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Sep 1, 2008 06:53 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

friday nights growing up was always spaghetti with meat sauce night. she served it with white bread and butter, with a fresh lettuce ,tomato and cucumber salad -- and, iirc, thousand island or french dressing. (when we ate out, dad liked roquefort dressing. mmmm.) i'd get to sit in front of the tv and watch the wild, wild west, with my heartthrob, james west. 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)
and birthday cakes from a mix, that was the extent of her baking sweets.

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

anyhow, enough about moi.

tell me your funny stories, please!

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

    14 Replies
    1. re: jenwee

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

      1. re: YAYME

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

        Pretty weird quest, however.

        1. re: YAYME

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

          1. re: MARISKANY

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

            1. re: chicgail

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

              1. re: terrierboy

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

                1. re: terrierboy

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

                  1. re: fruti

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

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

                    1. re: terrierboy

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

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

                      1. re: coll

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

                        1. re: terrierboy

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

              2. re: MARISKANY

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

                1. re: kubasd

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

              3. re: YAYME

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

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

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

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

              51 Replies
              1. re: tmso

                one acronym to explain that meat sauced spaghetti: wasp.

                1. re: alkapal

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

                  1. re: Agent Orange

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

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      yes, we called it simply "spaghetti" too.

                      1. re: Firegoat

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

                        1. re: Agent Orange

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

                          1. re: aimless1

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

                            1. re: protzman

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

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

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

                              1. re: chicgail

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

                                1. re: kubasd

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

                              2. re: protzman

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

                              3. re: aimless1

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

                                1. re: patmatw

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

                                  1. re: patmatw

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

                                    1. re: jimant60

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

                                      1. re: bubblybarrister

                                        i hope you bought some, bubbly!

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

                                2. re: Agent Orange

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

                              4. re: Agent Orange

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

                                1. re: Agent Orange

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

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

                                  1. re: oakjoan

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

                                    1. re: Erika L

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

                                      1. re: southernitalian

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

                                        1. re: southernitalian

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

                                          1. re: Cinnamon

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

                                        2. re: Erika L

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

                                          1. re: bitsubeats

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

                                            1. re: Cinnamon

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

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

                                              1. re: Cinnamon

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

                                                1. re: Virginia Girl

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

                                                2. re: Cinnamon

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

                                                3. re: bitsubeats

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


                                          2. re: alkapal

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

                                            1. re: Hollyhock

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

                                              1. re: Hollyhock

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

                                              2. re: alkapal

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

                                              3. re: tmso

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

                                                1. re: joda

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

                                                2. re: tmso

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

                                                  1. re: tmso

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

                                                    1. re: kcfields

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

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

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

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

                                                      1. re: alkapal

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

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

                                                        1. re: biondanonima

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

                                                          1. re: janetofreno

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

                                                            1. re: janetofreno

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

                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                              OMG we might have grown up in the same house

                                                              1. re: biondanonima

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

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

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

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

                                                            3. re: kcfields

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

                                                              1. re: riversuzyq

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

                                                                1. re: riversuzyq

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

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

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

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

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

                                                              75 Replies
                                                              1. re: dexters

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

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

                                                                1. re: hannaone

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

                                                                  1. re: hannaone

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

                                                                    1. re: gfr1111

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

                                                                      1. re: Virginia Girl

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

                                                                        1. re: hill food

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

                                                                    2. re: hannaone

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

                                                                    3. re: dexters

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

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

                                                                      1. re: dexters

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

                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

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

                                                                          1. re: chilihead

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

                                                                            1. re: foodisgreat

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

                                                                          2. re: oakjoan

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

                                                                          3. re: dexters

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

                                                                            1. re: joan mar

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

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

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

                                                                              1. re: mlgb

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

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

                                                                                1. re: Shayna Madel

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

                                                                                  1. re: Shayna Madel

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

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

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

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

                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

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

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal


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

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

                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

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

                                                                                        2. re: chicgail

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

                                                                                          1. re: Shayna Madel

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

                                                                                              1. re: iheartcooking

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

                                                                                              2. re: Shayna Madel

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

                                                                                              3. re: mlgb

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

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

                                                                                                1. re: Al_Pal

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

                                                                                                  1. re: aimless1

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

                                                                                                    1. re: Virginia Girl

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

                                                                                                      1. re: joan mar

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

                                                                                                    2. re: aimless1

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

                                                                                                  2. re: mlgb

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

                                                                                                  3. re: joan mar

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

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

                                                                                                    1. re: milkweed

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

                                                                                                  4. re: dexters

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

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

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

                                                                                                    1. re: Al_Pal

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

                                                                                                      1. re: Al_Pal

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

                                                                                                        1. re: Al_Pal

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

                                                                                                          That was never a problem once Fluffernutters came along!

                                                                                                        2. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                          1. re: fallingup

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

                                                                                                            1. re: Doh

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

                                                                                                              1. re: milkyway4679

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

                                                                                                          2. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                            1. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                              1. re: krisrishere

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

                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                  How about peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches?

                                                                                                                2. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                  1. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: mrsmoonie

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

                                                                                                                    2. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                      1. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                        1. re: nosurndr

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

                                                                                                                          1. re: nosurndr

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

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

                                                                                                                            1. re: beethoven

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

                                                                                                                            2. re: nosurndr

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

                                                                                                                            3. re: nosurndr

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

                                                                                                                              1. re: nosurndr

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

                                                                                                                                1. re: nosurndr

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

                                                                                                                                2. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                    what's wrong with cream cheese and jelly?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

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

                                                                                                                                    2. re: biondanonima

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

                                                                                                                                    3. re: dexters

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

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

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

                                                                                                                                        1. re: QueenOfTheSlipstream

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

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pine time

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

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

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

                                                                                                                                        2. re: pine time

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

                                                                                                                                        3. re: dexters

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

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

                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Val

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

                                                                                                                                            1. re: trixel

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

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

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

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

                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

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

                                                                                                                                                  for those who'd like to try it, this will give them an idea:

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

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

                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GTM

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

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

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

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