Growing up we always had a garden. In the summer months we were sure to find something that Dad grew, sitting on our dinner plate in the evenings. Unfortunately, lots of it was things I’d rather not see staring back at me; Swiss chard for one. Honestly, I have no idea what true Swiss chard tastes like. The only flavor I can remember is the one I created when I shoved a forkful of the slimy green stuff in my mouth, poured milk in there on top of it and then plugged my nose and swallowed. I can taste that flavor every time I see something leafy green growing in my own garden.
I remember the time I ran out of milk when I was making pancakes. I figured if I can use yogurt as a substitute, why not mayonnaise? Now every time I add a jar of mayo to my grocery cart the kids laughingly remind me of the mayonnaise pancakes that I once tried to poison them with. I remember Mom’s homemade meatloaf and the mysterious sweet sauce she put on top that would turn into sweet crunchy pieces around the edges that we would all hurry to eat before someone else got to them.
There are so many memories wrapped up in the foods we eat as a family. So from my family to yours, here are a few recipes that evoke some of the better memories I have. And I won’t be including the one for Mayonnaise Pancakes...your welcome.
Mom’s Meatloaf with Sweet Sauce
- 2 slices of bread cubed
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/8 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/8 cup finely chopped celery
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon salt Dash of pepper
- ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons molasses
French Silk Pie (As a teenager I worked at a local Deli with all my high school friends. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a job and this was our favorite thing to eat there)
• 1 8 inch graham cracker pie crust
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 eggs
• Fresh Whipped Cream
• 1 Plain Hershey Bar
In microwave, melt chocolate, set aside to cool. In medium bowl, cream butter, gradually add sugar, cream well. Mix in melted, cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating 5 minutes each, and scraping sides of bowl often to incorporate all sugar. (Beat until no longer any grains of sugar). Spoon and smooth into pie crust. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Pile high with fresh whipped cream and top with shavings from the Hershey Bar.
Babysitter Cookies My next door neighbor was an older girl that would sometimes babysit me. She always kept me entertained one of two ways. Either we would take a roll of quarters, drive to the nearby grocery store and play Ms. Pacman for hours or we’d make these amazing cookies that came out different every time but were always so good.
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup oatmeal
• 1 cup cereal (corn flakes, rice krispies…whatever you have on hand)
• 1/2 cup coconut(optional)
• 1/2 cup raisins(optional)
• 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips(optional)
• 1/2 cup peanut butter(optional)
Melt together the butter and shortening. Add sugars and cream thoroughly. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, flour, oatmeal, cereal (corn flakes, grape nuts, cocoa puffs -- whatever you have) and mix well. Stir in any or all of the optional ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.