It took me a while. My mother died four years ago and I have a few things of hers, like her Lenox china for ten. I also have Nanny’s (my husband’s grandmother) setting for eight. We have service for 18 in an apartment that’s 1,248 square feet and a dining table for four. Fabulous!
A while ago my sister sent me an envelope with recipe cards from the early 1970′s. Every one, hand-written, brought back a memory. It was difficult, emotionally, to put them into context.
I talked to my brother the other day and he has her Hungarian Coffee Cake recipe, a bread we ate early every Christmas morning. I traded it for our aunt’s Piquant Meatballs and threw in BBQ Beef for good measure (because I mentally tortured him as a young child). That is a joke, dear reader, it’s just that he drummed on everything, especially on 14-hour car rides and drove me up a wall.
Taste and smell memories are awesome. Just making Mom’s pot roast brings back memories and it’s such a simple dish.
The BBQ Beef calls for three pounds of beef chuck. I haven’t made it in decades. I remember it being delicious, our homemade version of that supermarket stuff. When I looked at the ingredients I went to one of the cookbooks I have online (in the Cookbooks section, silly) and thought I might substitute a true Texas BBQ sauce while cooking the beef. The book is by Jeanne Voltz and entitled “Barbecued Ribs, Smoked Ribs and Other Great Feeds.” Publisher is Knopf, the same company that was smart enough to publish our beloved Julia Child.
It’s a wonderful cookbook (I’m not paid a cent to say this) and her regular rub, rib rub, peppery barbecued rib sauce and fresh cucumber relish are out of this world. I have over 200 cookbooks, and don’t cook every dish in every one!
I’ll let you know how this new, old family favorite turns out. My husband is having cold pizza at a seminar tonight so it’ll have to wait. And I was going to try chicken-fried steak tonight! He’s a Texan and his dad runs a ranch so I thought I’d try to wing it but that will have to wait as well.
There are many dinners (I hope) to come for us and family and friends. It’s great to be cooking for two, these past eleven years, instead of a toasted peanut butter sandwich over the kitchen sink for the 20 before. Don’t worry, my husband of nearly ten years and dog of nearly nine are not spoiled at all. Ask anyone! Right….. Dee