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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Lot of Them Call for Real Lard

I have a three-ring binder in my kitchen full of tried-and-true recipes, family favorites that go back a couple of generations, newly acquired recipes from friends. It’s a fabulous book complete with comments (the Pork Vindaloo is “wonderfully aromatic!”, the Hamburger/Bean/Bacon hotdish is “a great dish for parties!”, the Broccoli Bacon Salad bears notes regarding the potentially, shall we say, gassy aspects of the eating thereof and an estimation on how long one has until being in small and enclosed areas with other people will not be considered polite). There are stains on the pages, notes on suggested side dishes, and smart-ass comments embedded in recipes received from my father (“add 12 peas and a mouthful of water”).

My son’s thoughtful comment to me the other day?

“When you die, can I have the cookbook?”

Why sure, honey.

The sentimentality of an only son. Isn’t it sweet?

31 comments:

naperville mom said...

Pearl's family cookbook? Wow! You never know, it might be auctioned one day:) How did the reading go?

ICKY said...

LMAO !
1 mouth full of water.

Frank said...

Smart son!!! A son remembers his mother best through the food she made. My mother passed away 12 years ago and my sisters won’t part with the recipes. They keep promising, but never follow through. I wish I had gotten the recipes before she was gone. I would be happy with Pork Vindaloo!!!

The Retired One said...

I love the old cookbooks! I collect them from estate sales. The really old ones just say "add lard the size of an egg" and "add a handful of flour. They are amazing. It was the only way I could find the way to make a homemade pumpkin pie using a real pumpkin (not canned pumpkin).(that was before the internet was available...I know...I am OLD! ha) It is well worth it...we never make our pies out of canned pumpkin anymore...it is SO much better out of fresh pumpkin!

mbuna53 said...

Tact, the boy has a lot of tact.

darsden said...

Very Cheevil of him. I think that is an awesome request. I just go around and stick my name on the bottom of the stuff I am waiting for! ;-)

Bevie said...

Pearl's Family Cookbook

Now that's a book I'd buy.

What is Pork Vindaloo?

Jodie Kash said...

Doll, that sounds like a book to be published in it's pure form, photocopied stains and notes and all…sort of what Courtney Love did with Kurt Cobains' diares.

Lard. Goodness, we always had a bucket of Crisco (actually, the Crisco off-brand - lord know what animal fat was in that) in the cupboard over the stove or pantry growing up. I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with lard now.

Vic said...

I have a cookbook like that that also has "little woman" advice in the margins, like "Your husband will appreciate an attractive plate. Why not a little garnish?"

Susan said...

I'm a lard lover. (Which is why I'm never far from a mirror). Publish! I would SO buy a copy. Seriously.

La Belette Rouge said...

I went to a family reunion in Missouri where a salad consisted of: whipped cream, cream cheese, sour cream and some grapes. I kid you not.In contrast to this salad lard is a health food.

Douglas said...

Your son is planning on becoming rich one day by publishing your cookbook. He's a smart guy, that lad.
I grew up on lard. Well, we called it "margarine" but all it was was lard with a little yellow food coloring. It was also the 1/4" of grease in the bottom of the cast iron skillet when Mom cooked whatever it was that she cooked (we were never told and learned not to ask). Mom had three recipes:

1. Hamburger crunch - The shape (roughly), size, and density of hockey pucks.
2. Tuna & Macaroni salad - This one is actually quite good and I learned it can keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.
3. Slumgullion - This is a mix of gravy (beef, chicken, maybe both), macaroni, and everything found in the fridge that had not yet sprouted blue or green fuzz.

Eskimo Bob said...

That's awesome - I have the Betty Crocker cookbook downloaded on my iPhone. My kids can have that when they pry it from my cold-dead-fingers.

Seriously though - those family recipes are the best, try typing 'Wookie Vomit' into Betty Crocker and see if you can find it. My mom's visiting, and we've already had her busy in the kitchen.

Kavi said...

Kind of a family heritage pass down possibility !

Imagine an archeologist of the next civilisation digging it up and examining it with a microscope.

Wonder what he will make of it. And you !

:)

darsden said...

can you come out and play today?

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

ah! Pork vindalooo! Just love that! Are we going to be treated to some of yer recipes on your blog?!

Bee said...

Oh, I have one of those too.
My kids have just asked me to copy it all for them.

I remember salads that involved green jello and cottage cheese, but I am still reeling from the thought of all of that high-fat dairy in LBR's memory food.

Steve said...

At least he's waiting for you to slip this mortal coil first (so you know he isn't malnurished).

