It was kind of Susie and Erica to say I should go ahead and write a book with my mom’s recipes. There are a few problems with the idea. One is that there aren’t enough recipes to be a book and another is that most of them aren’t written down with measurements like real recipes are. But I do have memories and can cook some of them for myself.
We never had hamburgers on buns when I was growing up. We just had hamburgers. Mom’s hamburgers were made from hamburger, crushed saltine crackers, an egg, and some chopped onion. Thinking about it now, I suspect she made them this way to stretch a pound of hamburger to feed four people.
A summertime dish was her tuna macaroni salad. This called for a can of tuna, some cooked macaroni
and some salad dressing like Miracle Whip. Stirred together and served with sliced tomatoes on the side, it made a nice supper. Again, I think the addition of the macaroni was an effort to stretch a can of tuna to feed four people.
Meatloaf was usually two pounds of hamburger plus one pound of pork sausage, an egg, some chopped onion, some oatmeal, some catsup, and some mustard all formed into a loaf which was baked in a small roasting pan. The top was spread with catsup. Often potatoes and carrots were added to the pan to make a Sunday dinner with leftovers for at least another meal later in the week.
A summer salad was macaroni shells mixed with canned crushed pineapple and celery seed dressed with Miracle Whip.
I love her Swiss steak. This was a round steak topped with a mixture of onion, celery, carrot, and green pepper all ground with her meat grinder. This was topped with a can of tomato sauce. This was baked. The vegetables were lifted off with a spoon and served as a side dish along with a bowl of mashed potatoes.
I do have recipes from one of her cookbooks for two desserts. One was for her rhubarb pie which was sort of like a custard pie with rhubarb in it and the other was her lemon chiffon pie. Desserts weren’t very common but those were two of my favorites. She made another which was a kind of chocolate chiffon made with Knox gelatin but I’ve lost that recipe.
At Christmas she baked lots of cookies which she shared with the widows at church as well as sending a tray with Dad to work and to school with my sister and me. Those recipes can be easily identified by the smudges and smear on the pages of her cookbook.
Do you have favorite family recipe memories? How about sharing them.