Saturday, February 24, 2018

Comfort Foods

I have to go to the store this morning after Jim wakes up. I am out of hamburger and have to buy some canned items. I was going to again write down some of things I fix our family.

Papa came from of a family of thirteen children. He was the twelfth. I came from a family of three children and I was the oldest child, then two younger brothers. My Dad had been in the war and when he came home, I was born. So my folks were young as they raised me and they were jet setters. Mom was a Modern Millie. But Jim’s folks were older and very old fashioned, so when Jim and I married he asked me to make things like bread pudding and creamed eggs. Well, I had never heard of such things.

My Dad and Mom were very prosperous. Dad had a good factory job with all the benefits. In the spring, we all got new wardrobes and in the summer, again, new clothes. Then for fall, all new clothes and then new winter clothes. For family meals after Dad got off work late afternoon, we always had a meat, potatoes and gravy, and a vegetable — every evening. Mom would fix fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a vegetable for Sunday dinner after church. Yet, for weekday meals Mom fixed meats like pork chops, or steak, or a roast … whatever … but it always had to be a meat, potatoes, and a vegetable.

I seriously never had a casserole until I got married and made one myself. Mom never made a casserole or a homemade soup. (Most of the housewives I was around never did.) For lunches for us children, she made Kraft macaroni and cheese or Campbells soup, or just lunch meat sandwiches. Mother made biscuits once in a while, but probably only made a yeast bread a few times. She made a lot of pies and cakes and cookies. But the women around me never made bread, even though they were stay at home mothers.

I had never seen a vegetable garden in town until I got married. I had never planted a seed in the ground before. Dad and Mom were just very prosperous and we just lived very financially well.

So when I got married and I saw Jim tear up a piece of bread, put it in a bowl, and pour sugar and milk over it, I thought I was seeing things. I had never heard of such a thing.

But, ya know, I wanted to please my husband and wanted to cook for him. So my Mother had bought me a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and I started to learn to cook the old time foods. Now, I mention the Better Homes and Gardens CookBook because it covers a broad range of foods, as opposed to like a Chinese cookbook. I would recommend that girls who are just starting out in homemaking get this book or some of the Betty Crocker cookbooks. They have lot of kitchen hints and ideas. You could probably find one at the library or at your local book store.

As a young homemaker, I loved my cookbook and I still use it. Mine had notebook rings in it, and I would copy other recipes and punch holes in the paper and put them in my cookbook. But I had to really sit and study cookbooks of all kinds to learn the art of of old time cooking. Once I got the hang of it, I must say, I love it. But ya know, I never had anyone to teach me. (Well Jim did, a little bit.)

I have loved collecting the old time cooking pans, etc. I have a nice collection of the cast iron skillets of every size and the Dutch oven with the bale handle. Also, the gem pan and the pancake grill that goes over 2 burners. I have a round pancake skillet and a square one that I make corn bread in. I wouldn’t give up my cast iron for anything. It’s an art, just learning to cook and bake on them. I had a dinner a few months ago for the older kids, and I made goulash in a plain pan. Dan (21) said, “Mom, I am used to eating goulash out of a black pan. I don’t like it out of a plain pan.”

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