mar RE: Virginia Girl Nov 4, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                        buttertart RE: joan mar Nov 4, 2009 07:33 AM

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

                                                                                                    2. re: aimless1
                                                                                                      nosurndr RE: aimless1 Jul 30, 2010 09:35 AM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                    fruti RE: mlgb Jan 15, 2012 09:02 AM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                    milkweed RE: joan mar Mar 15, 2011 08:29 AM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      Bigley9 RE: milkweed Mar 15, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                    Al_Pal RE: dexters Sep 27, 2008 09:54 PM

                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                      betsydiver RE: Al_Pal Jul 25, 2010 04:31 PM

                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                        elismamie97864 RE: Al_Pal Sep 10, 2010 04:47 PM

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

                                                                                                        1. re: Al_Pal
                                                                                                          eclecticsynergy RE: Al_Pal May 12, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                          fallingup RE: dexters Oct 5, 2008 02:39 PM

                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                            Doh RE: fallingup Nov 25, 2008 06:43 PM

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

                                                                                                            1. re: Doh
                                                                                                              milkyway4679 RE: Doh May 22, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                joan mar RE: milkyway4679 Nov 4, 2009 07:07 AM

                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                            fallingup RE: dexters Oct 5, 2008 02:40 PM

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

                                                                                                            1. re: dexters
                                                                                                              krisrishere RE: dexters Oct 13, 2008 08:02 AM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                southernitalian RE: krisrishere Oct 14, 2008 06:43 AM

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

                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                  Henny Penny RE: krisrishere Dec 28, 2010 12:07 AM

                                                                                                                  How about peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches?

                                                                                                                2. re: dexters
                                                                                                                  ssjsts RE: dexters Aug 24, 2009 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                    mrsmoonie RE: dexters Nov 25, 2009 03:18 PM

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: mrsmoonie
                                                                                                                      shecrab RE: mrsmoonie Jun 10, 2011 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                      melpy RE: dexters Apr 2, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                        nosurndr RE: dexters Jun 9, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                          nosurndr RE: nosurndr Jul 30, 2010 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                            beethoven RE: nosurndr Jul 30, 2010 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                              BabsW RE: beethoven Nov 6, 2010 12:49 PM

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

                                                                                                                            2. re: nosurndr
                                                                                                                              Teri Davis Newman RE: nosurndr Mar 15, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                              pikawicca RE: nosurndr Aug 20, 2010 08:10 AM

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

                                                                                                                              1. re: nosurndr
                                                                                                                                moonmau RE: nosurndr Oct 23, 2010 04:00 PM

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

                                                                                                                                1. re: nosurndr
                                                                                                                                  fruti RE: nosurndr Jan 15, 2012 10:00 AM

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

                                                                                                                                2. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                  biondanonima RE: dexters Sep 27, 2010 10:31 AM

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

                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                    alkapal RE: biondanonima Sep 27, 2010 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                    what's wrong with cream cheese and jelly?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                      chicgail RE: alkapal Jun 4, 2011 06:46 AM

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

                                                                                                                                    2. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                      The Professor RE: biondanonima Jun 10, 2011 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                      pine time RE: dexters Dec 29, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                      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: dexters
                                                                                                                                        JoDenise RE: dexters May 15, 2012 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                        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!

                                                                                                                                      2. v
                                                                                                                                        Val RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                          trixel RE: Val Nov 30, 2009 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                            alkapal RE: trixel Dec 1, 2009 04:19 AM

                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                              coll RE: alkapal Dec 1, 2009 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: coll Dec 1, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                  coll RE: alkapal Dec 2, 2009 01:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                GTM RE: alkapal Feb 24, 2012 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                  coll RE: GTM Feb 24, 2012 04:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                  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. alkapal RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                            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. WendyBinCT RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                              Two words: jelly omelets.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: WendyBinCT
                                                                                                                                                TampaAurora RE: WendyBinCT Sep 1, 2008 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                  Louise RE: WendyBinCT Oct 30, 2008 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                  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. Vetter RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                    alanbarnes RE: Vetter Sep 1, 2008 11:20 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                      Veggo RE: alanbarnes Sep 2, 2008 05:24 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                        Vetter RE: Veggo Sep 2, 2008 08:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: alanbarnes Sep 3, 2008 04:10 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Vetter
                                                                                                                                                        mrsmoonie RE: Vetter Nov 25, 2009 03:15 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrsmoonie
                                                                                                                                                          The Professor RE: mrsmoonie Nov 25, 2009 05:22 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mrsmoonie
                                                                                                                                                            JennyLeah RE: mrsmoonie Nov 29, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Wait, it doesn't??!

                                                                                                                                                        2. danhole RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                            adventuresinbaking RE: danhole Sep 1, 2008 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                              joda RE: adventuresinbaking Sep 7, 2008 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                              Cheflambo RE: danhole Sep 2, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                Raedia RE: Cheflambo Sep 2, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                  sablemerle RE: Raedia Sep 6, 2008 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                    lannanh RE: Raedia Jan 6, 2010 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                      moonmau RE: lannanh Oct 23, 2010 04:04 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Raedia
                                                                                                                                                                      betsydiver RE: Raedia Jul 25, 2010 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                      LJS RE: Cheflambo Sep 2, 2008 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                        danhole RE: LJS Sep 2, 2008 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                          joan mar RE: LJS Sep 10, 2008 11:44 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LJS
                                                                                                                                                                            jarona RE: LJS Nov 19, 2008 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                              danhole RE: jarona Nov 19, 2008 12:45 PM


