This sounds good. I have a Vidalia (east coast version of a Walla Walla) sitting on my counter now. I have a feeling I just might have to make one of these sanwiches this weekend. [:p][:D]
As with many of the above posters, my Mother was not a very good cook. But she had a unique excuse that has always stuck with me.
As a kid I never complained about her lack of culinary skills but one day, when I was in my twenties, I was razzing Mom about her cooking and she explained that it was actually all my Dad’s fault. When I inquired as to how she could pin this one on poor old Dad, she replied, "When your father and I got married I told him that I only had enough energy to be great in one room of the house and he didn’t pick the kitchen". She then winked and kept walking.
My Mom (God rest her soul!) was not the best cook. Desserts were her forte, though and she made some really good cakes, pies and cookies. Until I was in college, though, spaghetti was Chef Boyardee in the box. I can’t remember eating seafood much either–except for fried clams at HoJos on the turnpike ever once in a while. My Mom was forever trying out recipes, though, especially for casserole-type dishes (I have four younger brothers); my brothers called them "concoctions." She was fond of the foods she ate growing up–during the depression and then World War II (she even -liked- Postum, believe it or not!), so many times what she liked to eat wasn’t anything fancy or (sometimes) even tasty. At least to my brothers and I, that is. We loved her, though, and always at least tried many of her casseroles.
I love to cook and love to experiment with many different cuisines, from Asian to Indian to Italian to Middle Eastern. I don’t cook as much as I’d like to, though–I think I’d rather have it cooked for me now. But I do enjoy cooking, when I have the time to devote to it. [:)]
Maybe interest in food and cooking can skip generations. My mother was an awful cook and viewed cooking as a pain. She didn’t have much time for cooking, though, as she always worked and was a rather well known research botanist. As a consequence, gray overcooked meat and frozen veggies boiled into mush were pretty much what I grew up with in the 50’s. My grandmother, on the other hand, was a superb cook and devoted a lot of time to cooking and food interests generally. I picked up this interest; my sister did not and has been borderline anorexic for most of her life (ok ok enough with the personal stuff). What was great about hanging out with my grandmother in the kitchen was that she had a recipe for EVERYTHING. She was English, and was not afraid to use organ meat. She taught me to love liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, even tripe which my grandfather loved and would have eaten every day. He had a large vegetable garden, thus I finally found out what veggies were supposed to taste like. One of my kids has no particular interest in cooking; the other is seriously considering becoming a professional chef. Go figure!?
One of my favorite memories is of Fried Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Bacon Sandwiches. You could only make them for a short time in the summer, but yummy.
A program on the Food Channel last night was about food of the 50’s or such, can’t remember because I was half asleep, but it brought to mind one of my child hood memories of the ever present green bean casserole that was always brought to family functions. Not all that long ago, this was resurected again at a Thanksgiving potluck where I over heard 2 adult cousins in a discussion of whether or not you would "ruin" the recipe by using Golden Cream of Mushroom soup over the regular Cream of Mushroom. God forbid we stray from the recipe!
Many of my childhood food memories revolve around cooking as much as eating. I always had to help out in the kitchen and my mother always made it seem like it was so much fun to peel carrots or mix muffin batter, etc. that I didn’t realize it was work until I was about 12.
In the summer, all able-bodied females congregated at my aunts’s house for a few days’ canning marathon. My one cousin and my jobs were to slip the skins off previously scalded tomatoes and peaches. We ended up with jars full of peach halves, tomatoes, tomato juice and my grandmother’s version of V8 juice and about a zillion plastic containers of frozen corn, green beans, and lima beans. My uncle would wisely remove himself from the house and go fishing in New Jersey. The night we were finished, my dad and the other males would come for a big dinner of corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes slathered with mayo, green beans and onions cooked in chicken broth, and fresh fried flounder fillets my uncle had caught.
My mother’s cooking was (and is) fantastic, and quite varied. But because you just got USED to this good cooking all of the time, my real standout memories have to do with my grandmother.
We would drive to Madison to spend the weekend with my grandmother, so that my parents could go to the Univ. of Wis. football games. My grandma would always have big sugar cookies with scalloped edges and yummy fried cakes from the Women’s Exchange Bakery. Fried cakes (my grandma insisted on that name) were really fresh cake doughnuts, better than anything I have had since the W. E. Bakery closed. Then, after the game, when we had filled up on the fried cakes, she would always make a beef roast and a cake made with fruit cocktail. (Personally, I always hoped that there were fried cakes left!)
My mother HATED to cook, and still does to this day. Her dream would be to have a professional chef come in and put the food down in front of her at every meal. I remember some very icky casseroles made with canned soup, but I loved her "spaghetti"–it’s my comfort food. Don’t laugh: tomato juice, velveeta cheese, chopped onion and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt made the sauce, and you put the cooked spaghetti into it and let it thicken up.
My grandmothers were a different matter. Grandma S. was a great farm cook–I still remember her chicken sandwiches, and Grandma Ruth was a world-class baker. Some of my earliest memories are of standing next to her at the kitchen counter watching her roll out pie crust or peel apples and wondering if I’d ever be able to do that. Something must have rubbed off, because I can make her old recipes work like a charm.
ADJ: What a poor life you lived[:D]. Sounds like a great dinner to me. When I was young, That type of steak was a rare thing. Today that is my favorite meal
Mind you we did not eat poor, but that type of meal was not on the agendae. Mom tended to keep us on a veggie diet.
Paul E. Smith
Up until I was six yrs. old, the only thing my mother knew how to cook/prepare was porterhouse/t-bone steaks, baked potatoes, and a mixed salad. We had same at least 4 nights a week.
Then I said [xx(]. Now I say [:)] and wish for them good ‘ole days…
Many of my favorite, most cherished childhood memories involve the foods of my mother and grandmother. Would include particularly my mother’s vinegar-mustard based roast beef & gravy and my grandmother’s traditional Sunday dinner of roast beef, hot vinegar based potato salad, and from scratch banana pudding. But the absolutely best childhood food memories are those of fresh summer vegetable dinners prepared by my mother and grandmother – field peas, butterbeans, boiled okra, corn on cob, green beans with potatoes, beets, squash, sweet potatoes, fresh tomatoes, green onions, cornbread, iced tea, and know I’m overlooking a few veggies. Those were so wonderful; no need for any meat with a meal like that. Also crazy about their heavy, thick homemade soups made from all the fresh vegetables (and with or without stew beef). Guess it could also be consider a stew. We always called it goulash, though, technically it was not that at all. Was sure good, though. Also many great pies, cakes, and cobblers from both, but the desserts were never to me, even as a kid, quite as tasty as were those fresh, home cooked vegetables.
It wasn’t until I was on my own that I found out what a steak should taste like. I always used ketchup to help the flavor of my mother’s steaks.
Hey……….my mom’s specialty was fried baloney sandwiches and steak fried until it was completely grey. The funny thing about this is that she had ever copy of "Gourmet" magazine that was printed……..go figure that one out!
I hate to say this, but my mom wasn’t a great cook. My childhood food memories consist of eating at restaurants. Horn & Hardart’s was very big in my life.
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