Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Family recipes

People have been blessing me with memories lately. Just this morning, I read a post from my cousin Linda, who remembered spending the weekend with me beau coup years ago. I know it was before 1964, for sure. We spent an afternoon with my Grandmother Sleadd, in her little upstairs apartment near the school in my hometown. "Apartment" might be a stretch--it was probably a bedroom and bath, with a little bit of a kitchen.

Linda remembered Grandmother teaching us how to make a lemon meringue pie, and that it was the best lemon meringue pie she ever ate. That would be true, for sure, because Nanny did make the best lemon pies in the world! The "teaching" part, though--unfortunately for David and the rest of mankind, unless Linda learned, that was a huge overstatement. I know I didn't learn how to make that pie, and now the recipe is gone.

As far as I know, Grandmother's recipes weren't written down, more's the pity. They were recipes she knew by heart, so she didn't need the references. And, as is so true of many of our family recipe treasures, you decided how much of an ingredient to add based on "until it looks right", or "about this much". Unfortunately, there are no measuring cups with those measurements on them!

I do have a transcript of my mother telling me how to make hot-water cornbread, another of Grandmother's specialties, and how to fry the best (as far as I'm concerned) chicken in the world. I've not had success at either of those endeavors, but David can turn out a pretty good facsimile of the hot-water cornbread. He got his recipe, written down, in a cookbook from Shelby County, KY. That seems to be the origin of the recipe, as far as I can tell, at least that part of the state--Shelby, Franklin, Anderson. I haven't found hot-water cornbread outside that area.

Well, now I'm hungry, not just for that food, but for those two much-loved cooks. Love to all, and God bless.

1 comment:

Mrs. Allroro said...

If I do get to visit you guys this summer, I really want to do some cooking with you and Daddy so I can really learn some of our most important recipes (goulash, vegetable soup, macaroni salad...) I know they're all simple recipes, but I'm a simple gal, and I want to make sure I've got em down!