                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                LJS RE: danhole Jun 8, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                              soyummmy RE: LJS Aug 16, 2009 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                              alanbarnes RE: Cheflambo Sep 2, 2008 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                danhole RE: alanbarnes Sep 2, 2008 02:53 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheflambo RE: alanbarnes Sep 4, 2008 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg RE: Cheflambo Sep 9, 2008 05:44 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                                                    Virginia Girl RE: alanbarnes Jun 20, 2009 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                    chicaraleigh RE: Cheflambo Sep 9, 2008 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                      rememberme RE: chicaraleigh Dec 8, 2008 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                      ghammers RE: Cheflambo Aug 28, 2009 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                      laliz RE: danhole Sep 9, 2008 01:47 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laliz
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sam Fujisaka RE: laliz Sep 9, 2008 02:00 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                          jenn RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 9, 2008 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka RE: jenn Sep 9, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                              danhole RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 10, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                pikawicca RE: danhole Sep 10, 2008 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                  sleepyscience RE: pikawicca Dec 9, 2008 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                    patmatw RE: sleepyscience Sep 3, 2009 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: danhole Sep 11, 2008 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Teri Davis Newman RE: alkapal Oct 16, 2009 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: Teri Davis Newman Oct 19, 2009 09:25 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Teri Davis Newman RE: alkapal Mar 15, 2011 03:40 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Teri Davis Newman
                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: Teri Davis Newman Mar 16, 2011 04:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          wow, i just saw this! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                    sarahjay RE: danhole Nov 11, 2008 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                              Barbara76137 RE: laliz Nov 5, 2010 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                alanbarnes RE: Barbara76137 Nov 5, 2010 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Barbara76137 RE: alanbarnes Nov 5, 2010 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                    alanbarnes RE: Barbara76137 Nov 5, 2010 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                      foiegras RE: alanbarnes Dec 27, 2011 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ZenSojourner RE: Barbara76137 Nov 5, 2010 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                        alanbarnes RE: ZenSojourner Nov 5, 2010 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or maybe it just tastes good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg RE: ZenSojourner Nov 6, 2010 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                            chicgail RE: ZenSojourner Jun 4, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Professor RE: chicgail Jun 10, 2011 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fried salami is especially good in soft scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                    dekethedog RE: danhole Sep 23, 2010 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aislyn RE: danhole Jan 31, 2012 06:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      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. poached RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sdenred RE: poached Sep 8, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So now you're a Pescajellaterian?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                        GeeBeeEmm RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LisaMarie86 RE: GeeBeeEmm Aug 28, 2009 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                            patmatw RE: LisaMarie86 Sep 3, 2009 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                              nosey RE: LisaMarie86 Sep 8, 2009 06:59 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nosey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Professor RE: nosey Sep 9, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why couldn't you eat it now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nosey RE: The Professor Oct 22, 2009 07:25 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Firegoat RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Firegoat RE: Firegoat Sep 1, 2008 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                dekethedog RE: Firegoat Sep 23, 2010 09:37 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                chocoaddict RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dratlover RE: chocoaddict Sep 6, 2011 11:45 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cakegirl RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cakegirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    petitgateau RE: Cakegirl Sep 1, 2008 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: petitgateau Sep 3, 2008 04:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        howboy RE: petitgateau Sep 4, 2008 07:29 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: howboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sccrash RE: howboy Nov 7, 2009 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          joan mar RE: petitgateau Sep 10, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mlgb RE: joan mar Sep 10, 2008 03:38 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: joan mar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jenn RE: joan mar Sep 10, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                nosey RE: joan mar Sep 11, 2008 06:06 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Cakegirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sparkina RE: Cakegirl Aug 12, 2009 01:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RavenWilde RE: Cakegirl Nov 4, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hill food RE: RavenWilde Nov 5, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love toasted onion sandwiches

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  will have to try the mayo and corn next season

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RavenWilde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bubblybarrister RE: RavenWilde Nov 4, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Barbara76137 RE: Cakegirl Nov 5, 2010 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    '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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg RE: Barbara76137 Nov 6, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now home-made Apple Jack whiskey is another matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    torty RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LJS RE: torty Sep 3, 2008 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pondrat RE: LJS Sep 3, 2008 01:47 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their website is a childhood flashback:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pondrat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LJS RE: pondrat Sep 4, 2008 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rememberme RE: pondrat Dec 8, 2008 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            torty RE: LJS Sep 5, 2008 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              smalt RE: torty Sep 8, 2008 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1-2-3 Jello!

