RECIPES FROM GRANDPARENTS
Grandparents are great for passing down all sorts of things among generations: names, stories, recipes. Miney (pronounced “my knee” not Minnie) is my grandmother. This is not your typical grandparent moniker, at least not from what I’ve come across. In our family, whatever name comes out of the oldest grandchild’s mouth as a toddler is what sticks, for better or worse. For example, Miney was married to Grampy. (It took me until I was about 10 years old to figure out these were not their real names because we were not calling them the typical Grandma and Grandpa!) I also happen to know that my own mother steered her grandchild away from names like Mee-Maw and Ma-maw. Some may call this cheating, but she felt it was best to nip these things in the bud!
My mother’s parents both had some great recipes we still cook today. The first is Miney’s Noodle Casserole. It is a great, easy to make casserole that can feed an army and keep their bellies full! I’ve even made the sauce ahead of time to take on a family vacation. Or you can break it up into smaller, individual-sized meals for single people. It works as long as you have an oven to bake it in.
MINEY’S NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 lb. ground meat
Minced onion for seasoning
1 8oz. package thin noodles
1 can of tomato soup
cup of milk
4 Tbsp. chili sauce
2-3 Tbsp. barbeque sauce
3 Tbsp. relish
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
Brown ground meat and onion in large skillet. Cook noodles; drain. Mix meat and noodles. Add tomato soup diluted with milk. Add chili sauce, barbeque sauce, relish, and half of the cheese. Mix well, top with more cheese, and bake in casserole dish at 350 degrees until brown, about 30-40 minutes. Serves 4 (very hungry) people more like 6 people.
Grampy had his own recipes. Truth be told, he was probably the cook in that family! He could take the Nestle’s Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from the back of the bag and make a cookie all his own. We still haven’t figured out that one yet, and many of us have tried! Few have succeeded in baking them without “brown bottoms.”
Another grandmother writes her recipes in plain English. No formal list of ingredients, few measurements, not too many formal cooking times. Just “a little of this” and “a little of that.” Here’s an example:
Make jello according to directions. Set until jelly-like. Take mixer and beat until foamy, adding some canned milk to make more fluffy. You can add canned or fresh fruit and let set until firm.
We all know we can learn a lot from our grandparents. We just need to remember how to make good family-style food that can be shared by all.