Genealogy Blog Prompt #6: Cooking and Food

Every so often I will be joining a host of other genealogy bloggers in writing about the same general topic. This is one of those ideas that is right up my alley.

When my Mom was a teenager, she was a soda-jerk! She worked in the store at the corner of Hamline and Randolph avenues in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lucky girl! The then all-boys Cretin High School was across the street and guess where the guys went after school! Mom still made the best chocolate malts and root beer floats as my sisters and I were growing up. Mom was a great cook. I do think I have duplicated her spaghetti sauce recipe but I cannot make barbecued pork ribs or a pork roast the way she did. My cousins remember that every third year Christmas Eve would be at our house and Mom made her famous au gratin potatoes — from scratch. Dad was no slouch as a cook either. He made superb rotisserie chickens on the outside grill, juicy hamburgers, and what we called “pan fries” on the grill. His turkey stuffing was my favorite and still is.

Now, at Christmas and other holidays I make foods that my children remember both of their grandmothers making when they were young. I love it when they request recipes that belonged to either grandmother. Many of my recipe cards carry notations such as “Mom’s Mushroom Meatballs” or “Mrs. Warren’s Cowboy Cookies”(my late mother-in-law). Yes, I copied her recipes long before I became comfortable calling her anything but Mrs. Warren! I wish I could remember special foods that my grandmothers made, but either they didn’t or I just don’t recall such things. When I visit my Dad later this week I am going to ask him about the foods his Mother and Father made.

I was the lucky one who learned to cook as I grew up. In turn I made sure both my daughter and my sons could cook. I have been blessed with a daughter-in-law and son-in-law who are great cooks. But we have all been on diets and those good ol‘ recipes are not used as often. I do make some things in a low fat and low sodium fashion so we can still enjoy some of those neat things. Traditions are so important in our family history. I have some dishware that came from my mother, mother-in-law, grandaunt-in-law, and my own grandmothers and great grandmother and I do use these on many occasions.

© 2009, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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