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. capeanne RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mar52 RE: capeanne Sep 1, 2008 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: mar52 Sep 2, 2008 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              baa-baa baaaaad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mar52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                danhole RE: mar52 Sep 2, 2008 09:40 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Firegoat RE: danhole Sep 2, 2008 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oakjoan RE: Firegoat Sep 3, 2008 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      susancinsf RE: oakjoan Sep 7, 2008 10:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bigley9 RE: susancinsf Oct 23, 2008 11:51 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bigley9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rememberme RE: Bigley9 Dec 8, 2008 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal RE: rememberme Dec 8, 2008 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mnosyne RE: danhole Sep 2, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shayna Madel RE: mar52 Sep 27, 2008 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My brother calls tongue the food that tastes you back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shayna Madel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: Shayna Madel Sep 29, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      shayna, that is a really good one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shayna Madel RE: alkapal Oct 1, 2008 09:29 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mar52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      foiegras RE: mar52 Dec 10, 2009 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: foiegras Dec 11, 2009 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foiegras RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2009 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bigley9 RE: foiegras Dec 17, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deedine RE: foiegras Dec 17, 2010 03:32 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: foiegras
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bigley9 RE: foiegras Dec 16, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          joan mar RE: capeanne Sep 10, 2008 11:57 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nosey RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lasagne made with cottage cheese!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nosey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            16crab RE: nosey Oct 18, 2009 04:42 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sugar RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              foodwich RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: foodwich Sep 2, 2008 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  foodwich RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hill food RE: foodwich Sep 5, 2008 09:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  danhole RE: foodwich Sep 2, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Vetter RE: foodwich Sep 2, 2008 09:04 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vetter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: Vetter Sep 3, 2008 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coll RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tmso RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rememberme RE: Vetter Dec 8, 2008 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal RE: rememberme Dec 8, 2008 08:39 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rememberme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hill food RE: rememberme May 21, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd eat that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rememberme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                recipelover RE: rememberme Jul 16, 2009 05:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hill food RE: recipelover Jul 16, 2009 07:46 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: foodwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              howboy RE: foodwich Sep 4, 2008 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Geez, sounds like something out of Sybil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              garfish RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                susabella RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  smartie RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ErikaZ RE: smartie Sep 2, 2008 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bigley9 RE: ErikaZ Oct 23, 2008 11:55 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ErikaZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        beekeroc RE: ErikaZ Nov 26, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aislyn RE: beekeroc Jan 31, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bubblybarrister RE: smartie Nov 4, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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. Emme RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          poptart RE: Emme Sep 2, 2008 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: Emme Sep 2, 2008 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mdepsmom RE: Emme Sep 9, 2008 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Professor RE: mdepsmom Sep 10, 2008 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Firegoat RE: The Professor Sep 10, 2008 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rememberme RE: The Professor Dec 8, 2008 10:15 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Virginia Girl RE: The Professor Jun 20, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Professor RE: Virginia Girl Jul 8, 2009 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          EWSflash RE: The Professor Aug 16, 2009 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now THAT sounds good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Doh RE: The Professor Sep 16, 2009 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Professor RE: Doh Sep 16, 2009 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. rudeboy RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oakjoan RE: rudeboy Sep 3, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        jenn RE: rudeboy Sep 4, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          iowagirl RE: rudeboy Sep 5, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rudeboy RE: iowagirl Sep 6, 2008 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Barbara76137 RE: rudeboy Nov 5, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            iheartcooking RE: rudeboy Sep 30, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hill food RE: iheartcooking Oct 2, 2010 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Agent Orange RE: alkapal Sep 1, 2008 10:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              betsydiver RE: Agent Orange Jul 25, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              swsidejim RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat RE: swsidejim Sep 2, 2008 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rememberme RE: Firegoat Dec 8, 2008 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ginnyhw RE: swsidejim Sep 2, 2008 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Veggo RE: ginnyhw Sep 2, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Firegoat RE: Veggo Sep 2, 2008 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        recipelover RE: Veggo Jul 16, 2009 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        swsidejim RE: ginnyhw Sep 2, 2008 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Firegoat RE: swsidejim Sep 2, 2008 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            swsidejim RE: Firegoat Sep 2, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cheflambo RE: Firegoat Sep 4, 2008 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                vorpal RE: Cheflambo Oct 23, 2008 08:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pikawicca RE: ginnyhw Sep 7, 2008 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alanbarnes RE: pikawicca Sep 7, 2008 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CookieWeasel RE: ginnyhw Aug 24, 2009 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                coll RE: CookieWeasel Aug 27, 2009 04:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nvcook RE: swsidejim Sep 2, 2008 03:23 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nvcook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat RE: nvcook Sep 2, 2008 03:37 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  swsidejim RE: Firegoat Sep 3, 2008 05:19 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: swsidejim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: swsidejim Sep 3, 2008 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Professor RE: swsidejim Sep 6, 2008 10:35 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coll RE: The Professor Sep 6, 2008 03:08 PM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cinnamon RE: The Professor May 24, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MrsCris RE: Firegoat Sep 12, 2008 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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. Veggo RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg RE: Veggo Sep 9, 2008 05:51 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. ipsedixit RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 09:42 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bless her heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. MplsM ary RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          jenn RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oakjoan RE: jenn Sep 3, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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. Firegoat RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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. Petrichor RE: alkapal Sep 2, 2008 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lovessushi RE: Petrichor Sep 2, 2008 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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. alkapal RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Veggo RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal RE: Veggo Sep 3, 2008 06:38 AM

