Saturday, November 10, 2012


This morning early I ran for my home-made cookbook to find a particular recipe.  Tonight’s dinner "piece de resistance" will be Dutch meatballs, made from a recipe I found in an English-language cookbook purchased in Amsterdam.

I found the recipe in the cookbook easily, but I think probably from being so involved recently in tracking down old friends for a reunion and trying to match names and faces, I was suddenly struck with how many of my recipes have names that remind me of their origins -- mostly old friends from long ago.

  • "Donna's Chicken Wings" - Donna was my daughter-in-law Nancy's mother.
  • "Vera's Molded Salad" - Vera was the mother-in-law of my neighbor Pilar Umness, and the recipe dates from the early 1960s. It was a Jello salad, probably originally from the Jello Company itself. And yes, I am still making it.
  • "Aunt Dorothy's Carrot Pudding" - My Dad's sister lived in Colorado and during the years I was growing up we got a coffee-tin full of this steamed pudding from her every Christmas. It was SO good. Years later I mentioned to her how much I had enjoyed that pudding, and she gave me her "secret" recipe.
  • "Phyllis' Bean Pot" - Phyllis was my father's secretary. When I married in 1955 this recipe came tied to the wedding gift she gave me.
  • "Medora's Swedish Meatballs" - a yummy dish brought to a church potluck in 1963. (It was the church potlucks that started me on the road to being overweight all my churchgoing life!)
  • "Betty's Angel Pie" - Betty Hood was a sorority sister from my years at the old George Pepperdine College. As I recall, she and I hosted a sorority alumni lunch some years after we both married and had kids. This was her recipe and it earned its place in my culinary file.
  • "Isa's Ginger Cream Dressing" - Isa was a Scottish lass married to a friend of Jerry's. I doubt if this is a particularly Scottish recipe but gosh, it was good.
  • "Bill Sontag's Whiskey Sours" - Bill was a civil engineer who worked with Jerry at Pascoe Steel in Pomona, and when I went to work for Pascoe in 1972, I met them both. Bill had a touch with both steel buildings and bartending!
  • "Leonard's Ginger Cookies" - Leonard was a 4th cousin I met during my early period of genealogical research. He and Juanita lived in Overland Park, Kansas and we shared great-great-grandparents.  After discovering a whole bunch of "kissing cousins" in that part of Kansas, I made a trip back in 1985 to meet them all. When I got on the plane to fly home, Leonard put a bag of warm Ginger cookies in my hand; he had gotten up early to bake them ‘specially for his new cousin, he said. Everyone on the plane knew that SOMEONE had something that smelled very good. They tasted even better!
  • "Lynette's Sangria" - Lynette Serna was an Istanbul expat at the same time we were there – 1991-92. During our two year stay, the one thing we Americans missed terribly was Mexican food. When one of Jerry's USA contacts needed to make business trip to Turkey, he hand-carried 24 corn tortillas for us. We invited Lynette and Buddy to our house for a major taco feed - and Lynette's contribution was a most wonderful Sangria.
  • "Bert's Lukshen Kugel" - Bert was Jerry's mom, a sweet lady who introduced me to good Jewish cooking. Her noodle pudding was a lovely rendition of a traditional dish that I had never even heard of before. It's really, really good!

The only recipe I have in my collection named after a person unknown is "Helen's Cranberry Sauce." I haven't a clue as to who Helen is, but I make her sauce every Thanksgiving. And I think I've posted it on my blog before. It's easy: 4 cups of cranberries, 2 cups of sugar, and 1/3 cup of brandy. Place in a baking pan, sprinkle evenly with sugar and stir in brandy. Cover and bake 1 hour at 300 degrees. Voila!

So this past week I took a trip down memory lane with my old high school chums, and today I crown the week with my old cooking buddies.

Such fun.  Lucky me.  A tip of the toque to everyone!


1 comment:

Olga said...

You are having such a sentimental time lately. Enjoy every minute of it.