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Sep 8, 2009 02:49 PM

I miss my mom's______dish!

For anyone whose mom (or whoever cooked in your home) is alive or has passed - but dishes they use to make that you now miss...

I've been thinking of this lately as the holidays are coming and my mother always use to cook up a storm...

Though what I mainly, really, really miss, is my mother's macaroni with meat sauce - this is not a meal she use to make for holidays but one of those everyday meals that somehow, even though it's SO easy, I can't seem to duplicate it!! Just elbow macaroni with ground beef, tomato sauce, spices, and Parmesan on top. Cheap, quick, and the most comforting food ever (imho)

How about you?

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  1. braised meats. braised pork belly and pig feet. it's scary chinese, and none of us eat like that these days- mai chai quo zou (pork belly and preserved mustard), fung ziang zou (pork in roasted broken rice, don't know how else to describe it), duck soup and brased pig feet noodles... i love warm weather and fat meats...

    3 Replies
    1. re: jeniyo

      hmm...I cannot imagine ever eating the above but it certainly sounds interesting! And I'm sorry you don't have it!...

      1. re: jeniyo

        Nothing at all scary about the foods you mentioned...I also grew up in an ethnic household and braised meats and meats redolent with fat were the norm. To this day, I really don't enjoy overly lean meat.
        I also couldn't narrow it down to one (or even five) dishes I missed (that is, missed until I learned to make them). But...I guess that the ancient Mongol influence buried in my Hungarian genes makes the "scary Chinese" dishes you describe things that are definitely on my list of dishes to try. They sound absolutely delicious.

        1. re: jeniyo

          Jeniyo, I was going to list exactly what you already did. One positive thing: I just had pork belly + preserved mustard greens for lunch in NYC (can't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was, of all things, a tourist trap). Bizarre afternoon, sitting there and having to attend to an emergency as well as an elderly man fell right outside of the restaurant, not 6 feet away from us (we helped him to a chair and tried not to embarrass him any further as cops and a crowd gathered and gawped). Having that pork belly, though, made me want to try to make it myself. Maybe soon!

        2. her *killer* matzo balls. fortunately she's very much alive & well, but since i'm gluten-free i can't eat them anymore! not looking forward to watching the rest of the family inhale them at Rosh Hashanah dinner in a couple of weeks...

          9 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Would you be so kind to share the recipe for those "killer" matzo balls?? I love this soup so much. I'm not Jewish, but I stumbled on it when I was in my 30s. My mother (passed), from New York would talk about her bestfriend's "bubbie" and how much she loved that soup!

            1. re: chef chicklet

              chicklet, i don't have the recipe, but i can ask her. FWIW, i'm pretty sure she uses Croyden House Matzo Ball Mix, so i just looked it up on the web. as it turns out, the stuff contains MSG, which now explains two things: 1) why they taste so good, and 2) why i was getting migraines every holiday up until a few years ago! oy.

              i've made my own kick-ass matzo balls over the years, so i'd be happy to share a good recipe with you. or i can ask mom if you want her info on the boxed mix (which will likely be easier to make if you don't mind the MSG).

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Not matzo balls, but chicken noodle soup. She's still very much alive and lives nearby but refused to make this anymore and swears she can't remember the recipe. She says she used to make it when she was cooking for 7 and won't do it again. I've tried so many times to duplicate what she did with her broth but no combination of vegetables, herbs and spices can deliver it. Sometimes I'll be doing something and I have a flashback to it and can taste it and smell it but can't make it. We ate it was grated parm and crusty bread. She used dittalini as the pasta.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Glad she's alive and well...but sorry you can't have them! Isn't there a gluten free matzo ball somewhere?! My mom passed away 6 years ago and she made lead weight matzo balls, which I loved. Though now when I make matzo balls (only 1x per year) I make them off the back of the Israeli matzo meal can and they come out much better! (sshhh!) :-)

                1. re: lovessushi

                  see, the beauty of my mom's recipe is that they were always "floaters," not "sinkers." i'm not a fan of leaden matzo balls - prefer them slightly dense, but still light & fluffy. and no, sadly, there really isn't any way to make a halfway decent GF matzo ball, because matzo meal is wheat, and the GF oat matzo just doesn't work. boo :( i ended up making my own over the years once i moved away, and they were always excellent if i do say so myself - light, fluffy, with just the right amount of "chew" to them. but there's just something about the memory of my mom's...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Aahh...I see...

                    Sorry there's no decent GF matzo balls! That's terrible!

                    Well, at least you can have the soup?!

                    And yes, I make pretty ok ones too but somehow the memory of my mom's are just so good!

                    1. re: lovessushi

                      I was just going to say, I bet GHG's mom makes those matzoh balls feather-light! Lovely! My sister married a Jewish man and his mom made lovely matzoh...and brisket....and a knock-you-out rice dish--not a pilaf, oh it was TURKISH rice.. she was a wonderful cook and so happy to feed everyone!

              3. I miss just about everything my mom makes. She has a remarkable talent for making the simplest dishes really flavourful. I especially love her fish chowder, turkey dinner, fruit pies and pancakes. I love to cook with her when we're together but sadly it's not that often because we live in different cities.