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Veggo RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    foodwich RE: alkapal Sep 4, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bflocat RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What a great post! I grew up in the '80s and my mom made many of the things listed here already, like spaghetti with meat sauce (prego poured over undrained ground beef), cream cheese and jelly sandwiches (still eat 'em!), s**t on a shingle, and American Chop Suey. We also got:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Tuna Melts: creamed tuna on english muffins topped with american cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Tex-Mex Dip: a packet of taco seasoning stirred into refried beans, topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar, and occasionally some jarred salsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Chicken Casserole: boiled chicken placed in baking pan, covered with canned cream of chicken soup, broccoli, and american cheese and baked until the broccoli is mushy and drab green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's the running joke in our family that both my brother and I turned out to be great (and enthusiastic) cooks!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bflocat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pine time RE: bflocat Dec 29, 2011 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, the dreaded chicken casserole! Mom baked the heck out of chicken breasts, then poured cream of whatever soup over them. I still can't eat a hunk o' chicken breast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. hannaone RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There was another thread about a year ago similar to this (something about food in the sixties) where a sub thread got into the horrible dishes. Since that thread I have thought about the food of my childhood, and while my mother often used recipes from can and box labels and cooked some really bad concoctions (I think I've had nearly everything mentioned in this thread), those meals were really the exceptions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My father hunted and fished often so we had fresh game and fish, usually prepared very well, throughout the year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My uncle owned a farm where he raised and sheep, hogs, and had several acres of corn fields and other other veggies, so we had a lot of fresh mutton, pork, and fresh harvest vegetables.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My family raised rabbits, so a lot of fresh rabbit was on the table.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mother made some of the best hand made tortillas, both corn and flour, and baked the best bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My father's cooking derived from cow camps and other "free range" style camps. He made the best breakfast meals with home made pancakes, "campfire" biscuits and gravy, and fresh meat/veggie scrambles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But since this really good food was the norm, the "bad" stuff stands out in memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hannaone RE: hannaone Sep 12, 2008 01:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dad's Hash Browns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 large Idaho Spuds (russet potato's)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Large Onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 medium green pepper (Bell Pepper)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tablespoons Bacon Grease (more as needed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Salty Pepper (his mix of salt and pepper, roughly 1/2 measure of salt to 1 measure of pepper)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shred the potato then rinse in cold water. Place in a bowl and cover with luke warm water. Let sit ten to fifteen minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cut the onion in half from top to bottom, then thin slice each half cross wise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cut the Bell Pepper in half from top to bottom, then slice into thin strips, also from top to bottom.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Drain the potatos, then roll in a paper towel to remove more moisture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, then add bacon grease.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add onion to hot grease and cook to a light brown, remove from skillet and drain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add more grease if needed, then add bell pepper to hot grease. Cook until lightly browned, remove from skillet and drain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add potato to hot grease in a thin layer (depending on skillet size you may need to cook in two or three batches) and cook to a light golden brown, turning once only.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Place potato, onion, and bell pepper into a large mixing bowl and toss until well mixed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Serve with crisp fried bacon, over easy eggs, and thick sliced toast, adding "salty pepper" to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Barbara76137 RE: hannaone Nov 5, 2010 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hannaone, could your family adopt me? :))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. pondrat RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom used to do asparagus in a pressure cooker...part of that whole WW2 generation that thought undercooked (anything) could give you trichinosos or tapeworm. It was the food equivalent of her warnings about breaking your neck or poking your eye out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you ever seen what's left of asparagus after pressure cooking for any period of time ? Not pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rinkatink888 RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I grew up in a small town in Wyoming where my parents ran a family-owned Chinese-American restaurant for over 30 years. Many of the foods they prepared were hybrids, due to the fact, Chinese ingredients were not as accessible as they are today, but most of folks in that town grew up loving the food and adapted it to their palate. My parents retired in the late 80’s; however, when I go back to visit my hometown, many of the old-timers remembered my parents and their restaurant fondly and wished they could eat at the restaurant again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One of my favorite dishes at the restaurant is mom’s spaghetti she serves every Wednesday. The ingredients, in the sauce, were a mix of catsup, sugar, Heinz 57, Worchester, ground beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, etc. She would mix all the ingredients in the wok, put the cooked spaghetti in, mix it all up and serve. I grew up with it and loved every bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Until I went to college, that was the closest I had to “Italian” spaghetti, unless you count chef Boyardee. I remembered a few conversations I had with my classmates about Mom’s version of spaghetti and a few laughed because they thought the ingredients were a weird combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Over the years I had forgotten about Mom’s spaghetti until 5 years ago when my daughter brought it up. She mentioned the few times she visited my parent’s restaurant, how much she liked their spaghetti and I realized too, how much I missed her spaghetti. By that time, she and my dad had retired and moved to Southern California, closed to where I live. During that time, I realized all the food she cooked, including the many foods she cooked for us from her Canton village were all in her head and was never written down. I realized once she’s gone, those recipes she created will be gone too. Because she could never tell me how her food is cooked, I started to watch her cooking and wrote the ingredients down and how she processes her ingredients with her cooking style. One of those was her spaghetti recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After several tries to make it taste like my Mom’s, I was able to come up with measurements for each of the ingredients, and tried it out on my family. With the exception of my significant other (he’s likes the true Italian pasta since he grew up with an Italian family and he hates catsup), they absolutely loved it and seeing the nostalgia look on the faces, it was worth it writing it down, and now I make it on a regular basis but my significant other still won’t eat it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rinkatink888
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jacquelyncoffey RE: rinkatink888 Sep 4, 2008 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, reading that your mom is from Canton, this is off-post, but I'm going to try anyway. I grew up in the Northeast, where the "Shrimp with Lobster Sauce" was supposedly the same sauce as "Lobster Cantonese". I have tried to make that wonderful pork-filled garlicky sauce, but the recipes are just not what I remember, and those "South Sea - Polynesian" restaurants that made it the way I want it are gone, and as far as I can tell, can't be found. Is it possible that your mom makes this sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jacquelyncoffey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rinkatink888 RE: jacquelyncoffey Sep 6, 2008 10:21 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mom makes Shrimp with lobster sauce, where the ingredients is simply chicken broth, black beans, garlic and ground pork, and at the end, an egg is lightly scramble into the mixture and shrimp, and her version of Cantonese lobster is fresh pieces of cut up lobster, quickly deep fried and mixed into a similar sauce, but it's slightly thicken with corn sauce, whereas, the shrimp with lobster sauce is slightly runny. Both dishes are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jacquelyncoffey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman RE: jacquelyncoffey Sep 11, 2009 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, memories: Chinese restaurants, and one in particular, were our family's favorite when eating out. We always ordered Lobster Cantonese--chunks of lobster in a rather bland sauce (this was my mom's absolute favorite) as well as Shrimp w/lobster sauce--thick garlicky greyish brown sauce w/ some scrambled egg white in it, onion, lots of ground pork, large shrimp (we all loved this). My mother grouses all the time that you can't get decent Cantonese anymore and has fits when she orders Shrimp w/LS and it comes with peas and diced carrots and a runny egg white sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                beggsy RE: alkapal Sep 3, 2008 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bologna Birds! Seriously. Bought big cylinders of bologna and sliced rounds on the thick side; rolled up with stuffing (homemade, I'm sure -- they didn't have Stove Top then); held together with a toothpick and baked in oven until hot. Looked more like a taco when done.. didn't roll well. Yum!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mgwerks RE: alkapal Sep 4, 2008 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom? Grape jelly on her corned beef hash. 'Nuff said on why I learned to cook for myself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mgwerks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Firegoat RE: mgwerks Sep 4, 2008 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll eat grape jelly on a sausage mcmuffin.... if I'm wrong... I don't want to be right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: Firegoat Sep 4, 2008 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yes firegoat, "if lovin' you is wrong, i don't wanna be right." <alkapal singing to her biscuit with jelly and sausage.>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <regards to jfood for his contribution to this post> ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. alkapal RE: alkapal Sep 5, 2008 03:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i've posted my mom's good cobbler recipe on chow recipes: ""Mom's Super Easy Fruit Cobbler". Best served warm out of the oven with good vanilla ice cream!


