Food my mama made for me

I have to tell you first that my mother was not particularly fond of cooking. She didn’t drink alcohol, but often said that if she ever took up drinking, it would be at 5:00 pm when she had to cook dinner.

Another thing about my mother – she didn’t really like meat. She wasn’t a vegetarian, and she sort of liked pork, but she wasn’t into any kind of meat dish that required finesse.  Beef stew or braised chuck roast? Okay. Steak or pork chops? No! My dad referred to her pork chops as “pork chips”. I think you get the picture. No pork that she cooked would EVER give you trichinosis! (I’ll mention here that my dad was also a really good cook and he did the steaks.)

A story about my mother cooking steak. I bought some nice steaks at my local market, and planned to cook them for dinner. That day, things came up, and I wouldn’t be home in time to prepare dinner. My daughter was about 13 at the time, and my mother was living with us, so I told dear daughter that grandma would cook dinner. No! she said. “Grandma will ruin the steak.” Grandma promised not to ruin the steak but, alas . . . Daughter reported by phone that the steak “left skid marks on the plate”. Oh my.

Now for some nice stories. When I was a little, mom made nice cookies for me and my friends – snickerdoodles were so good. A favorite dessert at that time was some kind of cake, with a warm pudding sauce – lemon or vanilla were popular – poured over top. Yum. She also made really good bread.

Since she always had a garden, we had fresh vegetables in the summer, and canned and frozen veg from the garden in the winter. One of the things that I remember her making (don’t laugh) was fried potatoes and beets. It was really delicious. Then there were home canned preserves and jellies – peach, apple, cherry, raspberry, strawberry and apricot are just some that I remember. Bread and butter pickles, and chili sauce. Yum!

Potato salad – excellent. Baked beans – great. Then there was the angel food/strawberry cake that she made me for my birthday every year (even into my 40’s!)

She made great pies. Her lemon meringue was to die for, and my dad’s favorite. I also loved the apple crisp and her spiced applesauce cake with penuche frosting made with freshly made applesauce. Can’t be beat.

I learned a lot from mom and, although her cooking wasn’t her strongest talent, she had many more that made up for it.

What foods did your mom (or grandma) make that you remember?

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8 Responses to Food my mama made for me

  1. auscitizenmom says:

    My mom’s pot roast was the best. She bought a chuck roast, seared it on both sides, usually burning it a little, and cooked it in the pressure cooker until it was brown and falling apart. Then she put in the onions, potatoes, and carrots. And, her fried chicken and gravy was so good. And, her potato salad was very good. I can’t seem to match any of these.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. czarina33 says:

    My mother cooked like yours: burned all meats, did not like herbs or spices except black pepper, most foods were 1950’s style (iceberg lettuce salad with tomatoes only, jello, canned veggies and canned fruit). But she baked chocolate cakes with nuts, oatmeal cookies with walnuts, chocolate chip cookies with pecans, fresh pies, and made ice cream. Her mother was known for her raised biscuits, made fresh every morning with a finger poke in the center, and not much else. No wonder Czar took over the kitchen when he moved in! For 40 years he cooked everything, and I baked, and made salads.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Well, we are on a roll here. My mother was a pretty bad cook, but like you guys, she had her exceptions. Unlike your mother Stella, she thought she was a good cook.

    She had a gas stove and never learned that it cooked fast and hot. Her meat was only edible because we had no choice. I grew up in the sixties and tv dinners and prepared foods had become an available convenience. We had Swanson tv dinners lots of nights. Chicken noodle soup almost every day for lunch. Oh, and she burned the tv dinners too.

    She occasionally made decent cookies and cakes. Her biscuits were almost always canned, and when she made them homemade they weren’t great. My brother loved her chicken and dumplings. She used to make a pretty good red velvet cake for my birthday.

    The worst thing about her cooking though was she’d bury you in whatever her current thing was. When we moved to our old cabin, we threw out at least a dozen fruitcakes and Amish friendship cakes she insisted on sending home with us. Also, I got so I hated red velvet cake for a long time. She was never reasonable about what she liked.

    When she died I hated almost everything she cooked so much that I saved none of her recipes. Of course, now I wish I had saved them, but only because she had this one recipe I wish I had.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tblakney says:

    My mother worked the whole time I was growing up and she would fix , what I call now, the I hate to cook suppers. When she came home from work she would be so tired that she just wanted to rest for a while and I guess because of guilt she would throw something together. I regret not trying to do more to help her .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucille says:

    Oh, Stella, your stories about your Mum’s cooking are priceless. I laughed merrily out loud several times.

    Put my dear mother down as not being a particularly innovative cook, but she did have her specialties. Wonderful fried chicken with delicious gravy was often served on Sundays. Candied yams and sweet potatoes were a Thanksgiving and Christmas delight. She made Spanish rice that was the envy of all the Latina moms in my school classes. And whatever she did to her deviled eggs and coleslaw have never been topped, in my estimation.

    She worked outside the home from the time I was in 7th grade and weekday evening meals thereafter were quick fixes of soups, items made in her pressure cooker and whatever Dad felt like putting on his makeshift bar-b-cue (he never let her near a steak…LOL).

    Me? I never liked cooking at all, but dearly loved watching cooking shows and reading articles with recipes…go figure! And that’s as close as I still get today.


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