Today in My History
Cast (updated 7/16)
DISCOVERING NEW RECIPES
October 13, 2020
We had pesto for dinner last night. At the start of spring (remember spring?) we bought a basil plant which has been flourishing. We have had several basil-flavored dishes over the weeks. It is heading into the colder weather, and I don't know how much longer we'll be able to get significant basil from the plant.
I remember years ago when my mother discovered recipes. One night she told us she had learned about something called "pasta with pesto" and made pesto for the first time. We loved it and had it periodically over the years.
When I grew up and began doing my own cooking, i learned how to make Pesto (my mother never really taught me how to cook). Not exactly difficult -- basil, garlic and olive oil. The recipe calls for pine nuts, which are somewhat expensive, so I've never used them. I once happened to have some pine nuts in the house and added them to the pesto and was amazed at what a difference it made. I still don't use it, mainly because I forget to buy pine nuts.
I also remember when my mother got excited about a recipe she had heard about called "lasagna." It was her first time making it and naturally we loved it. My father's favorite food was Italian and we ate a lot of Italian (possibly why my least favorite food these days is Italian -- much rather eat Mexican or Chinese or Thai or Indian).<
Lasagna became a regular in my mother's list of things to make. She was not an adventurous cook. Her food was delicious, but it was pretty normal. Roasts, meat loaf, spaghetti and that sort of thing. She was a meat-and-potatoes cook (rice was a big deal), so when she ventured into a new direction and made something like lasagna, it was a big deal.
(We always had scrambled eggs, bacon and English muffins for breakfast every Sunday after Mass. She never cooked sausage--or fried eggs, which I discovered I loved when I had breakfast at a friend's house...after that I tried to get overnight invitations at her house whenever I could so I could have sausage!)
I loved making my own lasagna when I began cooking for myself and others and remember when we were putting together the Tiny Tots Cookbook and someone named Kay Johnson submitted a recipe called "Sputnik," which was essentially lasagna with cream cheese and sour cream instead of mozarella and ricotta. I loved it and made it a few times, but mostly I make the regular lasagna. (I should try sputnik again...I think Marta would love it)
The other recipe I remember my mother coming home with a recipe she had picked up at a Christmas party. It was for something she called "Goodness Sake Cookies." They were so called because when you bit into them they were so flaky and delicious, with lots of pecans, that you happened to say" Oh goodness sake!" We loved them so much that they became one of our Christmas cookie recipes for years after that.
It wasn't for years later, when I started making my own cookies, that I discovered these were Mexican Wedding Cookies and I made them often -- I still do, at Christmas if I decide to make cookies for gifts.
My mother's other special recipe was enchiladas, which she learned how to make from a Mexican woman who was our neighbor. They became the dish that people loved most and she would make them for special dinners.
These recipes, and others, she would keep in her cookbook, which was a regular cookbook with additional recipes added. My heart hurt when I went to look for her cookbook and learned she had thrown it away because she had stopped cooking and was living off frozen dinners. I would have LOVED that cookbook, but it never occurred to ask me if I wanted it.
I did it the other way. Recipes that I made a lot, our favorite recipes, went into the Tiny Tots Cookbook, so everyone has a copy of them!
It seems like it is going to take longer than anticipated to mellow "Cat" to her new house. She is a hisser, apparently, and will hiss at both Marta and Ned, but also rub up against them. The big room seems to be a bit overwhelming for her, so Marta is keeping her in the bedroom. I may not see her for weeks!
Marta is great because she knows how to make the cat feel more comfortable, and she is patient, waiting for her to start to feel at home.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is all of us making funny faces. LOL.
I'd love it if you'd leave a comment! (Comments show up after I
This is entry #7508