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      danhole RE: alkapal Sep 5, 2008 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So where is that porcupine recipe? Waiting patiently!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: danhole Sep 5, 2008 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        look in chow recipes tomorrow! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Peg RE: alkapal Sep 5, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mom rarely cooked fish. One thing she made was a casserole that I deduce was made by putting in a dish: canned tomatoes, raw sliced onions, white fish fillets and dried herbs. This was baked at an evidently high temperature until the desired result was acheived - hot tomatoes, semi-raw onions and overcooked tough fish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And before anyone makes remarks about English cooking - my mom was from Yonkers, NY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sam Fujisaka RE: alkapal Sep 5, 2008 10:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, my experience is quite different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mother, the aunties on both sides, most of my cousins on both sides were/are great cooks. Everything cooked from scratch; lots of baking; classic sauces and methods; attention to presentation; but nothing fu - fu; all major ethnic/country foods! I'm about in the middle in terms of skills. My mother used to laugh at/be disgusted by how all of your mothers (over)cooked vegetables. I cannot scoff at mom's cooking at all--unfortunately, I have to go through lilfe trying to improve. AND, when I was growing up cooking was not something that one tried to do or become good at doing, it was something that everyone should simply know how to do. Poor mom, she was also ashamed that I got a research PhD ("Piled higher and deeper" to her) instead of a MD.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hill food RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 6, 2008 01:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nothing to be embarassed by? oh Sam, I always appreciate your posts, but what a thin warp to treadle. what a wasteland of aimless teenage angst. no focus? no gripes? what an unfulfilled adolescent existence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          c'mon, surely there are some culinary "mash-ups" to draw from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I laugh 'cause my mom grew up mostly on farms and has no clue (bless her heart) what's done to produce fresh straight off the field, that's great - store-bought, frozen or canned (even self-canned), mmm, done wrong. really dangerously wrong. we all have gripes, but fresh greens and leafies should never be considered dessicants.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka RE: hill food Sep 6, 2008 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, LOADS of teenage angst...but just well fed angst! And at those family get togethers, everyone would have to tell a "Do you remember the time that Sammmy..." Then 10 minutes later hard of hearing Uncle Herb would pop up with, "Do you remember the time that Sammmy..." Tales about setting a dry field on fire after shooting an arrow with a lit sparkler attached, running for the tractor to put it out, and breaking a short irrigation stand pipe in doing so; or the time that a firecracker got tossed into the BBQ for laughs...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hill food RE: Sam Fujisaka Sep 6, 2008 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              looking back I wouldn't trust myself with a burnt-out match at age 12.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I'd only researched more discreet accelerants, I (and many cohorts) might have had quite different careers today...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I meant to be more articulate (than 4:00 AM EST allowed - dang Hanna waking me) that 'mash-ups' meant given where you've lived, some interesting cross-regional and unlikely dishes, that may have absolutely nothing to do with family may have been found.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          corabeth RE: alkapal Sep 6, 2008 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother, grandmothers, aunts, etc, were all excellent cooks. I grew up in West Virginia & their cooking style was just basic southern home cooking. Both sets of grandparents had dairy farms, so all the cooks in my family used fresh cream & butter in their cooking(my maternal grandmother made her own cottage cheese!) Also, all breads, yeast rolls, pie crusts, biscuits, were make with lard & the eggs were, of course, from their own chickens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Meat was from home butchered steers and hogs, fresh killed chickens, & squirrels,rabbits(both wild & domestic). Vegetables & fruits were either grown in LARGE gardens or picked wild(blackberries, etc). The excess veggies and fruits were canned,frozen,made into jellies, jams, conserves, Hickory nuts were gathered to use in baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now, of course if these ladies had been terrible cooks, then all those wonderful ingredients would have been ruined. But, they were all excellent cooks and bakers. It would take pages to list all the wonderful meals they produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I still use their recipes with the freshest ingredients I can find and now my daughter is also cooking in the same way. When our family gets together for holiday,birthday meals I cook very much the same way my mother, grandmothers, & aunts cooked- fried chicken with all the "fixens" is their favorite and I am nto allowed to deviate in any way from the my tried & true menu.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: corabeth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            foodisgreat RE: corabeth Sep 6, 2008 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All of this is a great read to a new reader. Brings back many great memories. My mom worked as much or more than my dad and rest of us in an old country store we had, so in busy periods there was no time for her cooking - everyone ate on the run in the store or, if lucky, we had some heated up, out of the can dishes as have been mentioned in these postings. But when my mom did have time to cook she was a great cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We also had a small farm and raised, slaughtered, processed (or had processed) all our beef, pork, poultry. Mother made the best beef roast (& absolutely the best gravy of any type I've ever had) from chuck. She'd mix up some vinegar, dry or yellow mustard, & pepper, pour that over the roast on a rack in a big dutch oven (with little water in bottom) & put in on back of stove to slowly cook. That flavored steam would rise, fall back down over roast, & flavor it so wonderfully. Then she would brown flour on a cookie sheet in the oven. After roast was done, she'd boil down the water & juices, stir in the browned flour, cook it a bit to make this best of all gravies. If I had that gravy over bread or potatoes, I didn't need any meat. I had this recipe (which came out of an old Garrett's Snuff pocket memo book), but lost it years ago. I've since tried to make this roast & gravy but never get the proportions of the vinegar-mustard-pepper mix just right (plus it's me rather than her trying to cook it).