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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wherein I Channel Love Through Spiced 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.

28 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Loved this first time round and love it again - just like the recipes contained in the item under discussion... good words, like good food linger long in memory.

Delicious. YAM xx

joeh said...

THis post looks familiar, I believe my comment was:

Publish this recipe book!

"17 peas and a mouthful of water"
Priceless!

vanilla said...

Enjoyed anew! Hope the boy does continue the tradition.

Kathleen McCoy said...

This was wonderful! Nothing like real family recipes! I agree that needs to be your next book!

Sioux said...

I agree. This could be your next book.

jenny_o said...

Yes, please, to a book. Imagine the combination of great home-cooking recipes AND Pearl's (and Pearl's dad's) commentary ...

Launna said...

I love those old recipies... the one's that say a handful of this... bake in hot oven... always cool figuring them out ;-)

Laoch of Chicago said...

It is sorrowful that no recipe for meatballs is included in this post as I now have a desperate need to make tasty meatballs.

terlee said...

Until the book...can I get the Never-Fail Fudge recipe??? ;D

Shelly said...

I really do hope one of your next projects include a cookbook, with the notes.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

I once asked my mother the same question about her Betty Crocker cookbook, only my words were wayyyyy graceless, I guess, as I caused her to write inside the front cover: "For Dawn. From Mom - after I croak."

Indigo Roth said...

Hey PearlyGirl! So... may I come to dinner? =) Indigo x

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love this; heartwarming. I too hope the handwritten comments continue.

Elephant's Child said...

Big, big smiles. And when I pick up second hand cook books at sales I LOVE to see food stains and comments as I work my way through. A pristine cook book is an unused cook book.

Juli said...

I rarely follow a recipe. Which is why we have a dinner is this... or take out, depending on how it goes.

Leenie said...

A mom who cooked full meals and a dad with a warped and twisted sense of humor. You are truly blessed, Pearl. I'm thinking those cookbooks will be more priceless than any piece of jewelry or furniture.

HermanTurnip said...

"one mouthful of water"

This makes more sense to me than "one Barbie doll head worth of water", or the more oblique "ten elephant tears worth"

Taffy said...

Hi, Pearl! Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog! Your cookbook sounds like it would be quite the interesting read!!!

Timothy Hecht said...

Nothing says love like a spicy meatball.

Lin said...

I have hand-written notes on mine too. My favorite is on the Sausage Balls recipe. Next to the name is my husband's scribblings: "Otherwise known as 'Tasticles' or 'Joe's balls.' I'm sure who ever inherits these recipes is gonna enjoy the chuckle.

Al Penwasser said...

Oh great! Now I need to go see what's in the fridge.
I've always thought the term 'meatballs' was redundant.
Especially for guys.

Rose L said...

Stir in one mouthful of water!???!!!
I now picture a man drinking water, swishing it around in his mouth, and spitting it into a bowl of odd ingredients. I would never eat another thing he fixed!!!
Sorry, not hungry!!!

River said...

I agree the cook book should be published. But may we please have the never-fail fudge recipe here?

Daisy said...

What a treasure! Not only the book, and it's notes, but the memory of family dinners cooked with love.

Hope you'll tell us more, and yes, give us the fudge recipe!

the walking man said...

You could always make that a codicil of your will or donate them to the library where he will have to take them on loan.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

You know I have never made meatballs and in fact the only time I have eaten meatballs is when I had a meatball sub from Subway

esbboston said...

My recipes are on a separate blog from my writing, so they have the ability to have side notes as weLL. As far as my death and recipes go, I never plan to get rid of the blog, and Blogger doesn't appear to be disappearing anytime too soon, so it is extremely likely my recipes wiLL survive me.

Pat Tillett said...

A mouth full of water? Before I buy the book, I want to make sure it has received the FDA seal of approval.