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Cooking dinner for my Grandparents

Hi All

I am going to visit my grandparents this weekend and would like to make them dinner on Saturday night. They are farm people, so they eat the customary farm breakfast, followed by dinner, then reheated dinner for supper (often with a few additions). They are meat and potatoes people for sure with far from exotic taste. I want to make something that Grandma doesn't typically do, but nothing that would possibly offend their senses (I.e. Wasabi).

I always bring Grandpa a pie, so that will be for dessert. Appreciate your suggestions in advance and wish me luck keeping Grandma out of the kitchen. She deserves a day off!

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  1. Older folks often have favorites from their youth, things they grew up with, many of which have specific ethnic connections. Perhaps you could think of something in that venue that isn't too complicated. My late grandfather would have liked something on the order of chicken and dumplings with a kuchen for dessert. My wife's father, who is 92, would just as soon have cornbread and beans.

    4 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Funny you mention that, Todao... Grandpa is 94 and beans and cornbread are a favorite of his! Grandma makes the cornbread in an iron skillet that was her mother's. I also enjoy that meal when I visit them.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      1. re: aphayes

        Preferences for cornbread differ from region to region. Some like it sweet, some not so sweet, some like it dense and others prefer an almost cake like texture. Some like it with corn kernels in the mix, others would prefer not to go that route.
        If you haven't tried it, and assuming you think your family might enjoy it, Peter Reinhart's recipe for cornbread is wonderful. That's a bit of a surrender statement from me because I have never liked cornbread with either corn kernels or sugar in the recipe.
        I made this in a cast iron pan for Thanksgiving and, to my surprise, I truly liked it.

        http://leitesculinaria.com/7175/recip...

        and see if it might interest you.

        1. re: aphayes

          Here's the one I made for Thanksgiving

           
           
        2. re: todao

          todao beat me to it - chicken and dumplings. I made it tonight and it was so good!

        3. How about a large pot of beef bourginone(?) with lots of mushrooms and carrots, pearl onions. It could be a large pot of chili with cornbread, or something to that extent. I just made a 20 quart pot of mushroom barley soup with beef, and I freeze it in smaller containers and we eat it or give it to friends and family. You could make it at home and bring it over. If you make a large pot, they can always freeze some, and have it for a few more meals. This way your grandmother would have a few more meals off, and they will be thinking of you when they are eating it.

          1. what about a really good shepherd's pie, or stuffed tomatoes?

            1. Why not ask them? There are often recipes that people crave but no longer have the time, energy and maybe money to make. If you want to make what they would love, why not find out?.

              1. It would be a really good stuffed cabbage and mashed potatoes for my grandparents.

                1. I very often cook for my mother-in-law (82). I long since given up trying to wow her with exotic dishes such as pasta bolognese, grilled kebobs, or cabbage rolls. She usually gives them the meh. (I won't even get into ethnic dishes...)
                  What gets her ooohing and ahhhing? Roast pork, roast beef, baked macaroni, boiled dinner, ham cooked the day before and served cold, grilled ribs with soy sauce, etc, etc, stuff she ate all her life.
                  So I'd suggest comfort comfort comfort (its about them, right?), maybe roast leg of pork with mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy. Perhaps a bit more fancy with a prime rib au jus w/ baked potato&salad. Or a baked ham or boiled picnic shoulder with boiled potatoes and vegetables?
                  ...just my 2c...

                  1. Short ribs and noodles or mashed potatoes. Something maybe new, but comforting and non-offending of senses. Best made day before and refrigerated to get rid of extra fat.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gail

                      That is exactly what I was thinking.
                      Braised short ribs over polenta (if they would go for it) or maybe orzo pasta with some sauteed kale on the side.