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Someone mentioned brains in one post. A real treasured breakfast at home was brains & scrambled eggs after we had killed a beef - a production of both my mom & dad. The brains were cleaned and simmered or poached until they were done, then were added into the eggs as they were being scrambled. So delicious! Although the brains were the meat, for some reason we always also had bacon with this breakfast, as well as toast (whereas biscuits were our usual breakfast bread). Never ran into but one other person who was familiar with this breakfast - a guy who grew up on a northern Calif. ranch & who I was in the Navy with down in Texas. One weekend Wally somewhere got some fresh calf brains, so he & I cooked this great breakfast. At first none of the other guys who lived there or other folks who were over would touch it, but once anyone ever tried a spoon full, you couldn't keep them away from the bowl. I've had people tell me they have tasted these canned pork brains & how bad they are; I agree, they are gross, but brains & eggs I've described is something entirely different. Haven't had any in years & doubt will ever have any more; have read brains now a "no-no" because of mad cow disease danger, but that old brains & eggs was one great dish. Can nearly smell & taste that breakfast, just thinking of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Several people mentioned tongue. We never kept the beef tongue, but my aunt who lived in town (and who was by far the most sophisticated family member) always wanted it. She somehow cooked it & then used it for sandwiches. We did occasionally have beef liver but always gave away or threw away the parts known in fancy cooking circles as sweetbreads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We also always had big gardens & a number of fruit trees, and my mother & grandmother were both great fresh fruits & vegetable cooks as well as "put up" (first canning, then later freezing) so many of them. Only criticism was their, as others have mentioned, overcooking - but thank goodness for some reason only cabbage; never any other vegetable. Couldn't eat cooked cabbage until I was grown & discovered elsewhere that it didn't have to be cooked into a white mush. And my mother spoiled me about celery. Never knew anyone, including self, to so thoroughly string it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have written too much here, but thanks for so many great memories stoked by reading all your posts - and have made myself hungry with all this food thinking. Time for lunch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              danhole RE: foodisgreat Sep 6, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You are a lucky person! I am jealous of you and Sam, also. My mom's roast was boiled in a full pot of water. ICK!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                coll RE: foodisgreat Sep 6, 2008 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My Mom's specialty was roasts, but I never heard of roasting the flour for the gravy, I'm definitely trying that soon! And Sam's stories sound sort of familiar...someone close to me may have done something very similar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My friends in SA always tell me about brains and eggs, too bad I'll probably never get to try them now. They speak of it as one of the ultimate foods.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cimui RE: foodisgreat Sep 6, 2008 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  what a beautiful post, foodisgreat! i can almost taste the brains and eggs from your description, though i've never tried them. now i really want to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cimui
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    foodisgreat RE: cimui Sep 7, 2008 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for you good folks kind comments. Pleasant surprise to hear of your friends' familiarity with and love of brains & eggs, coll. They speak the truth. Surely wish you and cimui could try the dish. Unbelievable the flavor the brains add to the scrambled eggs, & they also improve the texture. Maybe some day we will be able to get calves brains again and can all have this great dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And, coll, only thing I know about my mother's oven browning the flour for that particular beef roast gravy is that the recipe called for it to be done that way. She also oven browned flour for a roast chicken gravy, but did not do so for any of the other gravies she made. Don't know if any significance, but those were my favorite two of all her gravies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As much as I enjoyed my mother's roasts, I'm sure sorry for your childhood "boiled roast" experiences, danhole. Hope subsequent roast you've had have more than made up for those early experiences.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll RE: foodisgreat Sep 7, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well now you've put two bees in my bonnet! Brains, I'll just dream about and wait for an opportunity someday, but the browned flour idea is just in time for fall cooking! I'll try it soon and if it's well received, my Thanksgiving gravy could be upgraded this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        foodisgreat RE: coll Sep 7, 2008 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Best of luck with your oven browned flour gravy, coll. As said, don't know why my mother did the oven browning for only these two gravies and no others, so don't know how you experiment will come out. Hope it's good. I know she sifted the flour, covered the cookie sheet fairly thinly, and kept good watch on it to keep it from getting too brown or burning. Again, good luck. Be interesting to know your result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whosyerkitty's mention of cake frosting and delicious sounding meatloaf recipe given below remind me of two other foods from the years I was growing up. I have never been a big coconut cake fan, usually liking other cakes much better, but one aunt made a coconut cake from fresh coconut that was by far the best coconut, & one of the best cakes of any type, I've ever had. After she died, both my mother & other aunt would occasionally attempt to make this cake using her recipe, but they would readily admit, and everyone in the family would agree, their coconut cakes were nowhere nearly as good as were Aunt Vera's. And I've, to this day, never eaten any other coconut cake which approached hers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        During those years an Italian family owned a drugstore with a lunch counter in our county seat town. Whenever there with my dad & going to have lunch, I always wanted to go to Henry's for the meatloaf. It was a very "loose" meatloaf, the most so of any I've ever seen, baked in a big commercial sized pan, and it had a number of vegetables cooked in it. I don't remember what all, but I know some green beans & carrot pieces in addition to tomatoes & onions, and was fairly "spicy". Never saw any other like it, but it surely was good - one of, if not my very favorite, of all meatloaves.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coll RE: foodisgreat Sep 8, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the recipe, I'm making a turkey breast later this week, and will try this instead of the usual cornstarch. Since we like toasted breadcrumbs in certain dishes, I think there will be some good reviews! Browned is always better than raw in my book..

