The October theme:
This month, we're dishing on our favourite foods, sharing recipes (and the stories behind their creation), and reflecting on what we used to eat as kids. We're also looking at what dish we used to dread eating, and whether it's still our least favourite food.
I just joined BlogHer's NaBloPoMo, which is a month of daily blog entries. These challenges are always such fun because I would do a month of daily blog entries anyway, so why not use it as an opportunity to get more readers, and to find more blogs to read?...to say nothing of having new ideas for interesting entries. I don't know that I will follow all the prompts (I just realized that I'll be on our cruise at the end of the month, so I'm sure I will have more interesting things to talk about than food), but at least there will be an entry a day!
Apparently there are no prompts for the weekends, and I'm starting with a Saturday Entry, so I'll use the prompt for October 1 which was "tell us about your most beloved family dish."
My mother was a wonderful 'murrican cook. She cooked plain, but everything she cooked was wonderful. Fried chicken with shoestring fried potatoes, pot roast, meatloaf, roasts (beef and lamb, especially)...that kind of stuff. When she got adventurous, she tried something like lasagna. She made cakes from scratch and wonderful chocolate chip cookies. One of my fondest memories of her is watching her sitting at the kitchen table, a big bowl between her knees to catch the apple peelings as she peeled and cut apples for apple pie. We loved it when she made chocolate cream roll, a thin sponge cake filled with real whipped cream and frosted in a bittersweet chocolate frosting, the likes of which I have been unable to find. My sister and I loved to lick the beaters and then to eat the "crusts" of the cake after it came out of the oven, before she rolled it in a powdered sugar covered towel to let it cool rolled up, to make adding the whipped cream later easier.
She had a cookbook, but I don't know how often she used it...and, being the Virgo that she is, when she decided she wouldn't be cooking any more, instead of asking me if I wanted the book, she just threw it away.
But the dinner that everyone loved the most, the one she made often for guests, was enchiladas, which seems an ambitious, unusual thing for someone who was such a basic cook to make. But when I was very little--before I was old enough to remember--we had a Mexican neighbor who made them. My parents loved them and so my mother asked Amalia to teach her how to make enchiladas.
I remember it was a many-day process for her, beginning with making her own chorizo. The spices had to be blended just so and mixed in with the pork and then left in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.
When it came time to assemble the enchiladas, it took the whole table, with a special sauce into which she dipped the tortillas, and then filled with ground beef, the chorizo, onions, olives, cheese and some other things. Into the pan they went, topped with the remaining sauce into which she had dipped the tortillas, and topped with more cheese.
After they were baked, they were served, each on a romaine lettuce leaf and sprinkled with Parmesan.
I don't think I have had enchiladas since that I liked as much. I did have her come to our house one time and show me how to make them, so I would know all the secrets. At that time her mind had started to deteriorate and she wasn't sure she remembered right, but I did get the recipe. I think I have made them once. They were never the same as Momma used to make.