Wednesday, July 26, 2006

family recipe

The prompt today is to write about a favorite family recipe and to do a layout of it for the CIJ Holiday recipe challenge on DSP. I don't know if I'll get a layout done & here is the reason - we don't have recipes in my family, unless you consider opening a jar or can or box to be a recipe. I always joke that my spaghetti sauce is my Mom's secret one can open a jar of Ragu like Mom can! :) Mom doesn't really like to cook. She had a husband & 2 kids to feed so she cooked, but I think easy & efficient were the main points she was going for in her meals. Nutrition too I suppose - though I don't think boiled to death canned green beans or boil in a bag cauliflower with cheese sauce are really brimming over with nutrients, but then I am still working to overcome my dislike of veggies & I blame those things for causing it, so I don't have much good to say about them. I don't blame mom & I am not knocking mom for serving them. I genuinely *enjoy* cooking but being expected to produce dinner for 3 other people nearly every night does take some of the enjoyment out of it. I use frozen veggies myself, only they don't come smothered in cheese sauce (frozen cheese sauce is evil).

I don't remember most meals my mom made except meatloaf & something referred to as 'chili' that would send chili lovers screaming from the house in horror. (ground beef, tomato paste, can of kidney beans and a dash of garlic powder. I have no idea why it was called chili, but nearly every mom in the neighborhood made it) Dinner was a piece of cooked meat, potatoes of some sort (mashed or boiled usually, occasionally she got out the slicer & we would have baked french fries), a veggie of the canned or frozen variety, reheated and sometimes a salad. Nothing wrong with these meals, but none of them were really family recipes if you know what I mean. I tend to think of baked goods when I think of recipes. Or stews, lasagna, that sort of thing. Things with more than one ingredient.

I don't know for sure, but I think my grandmothers felt the same way as my mom dd about cooking. I don't remember either of them enjoying cooking. It was just something you had to do - and usually involved putting a ham in the oven & walking away until it was time to mash the potatoes & heat up the canned green beans. At both grandmothers' homes. They all served canned green beans, even when they had fresh in the garden (those had to be saved for canning). I cannot now eat green beans in any form. That was the standard holiday meal. I serve rib roast and carrots to may family on holidays. So I'm not really doing anything different, just using different stuff. I am experiementing with sides, hoping to come up with something that will become traditional in time. We rarely made Christmas cookies, though apparently they were a big deal in DH's family. I am trying to do cookies with the boys & get them involved in the regular cooking as well.

I may have to hunt up a photo of a can of green beans and do a layout about it. The recipe is simple- open can, pour in small pot, bring to a boil, leave simmering a good half hour or so to heat thoroughly. Serve.


debra said...

I'm with you...everyone seems to love cooking unless it's something you have to do every night! Green beans from a can..yep, thats me too!

heather said...


LeeAnn J. said...

I say if that was dinner, then scrap the can, lol. I'm afraid that I would have to do that too. We used to put sugar on 'everything' to make it taste the way we wanted, lol. Sort of like gravy for 'mystery meat'...
I'm afraid that I have to defer to my favorite recipe site for my inspiration (recipezaar). If it isn't 'down to earth' food, it doesn't happen around here. I say support free enterprise and keep those RAGU people working. LOL
Thanks for the ideas!