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            foodisgreat RE: coll Sep 8, 2008 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surely hope the browned flour gravy for that turkey breast comes out OK, coll. Imagine it will, but one never knows. For fried chicken, chicken fried steak, etc. gravy my mother sprinkled the raw flour into some of the drippings & food particles in the skilled, stirred it all around, browned the flour that way, added water, and continued to cook. (With some gravies my grandmother used milk rather than water, but my mother always used water to make brown gravy.) Assume that is somewhat the way you use the cornstarch. I cannot remember how she made turkey gravy - always a whole turkey roasted in different ways in the oven. Don't remember if she used the browned flour or browned the flour in the drippings. Know it was always a light tan rather creamy "giblet" gravy - always with giblets & sometime with chopped hard boiled eggs - the way everyone made it when I was growing up. Again, best of luck to you. Let us know how you come out. PS - As you likely can tell, I am not a very good gravy maker, though surely love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              coll RE: foodisgreat Sep 9, 2008 01:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Similar, but I add wine or vermouth to the cornstarch before adding to the drippings (and more to the pan to deglaze first). So it's a slurry. Then at the end I add some milk to lighten the color a little. My turkey and chicken gravy always came out great from the first time I made them, but for beef I usually do more of an au jus because I was never crazy with my gravy results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll let you know in a few days how the flour works out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat RE: foodisgreat Sep 9, 2008 03:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one thing I did learn about making gravy from my mother is now a yearly joke..... "don't throw out the potato water!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mom was having Thanksgiving at her house, which meant about 25 people, two turkeys, and lots of hectic activity in the kitchen. Somehow I was told to watch the potatos which were boiling away to become mashed soon. They were done, so I took them to the sink to dump the water, and there was this shrill shriek from my mom. (who rarely if ever raises her voice and certainly never curses.) She screamed across the kitchen ... "do NOT throw out the potato water!!!!!" As if I'd just stabbed the president or some such. We've never seen her either before or since lose her composure so completely. Now every Thanksgiving, no matter where it is held, the potato water joke resurfaces. (I had no idea about the starchy water needed for gravy.... I swear!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  patmatw RE: Firegoat Sep 3, 2009 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did exactly the same thing at a friends Thanksgiving dinner once, trying to "help" but it was the carrot water. They teased me about the lousy gravy that year for years!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: foodisgreat Sep 9, 2008 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  foodisgreat, that is *exactly* how my mom makes her turkey gravy with giblets, technique and ingredients, including the eggs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  my mom grew up in the depression-era florida panhandle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  her dressing is good too, with day-old cornbread, and not stuffed in the turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    foodisgreat RE: alkapal Sep 9, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your comment above sounds similar to what I was trying to describe as my mother's doing when making gravy, coll, except she didn't use the milk. As for beef gravies - seemed they all differed - pot roast was one thing, chicken fried steak another, broiled steak yet another, and my favorite of all was that vinegar-mustard-pepper chuck roast gravy. Will await word of your results with the browned flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    None of my folks ever used the potato water in making any gravy, Firegoat, but your mentioning that reminds me of someone who used the potato water in gravy making. Had totally forgotten that, and can't remember who used it, but someone I've known surely did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And your comment, Firegoat, re Thanksgiving dinner and your comments, alkapal, about your mom's giblet gravy & cornbread dressing remind me of two thing. I lived in Mobile, AL, for about 30 years and know that central Gulf Coast dressing and giblet gravy is about the same as & as good as is ours here in Arkansas. Only difference is we never had the oyster dressing here which some folks along the Gulf Coast make. All dressings, so long as made mainly with cornbread, are good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did for a number of years get to enjoy one great dressing at friends in Spanish Fort, AL, which I've never seen anywhere else. Mrs. Lambert, who was originally from up near Birmingham, said she learned it from her Irish mother-in-law. She would boil Irish potatoes and make them into mashed potatoes except would put no milk or cream in them (some butter & a little chicken or turkey broth if needed to moisten them a little). Then she would shred these raw Irish potatoes, rinse & thoroughly ring them out several times (said she was getting the starch out of them) and would then stir the raw shredded potatoes into the cooked mashed potatoes. She would then add onion, celery, giblets, chopped boiled egg, all the traditional things and all the traditional seasonings one would add to regular cornbread dressing to this potato mixture. She would then stir into in this mixture some of the giblet gravy (she usually cooked a hen in addition to the turkey for added broth, giblets, gravies, etc.), place the potato dressing around (not in) the partially done turkey and prepare an extra pan of it, all of which she would then top with a light coating of giblet gravy and cook it in the oven as the turkey finished roasting. She would not serve mashed potatoes with her "turkey dinner" as I was accustomed to having, for in the "dressing" she had both the potatoes and dressing. This really was good but seemed to me that it was an awful lot of work, more so than making regular dressing and mashed potatoes. Maybe that is reason I've never seen or heard of it elsewhere, but it was something really good, interesting, & different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've also had a number of friends in southern Illinois, most of whom do "southern cooking" except for dressing. About half the families I know there make southern cornbread dressing but the other half make "light bread" yankee dressing. I remember being there one Christmas when Barbara had had a "Christmas job" in a store which lasted right through Christmas Eve. The next day at Christmas dinner she was apologizing all over the place about being so busy this year she did not have time to make dressing and had to use some of this boxed dressing mix. Remember when tasting it thinking, "Thank you, Lord, for small favors", for this Stovetop or what ever it was dressing was so much better than her made from scratch "light bread dressing" had ever been. (That's just my dressing preference; know some of you differ, which is entirely fine with me. Everyone to his own thing - or taste).