Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 5: Meal Week at Mountain Mama!

This wraps up Mountain Mama's Meal week! I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I have and maybe I've taught you a thing or two, but most of all, don't be nervous about trying something new or something that seems difficult.

I keep a blank cookbook and when I find a recipe that my family likes and is an absolute winner, I'll write it down and add it to my personal cookbook. (I was going to post a photo of my cookbook, but my computer is ignoring my requests at the moment! grr..)

My grandmother took a lot of her recipes to the grave and my mom can't remember how to make some of those meals she grew up on. My husband's aunt tried to write down some of his grandmother's recipes while she was alive and after her death, she gave us all copies of her recipes. Food really brings people together and it can really add to the spirit of the gathering.

There is a recipe I want that my grandmother used to make, a modified "poor-man's" version because she could not afford many of the ingredients it called for. It ended up that her recipe tasted better than the original. I cannot get a copy and I don't even know where to begin to try and make my own. I am taking this lesson and turning it into something positive-- writing down my own stuff so that when my kids grow up, they'll always have access to "mom's" cookbook.

If I'm lucky to see them grow up and move out on their own, I'd like to give all 4 of my kids their own copy of Mom's cookbook and then they can add to it on their own. My own mother gave me a "starter kit" when I moved out and I had my own set of pots and pans, basic appliances, bedding and a copy of "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook". A modern-day hope chest. I plan to do the same for my kids one day and give them 2 cookbooks-- their own BH&G Cookbook and Mom's cookbook. Maybe you could do that for your kids, too!

Don't let those family recipes that you have committed to memory be lost because you never wrote them down. Ask your granny how to make that dessert or meal and write it down before she's gone. If you've tasted something great, don't be afraid to ask for the recipe.

If you're going to eat, eat good!


Lantana said...

I agree with you whole heartedly. When my mom passed away, that was the first thing I did, was go through her recipes. Being the only girl, with 2 brothers, I had first priority. And I love recipes that are in the person's own handwriting. How precious can you get?! My husband's mother scribbled a recipe on the back of an envelope for "sour gravy" for liver and I still have it, intact. I wish I knew how to make my mother's breaded pork chops, they were soooo good! "Breaded" is not popular nowdays because of the calories, but it ain't going to hurt you occasionally! We always had Waldorf Salad with our turkey, it is a family tradition, until my own kids came along and they all hated raisins! It just doesn't taste the same without raisins! I have found that using Golden Raisins fools them for awhile. Sigh. There was no "fast food" when I was growing up. I was married with children before I ever tasted a "drive in "hamburger!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Jenny, what a great post! Those are such good ideas, your kids will thank you. They are growing up with all your good cooking and you and your husbands attitudes about eating good.

My mom was a great scratch cook, but a terrible note taker. Some things will never cooked again here because of that.
Thanks for taking the time to post a weeks worth of recipes. :)

barefoot gardener said...

I love that cookbook idea. I know when I moved out my mom gave me a blank cookbook to fill with all my favorites. She was never much of a recipe cook, mostly meat/veggie/potato type stuff that you just don't need a recipe for.

Hmmmmmm, now maybe I have an idea for the Sprouts....but then I would actually have to measure ingredients. That might be hard....

jenny said...

Lantana-- My sister got some recipes from our other grandmother from one of our aunts. Not a lot, but a few and I have yet to try them. One day I will.

Trapper-- I admit, some of my dishes are from scratch and I don't measure, just cook by taste. Plus, I never use the same spice twice with stuff like beef noodle soup or meatloaf. Some of my best meals are made with things I come up with.

Barefoot-- I know what you mean. My aunt asked me for my recipe to sloppy joes, but I don't measure anything so it was hard to put it down on paper. What I'll do though, is write down what I put in it and say "taste taste taste!"
But that is exactly what I mean, all these meals in your head that you make without a recipe are the ones your kids will remember and want to make, but if they aren't taught and you don't write them down, they'll be lost forever.