03 May 2016

Selective Yum

In honor of the upcoming day that is Mother's Day, Carole has asked us to list 10 Favorite Foods My Mom Used to Make.

My first response when seeing this topic can be summarized below.

You see, my mother loved to eat, but hated to cook.  I mean, really hated it.  And on the rare occasions when something was actually really yummy, my father warned us to not praise it too effusively, "Because then we'll have it every goddamn night."  Which was the truth.  My dad, on the other hand, loved to cook, but did a lot of traveling for work, so usually only did the cooking on weekends and holidays.  Of course, even though I like cooking, it can get really tedious when you have to think of *something* for more than yourself every single day!

One of the most famous family stories about my mother's cooking was the time she made a meatloaf from her dear friend's recipe.  The dear friend's meatloaf was AMAZING.  My mother followed the recipe exactly.  Even the dog wouldn't eat it ...

But upon further reflection, I was able to think of the following that are things that I always fondly associate with my mom.

1.  Coffee and toast.  We drank tea as kids, but when you were sick, you got a cup of coffee with milk in it, and a piece of buttered toast which you were supposed to dunk into said coffee.  It was the most perfect thing in the world, and I have never been able to replicate it.

2.  Lemon meringue pie.  Made once a year (summertime), from a mix, but with extra lemon juice.  Delicious.  I'm sure some of the deliciousness had to do with the once-a-year factor.

3.  Butterscotch pie.  Also once a year (fall), from a mix.  See last two comments above.

4.  Slaw for your hamburger from the grill in the summer.  I know that iceberg lettuce (was there any other kind?), onions, pepper, and mayonnaise were involved, but I'm not sure what else.  I always thought it was the way things were sliced that made it so good.

5.  Christmas Cheeseball.  Still made every year by me, and also now by a couple of my nieces.  It's not hard (we are talking about my mother) but it's yummy and a must-have in order for it to be truly Christmastime.

6.  Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the blue box.  I seriously did not know you could make it any other way than from a box until I was an adult.  And the "fancy" Kraft box stuff (I think it was called Deluxe) was horrible.  I make killer mac and cheese now, but every once in a while when I'm on my own for dinner, I'll make myself a blue box dinner and I'm in heaven.

7.  Christmas Kielbasa.  She learned how to make this from my father's brother-in-law who was from Poland.  Being my mother, she had to somehow make it sweet, so she cooked it in brown sugar.  Only at Christmastime.  And it's the only thing I miss as a vegetarian.

8. Beefaroni.  Homemade, if you please, not from a can.  We did have some class, you know.

9.  Campbell's canned potato soup.  She would add milk, diced onions, a big glob of butter, and lots of pepper.  Again, not something I have been able to replicate to my satisfaction.

10.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I think this was just because she made them, as I'm sure they were simply white bread, strawberry preserves (most of the time) and Peter Pan peanut butter.  No fancy ingredients, just about as basic as possible.

It's funny, my mom has been dead for more than 30 years, and I still think of her every single day, talk to her, miss her, and wish she was here to make some of these things.  Mainly just so she would be here, you know?  I hope if your mother is still around to drive you insane, you'll give her an extra kiss from me this coming Sunday.

And I hope you eat well, whether it's from a box or otherwise.  ;-)


Bonny said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your wonderful list and your whole take on the topic! I thought I might be the only one whose mother didn't like to cook and served less than stellar dinners, but you (and your father's comments) have made me laugh this morning. My mother has been gone 14 years, but like you, I wish she was here to laugh with and make me some Kraft macaroni & cheese.

The Well Fed Wheel said...

Butterscotch pie sounds devine!! It sounds like your mom was fun.

kathy b said...

awww your food memories are funny. Lots of mom's didnt cook. My mom was a slave to my dad in the kitchen. She rarely baked, but she made wonderful dinners. Pork roast...uh the best.

Araignee said...

My mom has been gone for almost 20 years now and I can still see her in the kitchen slaving over her signature dish-Kraft mac and cheese with tuna and a can of cream of mushroom soup. She had a cigarette hanging from her mouth and a cup of coffee in the other hand. She too hated to cook and we lived on creamed chipped beef on toast or fried egg sandwiches. I still make myself the blue box from time to time as a guilty pleasure.

AsKatKnits said...

Now this is a list to remember! Our mom's seem to be cut from the same cloth - mine was a horrendous cook also! My dad said my mom could burn water! LOL Oh man, memories!

Anonymous said...

For me, it was my mother's macaroni salad. There wasn't anything special about it, but we all loved it.

I make it just like she did ----a box of elbow macaroni (cooked until it is done), celery/onion/carrot (how much ? enough), Miracle Whip (how much? until it looks right), a dump of celery seed and some salt a pepper.

Now you can make it just like SHE did.

Kym said...

What a wonderful list full of wonderful memories. My mom didn't like to cook much either. . .

KSD said...

You had me at "Butterscotch Pie."

Well, actually, you had me at Stephen Fry, but, you know what I mean.

Danette Bartelmay said...

Oh Bridget... we carry our Mother in our heart and soul as long as we have breath. We grew underneath their heart. I will kiss my precious Mother an extra time for You this Mother's Day.

karen said...

my mom was not a cook and yet she would heat up homemade iced tea if we had a sore throat. and she made some wicked toast :) :)

loved reading your list!

kathy b said...

Joining Harry's Hundred today. Sending to Children of Pine ridge.