*mary* said...

Hahaha, great post. I love looking through the old cookbooks at my house. There ar some from the '40s that are just priceless comedy pieces. (And they DO all call for lard, don't they?)

Michelle said...

Pearly-Q I noticed your recipes all contain some form of bacon or pork? YES???

Bacon on anything ROCKS and i don't even eat bacon!!

I'm just saying!!!

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

Pearl said...

Naperville, the reading will be this coming Friday. Still plenty of time to freak out!

Icky, it’s a classic, innit?

Frank, tell them you want copies! My mother’s still alive, but I have kept her menu, in her handwriting, of an Easter meal at least 20 years ago. Not sure why…

Retired One, I’d forgotten about that! My grandma said that: “lard the size of an egg”. Yeah, and I still use lard (Manteca brand). It’s in the fridge, lurking…

Mbuna, yes. Tact.

Darsden, good idea – and funny!

Bevie, Pork Vindaloo, at least in my world, is cut up bits of pork, loads of onions, seven-eight spices added to flour to coat the onions and garlic, tomatoes, mustard seed, bay leaf, red wine vinegar and two hours in the oven at 300. Simply falls apart and makes the best “gravy”. Yum.

Jodie, that would actually be kind of fun! There certainly are stains, there’s a note from Dylan when he was about 10 written on the back of one of the recipes. Not to mention the comments… Hmmm. I may have to take another look at that book!

Vic, I swear to you that I’m going to add that comment to one of the pages… “And while you’re making this for the little woman, why not add a sprig of cilantro? Comment on her choice of attire. A little compliment goes a long way!”

Susan, that was pretty funny! Honestly, I think I’ll mention this to Willie…

La Belette, I feel your pain. There are dishes in Minnesota that contain jello, carrots, pineapple rings and Miracle Whip. I shit you not.

Douglas, I swear I’ve seen the word “slumgullion” before.
Your mother was quite the food adventurer, huh?

Eskimo Bob, I like seeing them passed along. I have a cukes and onions in sour cream recipe that my mom and my grandma made. My son LOVES it. Same with Great-Grandma Larsen’s sugar cookies (call for lard!) and the Finnish mushroom salad.

Kavi, I only wish I’d written down more of my grandma’s recipes. I don’t have her recipe for molasses cookies or for the cream/sugar/vinegar dressing that all the old farm women made for lettuce…

Darsden, I wish! I’m stuck in Minneapolis, where the sky has gone completely white…

Roshni, that’s an idea. I wonder which ones? (I made the vindaloo yesterday. Oh! So tender and flavorful!)

Bee, your kids are right. I think having a family cook book is a great idea.

Steve, well there’s that, isn’t there? At least he’s not trying to rush me along – who else would scratch his back on command?!

“mary”, they do call for lard, oh, yes. The applesauce substitute is just not the same!

Michelle, I must’ve been hungry when I typed this up because um, yeah! I guess they all do!
I love meat, but my primarily thing to eat are vegetables. Sauced, unsauced, butter, salt, pepper. In salads, steamed, marinated. Not really into desserts – although I won’t turn them down!
Wait. Looks like I’m hungry again!

darsden said...

come over for a lil visit pearl

Mary Moore said...

He obviously sure does love you!

Lilly said...

Oh that is sweet and I love the idea of the family cookbook. Um not sure my daughter could ask me for mine as she is a way better cook but it has reminded me to go ask my mother for hers though....lard, it reminds me of my grandmother..

♥ Braja said...

A mouthful of water? I can only imagine that sense of wit has been passed down from generation to... Pearl :)

Jeanne said...

My grandmother tried to teach me to cook, but since her instructions included things like, "Flour? Oh, about as much you need. You'll know." we didn't get very far.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Many of my recipes are so vague...

Cook it until it looks good.

Stir it until your hand gets tired.

Seriously.

:)

Beth said...

We have a similar cookbook in my family. Only no one can read my husband's handwriting. Not even him.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Whoa!

Hey, Way Way too sweet of you to leave me the tape measure in my mailbox! Really... ME?!?

i posted the thing immediately and will do a big recognition post very soon, I promise!

I really am honored...

Thanks!;D

fingers said...

Keep an eye on your son, Pearl.
He'll be after your summer dress collection next.
Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Bevie said...

Douglas: That sounds like a good meal. We had a lot of hamburger crunch made in a cast iron skillet, too. And the tuna and macaroni.

Slumguillion sounds wonderful. I believe it's a variation on my mother's cooking. Clearly your mother and mine attended the same "school" of cooking.