Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Passing the Torch

As the mother of four sons, I was pretty much guaranteed to be the most popular person in the house when it came to food. Boys have this habit of eating at regular intervals, and when they're teenagers the exact time they're hungry would be "all of the."

I've mentioned before that I'm really not a very good cook. I make dynamite crescent rolls, and a fine chocolate sheetcake, but most of the rest of my efforts go into the edible-but-not-memorable category. (Huh. I just realized that this is one more example of my willing semi-competence. I'm beginning to think that trait defines my life.) 

I was fortunate that the Boys and Husband weren't picky--once they reached the age of knowing it was pretty nice to have supper waiting for them when they got home, the Boys would eat almost anything if it didn't include (in the case of Boy#1) tomatoes or (Boy#4) mushrooms. Husband won't eat lima beans or egg salad, both of which I'm just fine with omitting from our menus. Of course no one could eat the experimental Cheesy Shrimp Grits that I tried a decade or so ago and which had the consistency and gustatory appeal of wallpaper paste. Wallpaper paste that required about $24 worth of ingredients and which Our Dog Pepper loved, but none of the rest of us could swallow. But hey--Cheesy Shrimp Grits became the absolute bottom of the food chain in the House on the Corner. If something didn't turn out just right, someone was sure to say, "Well, this may have poisoned us, but it wasn't as bad as Cheesy Shrimp Grits."

Anyway, now that they're out and living in their own apartments the Boys have discovered that some of the things I cooked that really weren't all that good also really weren't all that bad and they're asking me for recipes.

"King Ranch Casserole and anything else you think I might want to cook," Boy#3 specified in his request.

That was easy enough--KRC is on the internet in about eleventy-seven places so I sent this recipe on, then I opened my cookbooks to see what I've cooked over the years. It's not hard to find those recipes: The pages are grease-stained and steam-crinkled. Wonderful Waffles. Betty Crocker's Beef Stew. Molasses Crinkles. I'm typing them all out to distribute.

And now the Boys can start their own food legends in their own homes. One of these days they'll be cooking for me, and I can't wait.

Until then, moms out there, what recipes are you passing along to your kids?


  1. Most of my recipes are from my parents. A lot of good basics: a chili, a spaghetti sauce, a lasagna, a vegetable soup, a baked mac-and-cheese. Seeing that several favorites were called "Nancy's _____," I said, "Nancy must have been a good cook!" My dad said no, Nancy was a poor cook and hated cooking, so she was motivated to find the really good, really easy, really-hard-to-mess-up recipes!

  2. Unfortunately, I'm at that stage of parenting when the idea of planning and making even one more unappreciated or only semi-appreciated meal makes me feel homicidal. I'm certain this will change, but at this point, I'm considering burning every cookbook I own and eating out every meal (or living on cereal) as soon as both of my kids are out of the house. Extreme? Probably, but it's the fantasy that is getting me through this week's dinners ;-)

    My mom didn't pass on many recipes but my MIL has passed on quite a few easy, basic recipes that the kids more or less like and for that I appreciate her greatly.

  3. My mom's KRC is pretty similar - use a cup of light sour cream instead of cream of mushroom, no peppers, and a few other little things. It's one of my favorites to make, especially for potlucks because everyone loves it!

  4. My mother gave me all sorts of recipes when I moved out--including two for dinners she made that I strongly disliked and would never make. Twenty years later, I still haven't made either, but I giggle to see them included. Did she really not know how I felt about them? Overall, she's a really good cook, but wow.

  5. My kids are still too young to answer that final question but I must say this...your rolls...your Thanksgiving rolls are out of this world!!! (Yes, that called for three exclamation marks).

  6. My oldest has his first off-campus apartment this year, so I sent him off with a few recipes. His favorites from my list: Taco Stew, Chicken Enchiladas, Mexican Chicken, and my Mozzarella Meatballs with baked pasta.