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka RE: foodisgreat Sep 9, 2008 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your posts on this thread are wonderful. You could and probably should write a book (same with many of the Hounds on these boards). Just don't let any Yankee change your style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cimui RE: foodisgreat Sep 10, 2008 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the potato dressing sounds fabulous, foodisgreat. this is something i'll have to try for a friend who's allergic to wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foodisgreat RE: cimui Sep 10, 2008 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks so much, Sam, for your too kind comments, and I have surely enjoyed reading your posts; in fact, I've so enjoyed all posts I've gotten to since just recently finding this chowhound group. Such an interesting, informative, really nice bunch of folks. Never ran into any other group like this. A real blessing to find all you fine people. By the way, probably no or nothing yankee would ever have me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And, cimui, I never thought of Mrs. Lambert''s potato dressing as being a possible dish for a person with wheat allergies, though it just might be. Know a restaurant in Pensacola served a flourless cake (believe it was made mainly from ground pecans or some type nuts) which was really good. Restaurant owner made it because her husband had wheat allergies. A question, would dressing made from mainly cornbread but with a little wheat based bread of some type in it be enough wheat to impact one with wheat allergy? Guess likely so, at least in worst allergy cases. Even though I many times ate (and some times helped with) Mrs. Lambert's potato dressing, I can't remember all the details - like exactly how long she cooked it, but guess one could just keep a watch on it. I know the shredded potatoes which were raw when mixed into the cooked mashed potatoes wound up fully cooked when the dressing was done, but they still had a substance, some texture to them which the mashed potato part did not have; could distinguish them in the done dressing. And don't remember how much giblet gravy she added to the mixture - guess just enough to add some flavor & moisture but not make it too "soupy", Know it firmed up nicely and the gravy spread thinly on top made a nice little crust. Am sure you could do this with just a turkey breast or some smaller fowl, not limited to when roast a big turkey. Best of luck. Surely hope this works for your friend. Let us know, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll RE: foodisgreat Sep 13, 2008 01:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The browned flour gravy was a hit, so much better than raw flour or cornstarch. So velvet-y. From now on I'm using cornstarch only for Chinese food. Thanks for a big moment of revelation, foodisgreat! And just in time for the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        foodisgreat RE: coll Sep 13, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So happy to hear, coll, that the browned flour gravy made for the turkey breast came out so well. That is great news. I'll have to start using it in more gravies myself - have over the years pretty well limited its use to those attempts at that brisket roast gravy and to the roast chicken. Have mainly used raw flour for others. Enjoy it with all that upcoming holiday cooking. Know my mother is happy that this bit of info has been of some benefit to someone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jenn RE: coll Sep 8, 2008 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My understanding is that mad cow disease takes YEARS and YEARS to develop, even if you do scarf down some bad brains or whatever. As I see it, that means when I turn about 75, I can try brains and scrambled eggs, regardless of what food scare is going round at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I'm crazy [or should that be "ier"?] when I'm in my late 80's who will know if its bad brains or common household dementia!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Its nice to have something to look forward to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jenn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    foodisgreat RE: jenn Sep 8, 2008 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much, Jenn, for this info re the long incubation period for mad cow disease. With that being the case, at my age I can now eat every cow brain that came down the pike with absolutely no worry. And I know that I'm already to the point (at times at least) where I (and probably others) think I'm crazy, whatever the cause.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jenn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coll RE: jenn Sep 9, 2008 01:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You think like me, the older I get the more free I feel from worries like this. Never thought I'd make it this far!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        foodisgreat RE: coll Sep 9, 2008 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good way to look at most things, coll, and same here about being surprised to have made it this far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    danhole RE: foodisgreat Sep 8, 2008 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    food . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I got married one of the first things I wanted to conquer was a pot roast. It took me several tries before I finally got the technique down, and believe me, it does NOT involve boiling! It is one of the best things I make, and my DH begs for it, but it is not a summer time dish! As soon as it gets a bit cooler I will make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As far as the browned flour goes, I remember seeing Paul Prudhomme cook some flour in the skillet, getting it to a perfect light brown color and then quickly taking it out of the pan so it would stop cooking. It was not the same technique as making a roux, though. If I can find more on that particular episode I will share the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      foodisgreat RE: danhole Sep 8, 2008 08:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      danhole, I bet you've gotten that pot roast technique down to the point where each one comes out a masterpiece. I didn't mean to imply that you boiled your roasts; thought (perhaps incorrectly) that I read you'd said your mom boiled her roasts. Agree with you that summer is not the best time for making or having such a dish. Think I've gone the "summer foods" route more so this year than I've ever done before. Come a little cooler weather, some good, hearty dishes will really be tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your description of the Paul Prudhomme skillet browning flour method sounds like it produces same result as my mother's oven browning it. Understand your comment that it is not at all the same as making a roux. It's now been a long time, but I've sure enjoyed some great meals at K-Paul's Louisiana KItchen in years past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodisgreat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        danhole RE: foodisgreat Sep 9, 2008 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, no, I didn't take it as if you were saying I boiled my roasts. Not at all. I was just so desperate for a decent pot roast, that wasn't boiled (lol!) I did my best to learn quickly how to do it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was looking around and I think it was an episode about making stews where he cooked the flour, and then put it off to the side, adding it later. I believe he compared the color to be like a new penny, or slightly lighter than that. I was watching on a B&W portable TV, so I'm not sure what color it was . . . well it looked gray to me - ha! I can't remember if he made a slurry before he added the flour or not. Alkapal? Whatcha think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: danhole Sep 9, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dani, i don't recall the show, but this nyt article descibes the "chocolate-milk" colored browned flour being added into the wet ingredients already hot in the skillet, then stirring to make a paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the article also gives some insights into his cookbook for "low-fat" recipes that don't taste low-fat, e.g., using fruit syrups and using pureed legumes, such as chick peas, as thickeners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            danhole RE: alkapal Sep 9, 2008 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks pal! Maybe it was milk chocolate colored. I know he quickly took it out of the pan, so it didn't get any browner! Interesting article.