Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Grandmother

Did she have a dish that you think of every time you think of her? Is there a dish Grandma was known for that makes you hungry for it now, that makes you smile with nostalgia just thinking of her cooking and serving it to you?
My Dad's mother made butter icing that nobody's duplicated since....and her cream paklava could make you cry it was so delicious....My dear Sis now makes that almost as good as Grandma did.
My Mother's mother's best dishes were numerous but I have to say her macaroni and cheese knocked my socks off. I'll share the recipe with you soon.


Beth said...

I do wish I could have learned not only some recipes from my grandma but also how to sew like she did.

Elmers Brother said...

I think I've already contributed.

Anonymous said...

Everything Mamaw cooked was delicious, but my favorite was fried chicken with tons of fresh veggies from her own garden. She'd also have either a pie or cake at every meal. Homemade, of course.

beamish said...

There have been few cooks in the history of the human race as good as my paternal grandmother.

She passed away back in 1991, but I can still taste her peach cobbler if I close my eyes and dream. She could cook anything and make it the best damned thing you ever had. The ultimate in Southern homestyle cooking.

Z said...

Beth, my maternal grandmother was an amazing seamstress, too...a dying art!
Elbro....you did very well ..:-)
Jen, isn't fried chicken SOOO good!

Beamish, I love the passion you have for some of your relatives.....Sure would have loved a taste of that peach cobbler. Oh, that is SO GOOD!

Anonymous said...

Fried chicken..mmmm!

Mamaw taught me a few tricks:
soak in salt water for several hours
double batter, best with buttermilk
always, ALWAYS use a cast iron skillet

I don't always have time to soak in salt water, but the cast iron is a must.

oh man. I can taste that creamed corn now..and mashed potatoes, cantaloupe.

She also had a small orchard behind the house and would make jellies of ALL kinds! I swear, that woman could do anything.

Mamaw wore an apron every day. :-)

Ducky's here said...

Grandma didn't cook much but she was a great fan of crotchet and quilting.

Still have a couple of throws and a sampler with over 50 different stitches that I have framed and hung.

Pedaling said...

my hubby loves a good homemade mac and cheese.
my italian grandma made a coconut cake- i've tried to make it - and though in comes out tasting unbelievably good- it is NEVER presented as beautiful as hers was.

Z said...

Jen, I've never cooked with a cast iron skillet...is it easier to get things hotter in one, or? I hear they're fabulous and have been tempted to get one but just never have.

Ducky, my great grandmother was a big crocheter...no quilters in our family, however. Nice that you've kept that sampler. I loved to look over as a little girl and see her sitting and crocheting...quiet, no radio...just in front of the window crocheting. She lost her first husband and only natural child, a son, in the Armenian genocide then married my great grandfather and came to America. I often wondered if she was thinking of her 'real son'....but I know she was loved and respected my her ready-made stepfamily (Great Grandfather brought his wife and four kids to America around 1903 or something...very soon after they finally got here, his wife died and so a few years later he went back and married the crocheter. I'm sure glad he did; she was wonderful. They both were. And I often hope she felt just how much we all loved her though we didn't share blood. I think she must have. My dad and uncle, her step grandchildren, adored her and I have a picture of 8 yr old me snuggled up next to her and my face has a calm look I don't think I've had once since :-) She was magic.

Z said...

Pedaling...maybe, some day, you'll share the cake recipe!? I know what you mean about things not turning out QUITE the same. I have never met even an EXCELLENT cook who made something her mom or grandmother used to make and said "This is JUST as good as hers" Never.!

Anonymous said...

Z, you're right. My grandmother used to cook chicken giblets in a tomato sauce she cooked up, for Mr. Pris, who loved 'em, and he was so touched that she did this just for him.

I now cook those for him when I can get a package of giblets, but, I know they're not as good as hers. I know Z, you'd love 'em too, right? Ha, Ha.


Anonymous said...

Z, if you fry ANYTHING, you have GOT to get a cast iron skillet. I have a cast iron dutch oven, too. They are both wonderful! I rarely fry, and when I do I use canola oil. Cast iron heats up and holds the heat more evenly. It seasons the food in the most fantastic way!! It's best to buy a cast iron piece that has been 'seasoned'. That means that it has been oiled. If you can find a used skillet, that's best. It has soaked up the oil and seasonings over time and the food just tastes sooo much better. Never use soap or place a cast iron piece in the dish washer. I wash mine with a wet rag and dry immediately, sometimes over a medium flame, to make sure it's completely dry, so it won't rust.

I loooove my cast iron.

Oh, but I don't recommend cooking any tomato dishes in cast iron. The acid reacts and it tastes funny.

Z said...

Pris..ya, you know me and giblets :-)

Jen, good advice about the drying completely and rusting, very good thing to remember. I don't fry much at all but maybe I'll pick up a small one, not that I'll be cooking much anyway in the future for a while. Mr. Z LOVED my cooking and his favorite time of day was coming down from the office for a drink and then dinner..........it's a very rough time of day for me now, particularly when his kids leave next week.

Elmers Brother said...

LOL, even on a food blog...duhkkky can change the subject....

Anonymous said...

I'll pray for you next week, Z. Hugs....

Anonymous said...

My gosh Elbro, you're right!! That's so funny.


Jungle Mom said...

Grandma's Pinto Beans and corn bread, made in a cast iron skillet.

Z said...

Thanks, Jen xxx
JM....pinto beans and corn bread sound SO GOOD...

Anonymous said...

You have to cook lots of old dishes that Grandma made in cast iron. It is just the way of things.

My maternal grandmother made the best chicken and dumplings.

The old pot she used for this dish was a sight to behold, for the knob on the top of this pot had disappeared. So, it got replaced by an empty spool , as in the type that thread comes on for sewing.

Nanny did not do anything particualary special with her chicken and dumplings, other than stew them a long time. Lots of slow, slow cooking.

When I was a child, and we would visit all the relatives in South Carolina, one thing I could count on, was fried chicken on Sunday and that would be followed by banana pudding.

When I say banana pudding, I am talking about about the dish where one uses Vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding, sliced bananas and this is all topped with a meringue. The dish is then baked , to brown the meringue.


Anonymous said...

My best cook grandma past away in 2009 and her best dish was simply soup. Her soup was delicious. But she also made a great 'couscous' as she lived in Tunisia for 16 years and great tarts.


Z said...

WV, sure would like some of her fried chicken!

FrogBurger...tart au citron is my favorite by far.... I didn't love lemon desserts until living in Paris and tasting them as tart as they should be.
As for couscous, we ate lots of it in Paris; the best being in a muslim district (before 9/11, we felt free to roam all of the city)...delicious. We stopped going there but one could find good couscous elsewhere, too.
Was there ONE SOUP she made so well or all her soups?

Anonymous said...

She made typical veggie soup. Leeks, potatoes, carrots, celery branches, parsley. The veggie kitchen sink. But always good and healthy.

My bro makes the best tarte au citron ever.


Always On Watch said...

My maternal grandmother never learned to cook. Really.

Her sister was an outstanding cook (Ham!), but my grandmother was the seamstress of the family. She even made men's suits by creating an individual pattern for each man.

Z said...

FrogBurger...does he live in France? :-( I have to try to make it, I do know how to make the curd, I probably should do that.
Also, a rather delicious, if not very healthy, soup is boiling any vegetable, or many vegetables, and then throwing them into a Cuisinart with some creamed cheese (including the boiling broth you used)...OH, is that delicious! And you could use NonFat Creamed cheese, but it gives such a gorgeous texture!
Always, my maternal grandmother was an amazing seamstress, too...but BOY, could she cook!