                11 Replies
                1. re: ms. clicquot

                  Sounds delicious! Sad that you're so far away from each other...maybe she can send a pie? ;-)

                  1. re: ms. clicquot

                    Then go have a cooking weekend with her. Get the recipes, learn her secrets and share the memories. Believe me, one day you'll get "the call" and you'll wish you had.

                    My mom passed in 1994 and, fortunately, she was a great record keeper. I have every recipe of things she made since my early childhood and a roster of holiday menus she prepared from 1960 through 1993. I appreciate these as much as the photos of same.

                    Ms. Clicquot - go do it!


                    1. re: Chefpaulo

                      CP my mom passed in 2003 and I was fortunate too in that she left a record of EVERYTHING...even though somehow much of it doesn't taste the same...she kept a little book going and I always said, oh, why I know why.

                      Yes, those that are lucky enough to have their moms need to go cook with them asap! :-)

                      1. re: lovessushi

                        Wow! You two are lucky. I will have to get my mom to write hers down, especially her rouladen recipe, and potato salad, German style, which is rather soupy but delicious.

                      2. re: Chefpaulo

                        Actually, I'm very fortunate that she wrote out all of her 'standard' recipes for me when I went to university many years ago. Now I add my own flair to her meatloaf, pancakes, soups, turkey stuffing, etc. and will pass them along to my children, nieces and nephews when the time comes. She also taught me how to make sauces, biscuits and pie crust. However, there's still something special about when mom cooks.

                        Sadly, my grandmother (my father's mother) did not write anything down and we couldn't find much in the few cookbooks she had. She's 92 and her mind has been destroyed by Alzheimer's so her recipes have been lost forever. I wish we'd taken the time to learn them while we still had the chance.

                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                          "Then go have a cooking weekend with her. Get the recipes, learn her secrets and share the memories. Believe me, one day you'll get "the call" and you'll wish you had"


                          I just wanted to repeat these words for everyone who still has their Mother...Please go see her...Please call her...Please spend time with her...Please tell her you love her...
                          When you no longer can it will rip your heart out....

                          Don't wait..Don't put it off...Do it today.....The clock is ticking.

                          PS...I miss my Mother's dumplings.....

                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                            P.S. Just read Uncle Bob's admonition - my mom isn't even gone one year and I'm so glad I spent as much time with her as I did. BUT, I miss her terribly, and the clock is ticking. Thanks Uncle Bob.

                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              Uncle Bob, you are so right! My mom and I are very close and I have copies of most of my favorite recipes (or know how to make them without a recipe from practice). Still, there are things I still need to learn. We all need the reminder, so thank you!

                              One thing my mom makes that I've never even tried to replicate because she does it so beautifully is her apple pie. I've eaten lots of people's apple pies and not one has ever tasted as good as Janey's. So that's on my list to learn! And I need to know where her blackbird is. When I was little, she used to bake the pie with a ceramic blackbird sticking up from the middle of the piecrust with his beak open to let out the steam. No one else's mom ever had a blackbird baked in the pie. It was (and is still!) so cool. :)

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                My mother used to make a meat and potato pie with a blackbird in the middle holding up the pastry. She was from the North of England and it was a common dish there. It was one of her best dishes. Don't have a recipe unfortunately. She was very good at pastry and I am not. She also used to make home made mincemeat (sweet) pies as well as lemon curd and jam tarts at Christmas. Never got to grips with those either. It's easy to get mincemeat in jars here. At Christmas time they are everywhere, school fairs, friends' houses, grocery stores etc. You can booze them up with brandy. I now prefer light flaky pastry for my mince pies. In fact I like them without any lid at all. I usually just eat the middle and give the pastry to my dog, making sure that she doesn't get any vine fruit.

                              2. re: Uncle Bob

                                Unc Bob that made me get kinda teary... It's true. I get so crazed when my friends 'complain' about having to 'deal with' their Mothers. I have such great memories of my parents (lots of them involve food!! :o) - y'all don't want the pain that comes with regret when it's too late. And don't bitch about the people in your life, in particular when it's Mom or Dad, if I'm around because I'll tell you about yourself...

                                I miss both my parents.
                                I miss the everyday food prepared with love- I can't single out one thing, really. But when Mom made Braciole it was always perfect and amazingly good.
                                When Mom made zeppole (I call 'em ZAPE-la's) -it was Christmas!
                                Mom used to burn the bread-often, and guess what? I miss that smell!!

                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                  I second the above suggestion - during the year before my grandmother died (she suffered from chronic leukemia, so we were aware her time was limited) - I was lucky enough to be able to visit her once a week and spend the day chatting & cooking...she was Indian, and taught me how to prepare my favorite dishes, like aloo ka paratha and samosas, After she died, I was given her karahi and her spice grinder, which I will treasure always along with the memories...

                            2. My mom's salmon patties. For some reason I can't duplicate it. Also her chop suey, not the real thing but the Jewish version.

                              1. Easy: my mom's pot roast with potatoes, carrots and celery. It was so very simple, but as many times as I've tried it I've never made it exactly like she did.

                                One of my most distinct and wonderful memories is coming home as a kid after playing outside all day, to the smell of her browning salt and peppered beef in Crisco using her torquoise colored Club pot. The meat wasn't fall apart tender but tender enough, and the vegetables had a wonderful caramelization. And the gravy, my God, the gravy!