I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wherein I Channel Love Through Spiced Ground Beef

I made meatballs the other day.

The meatball recipe came to me from my father, a man well known for colorful description. The words “add 17 peas” or “stir in one mouthful of water” sometimes crop up in these handwritten instructions, along with comments like “too good for kids” and “your mother eats this by the handful”.

Food in my family has always been an expression of love. I don’t recall hearing the words “I love you” as a child, but I didn’t have to be told as it was obvious with a glance at the dinner table. My mother, convinced that pre-packaged foods were a toehold into deviant behavior that would lead to paper-plate usage and a laissez-faire attitude toward making one’s bed, served full meals every evening.

They were delicious.

And now I have the recipes - and scribble in the comments: "Good "man" recipe," I write next to the Mackey Beans. "The Boy once held me at bay with one hand while finishing this off, directly from the pan," I write next to the Never-Fail Fudge.

“Mom,” The Boy said the other night. “When you die, can I have your cookbooks?”

And then he laughed, thinking, judging by the look on his face, that he’d stumbled a bit, said something graceless.

But for the recipes to go to him?

I only hope the handwritten comments continue.

37 comments:

Fred Miller said...

Tessa was all sad on Sunday because she wanted a chicken and rice casserole but we didn't have any Cream of Chicken soup. I said, "I've got bullion, and I can make a cream sauce with flour, milk and oil. She was a happy girl.

Her son asked for another plateful.

Scrapbooking for Men

Logical Libby said...

My Mom made a point of writing out all of her recipes for me and my two sisters, and added stories and such in the margins. Now I don't want to cook with them because I don't want to ruin them...

Pearl said...

:-) You're a good man, Fred.

furiousBall said...

i've got a couple of my grandmother's recipes on my kitchen walls. i think it would be really funny if the recipes were terrible. but that's just the kind of sense of humor my grandmother had

jenn said...

I love the idea of these comments! "One mouthful of water" cracked me up. What better way to pass on, not only family recipes, but the personality of the cook?

Pearl said...

Logical Libby, many of my recipes are stained. :-) It's clear to see which ones are used most often!

Furious, I just love the ones written by my grandma. I love the old fashioned script, and if I close my eyes, I can see her hands.

Jenn, oh, my dad's quite the character. :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I adore that the recipes are written like this. Charming.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Never Fail Fudge--? Mmm. Can I get that recipe?
xoRobyn

Travis Erwin said...

Love and Beef and great memories. Life get's no better.

Wynn said...

That is lovely.

Gigi said...

What a great concept! Mind if I borrow it? Oh wait, I don't cook.

lisleman said...

paper-plate usage - oh that's evil - what would happen to the dishwasher industry?

Wierdo said...

I may do this. Or, I may think of doing this, do it a bit and then get too lazy.

I recently got loads of recipies off my grandmother for various cakes and at the moment they're scribbled on an envelope...

Lisa said...

My heart is warmed with a side of chuckle. Thanks for that.

Big Fat Gini said...

Our oldest asked me if I'd save his favorite recipes for him. Then he changed his mind and said, "I'll just make you cook them for me forever." I think we have other issues to deal with...

Laoch of Chicago said...

Meatballs! Ok I am deeply hungry now.

Symdaddy said...

Cooked food?

I'm OFF cooked food just now.

My stomach is still making demands, as is my wife (for my culinary skills only [sigh!] - I can whip up chicken in sweet spicy sauce in 15 minutes and no one dies) but I refuse to be bullied away from my bran and fruit.

HulaBuns said...

What a great idea! I do lots of weird things already, but think I might have to add this to the list!

How sweet that your son wants the recipes! :)

Ann Imig said...

You need to read these on the radio.

This post = COZY FIRE FIRST SNOW AND A CHILD CUDDLING WHO NEVER CUDDLES ANYMORE.

Tear...

Simply Suthern said...

My wife has a no fail recipe and it never does. The middle girl tried 4 times before running out of ingredients and never got it made.

We have lots of local Church cookbooks. Shows how to fry almost everything.

a Broad said...

I belong to the Cooking = Love Club.

My grandfather was a chef, I never got his recipes. He never wrote anything down.
My mother in law was another who cooked like a dream but never wrote anything down, but at least she told me how to make the dishes I liked the most. . Directions complete with all the hand motions .. which I do the same when sharing the recipe with someone else.

I laughed out loud at the "mouthful of water" ...

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Oh Pearl!
Those priceless margin scribblings
and thumbprints..

I sometimes measure up my thumb to the thumbprint my Grandma left me in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook

it's identical :)

Rene

mrwriteon said...

Family cookbooks are iconic and to be cherished and it's a terrible pity when they're lost. YOu gave me a craving for meatballs, you did. My ex was Swedish extraction and her mother made meatballs to die for. After the divorce I lost my source. I'm not saying I miss the meatballs more than the marriage, but it's a close contest.

A Mom on Spin said...

And what love it is. . .

Flea said...

Two springs ago I spent a few days with my grandmother. Months before she passed on. I typed her handwritten recipes on my laptop while she told me stories about the people who gave them to her. The hundred sixty year old ketchup recipe may be one I never make, but I love having it. :)

lunamother said...

I'm half Sicilian. Food absolutely = Love

reasonably chubby said...

I loved this post! And I'm jealous. My mom's motto was food + one jar of Ragu = LUV. Health. and Happiness. We ate ALOT of spaghetti, and it doesn't even require a recipe. At least everytime I see that signature jar in the grocey aisle I'm taken back to fond, fond memories.

EcoGrrl said...

thats funny, when you talk about that i think of how different my mom and dad (divorced) were when it came to food. for my high school graduation celebrations, my mom had a brunch with her best china at the house with fancy foods and fancy coffee and classical music. my dad had his family's celebration for me at Old Country Buffet, complete with uncontrolled screaming children throughout the restaurant.

Tempo said...

...and so it is that we pass the best of ourselves on to the next generation...

Jon in France said...

I don't suppose that there is any way you could be pursuaded to post these online? One can never have too much ammunition.

I'd swap for my rye bread recipe...

Gaston Studio said...

How lucky for you that you have cookbooks with such fantatic comments with the recipes! I love the "mouthful of water" the best!

white rabbit said...

Now about the meatball recipe???

I don't mind swapping. I got good ones :D

Pearl said...

OK -- I've written it down and now you're in for it: a future post with the meatball recipe and the never-fail fudge.

Been kinda down lately -- who knew all I had to do was cook a bit to make myself feel better?

Jon in France said...

"Been kinda down lately -- who knew all I had to do was cook a bit to make myself feel better?"

Never fails. The joy of creation.

Stacy Q said...

I totally fail at the cooking thing, but I totally love a good cookbook. The comments in the margins sound fabulous - I want a copy of your cookbook too!

pixie d said...

I'm making soup tomorrow! Inspired or just ready to celebrate fall. Thick hearty soups with bread and just my luck the weather turns warm. I'm still making soup tomorrow.
(I made meatballs last week.)

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I have a few of my mother's best recipes somewhere. Hmmm, I wonder where I put 'em? They're very good. I should look, right? Dammit, just when I got the place straightened out. Indigo