My mother always talked about the “Meissen ware” that she hoped she would inherit from her parents. One Christmas, she got boxes full of dishes, much to her delight. They never got unwrapped and then time and things happened and they made their way to me. It’s not actually Meissen ware, it’s Minton, and quite a bit of it was broken. I was just finally getting around to unpacking it (we moved to our “forever home” a bit more than a year ago) and was reminded of how elegant they are. It only seemed appropriate to make a fancy dessert.
This is possibly the most controversial dish in my father’s family. It was an invention of the days when meat wasn’t to be eaten on Fridays. It seems a little strange to serve rice and cheese as a main dish, but it’s quite similar to macaroni and cheese in that regard. So how is it controversial? I think people either loved it or hated it. Continue reading “Cheese Dish”
This was a dish that was a true favorite of one of my uncles. He says:
I also loved Barbeque pork chops. On our birthdays, Mother would often ask us what we might want to eat for the meal. I very clearly remember Mother asking me one year on my birthday, when I was about 12 or so, what I might want to have for the family birthday meal. I immediately replied, barbeque pork chops. I was quite disappointed when Mother said that it was too hot to have them. I was so surprised to hear that. It had not occurred to me that with the temperature in the 90’s that day, July 12, that working in a hot kitchen cooking meat, in a house without air conditioning, might be a difficult thing.
Today wasn’t too hot to be in the kitchen. It’s spring in Minnesota (or “second winter”) and there are still piles of snow on the ground and the highs are barely above freezing. Having the oven on a long time for a low and slow cook time was just perfect.
My mom’s mom’s mom (my great grandmother), Lola, was born in 1882 and was apparently a rather good cook. It’s difficult to imagine how she got most tasks done that seem simple to me today. The whole landscape of cooking was different. Different ideals of health, different availability of foods, different tools. So I’m fairly confident, despite what the recipe I have says, that the original method for her famous baked beans didn’t involve a slow cooker. It’s far more likely that they were put in a low oven all day. Continue reading “Lola’s Famous Beans”
What’s that? You’ve never heard of carrot fries? Really?* I hadn’t heard of them until a friend mentioned that she had made them recently and her kids and mine had scarfed them up. I’m a huge fan of carrots. Huge. When I was little, it was perhaps the only vegetable I really enjoyed (but only if they were raw!). It being winter, I was interested in another way of preparing them. Since I was planning on making grandma’s stuffed hamburgers anyway, I knew I would give them a try. Continue reading “Carrot Fries”
Grandma’s “stuffed hamburgers” were remembered fondly by more than one of my aunts and uncles. The recipe reads more like a very basic meatloaf mixture shaped into patties and fried in oil on the stovetop. More than one person mentioned how they were the best hamburgers. The handwritten recipe mentions MSG. I didn’t include it. Not because I’m opposed to MSG in principle, it’s just not something we keep on our spice shelves anymore and they were quite tasty without it. Continue reading “Stuffed Hamburgers”
Ages ago, my grandfather (mom’s dad) sent mom a letter in the mail. He’d type them up on this old typewriter. One of those typewriters with character. His handwriting was a little shaky, so the time it took to hunt and peck and correct mistakes was still worth it. In this letter was a newspaper clipping of a recipe for “corn mazatlan” noting that he thought it looked like it would taste good. We had the dish almost every time he came over after that.
After several of meals with a side dish that didn’t always exactly “go” with the rest of the meal (something unlike my mom’s style of entertaining), I asked why she made it since it seemed as if he had only made a suggestion that it might be good and hadn’t specifically requested it. She told me that the effort he had put into that quiet suggestion was his way of strongly requesting it and he had repeatedly eaten enough to demonstrate that he really enjoyed it. It was her way of showing a bit of love through food. Continue reading “Corn Mazatlan”
“Baked chili” was a hugely popular dish in my dad’s house growing up. Many here in Minnesota would also know this dish as “goulash” (even though it bears no resemblance to Hungarian goulash). My uncle Mark remembers requesting this for his birthday meal with regularity. There is a bit of disagreement on whether or not the dish contained corn. The most likely explanation is that the recipe lent itself to variation and sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. There were also differing memories on the type of pasta used. While the recipe calls for linguine, all of the memories were for small pasta such as elbow macaroni or ready cut spaghetti. Continue reading “Baked Chili”
We decided to get this here blog up and running because we were inspired by what we see others doing. There is a whole generation of women and men getting excited about food and crafting. Not only that, but they are sharing it with the world—sometimes stunningly well. Part of our motivation for working on this blog is purely selfish: we want to have a place to remember some of the great stuff we see.
You’ll see some of our favorite sources for inspiration in our “who we like” section at the bottom of the page, but we want to know who you like, too. Comment here to let us know who inspires you with their work. Who are your favorite cooks, crafters, and writers? Who helps make staying-in as good as (or better than!) going-out?
Let’s spread the love, folks!