Earlier this week Lise Howe posted memories of her mother's cooking and requested that we share a recipe that our mothers cooked. Since reading that post, and with Mother's Day fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot about my mom.
I have such fond memories of her and appreciate her more with each passing year. Her faith, her spirit of adventure (heading off to Europe with only a backpack--when she was in her 60s), her unwavering belief in her children and unconditional love. She made the simplest of activities special and memorable, turned hardships into fun, and introduced us to the wonderful world of nature, hiking and and thoughtfully caring for our planet and all of us who inhabit it.
Here my mother, on the left, is holding her first child, my brother Dan. My Aunt is holding her first child, my cousin Patricia. Early 1945; the world is at war; both husbands were in the military; uncertainty abounded. This picture epitomizes motherhood to me - all the joy, hopes and plans for the future.
While cooking was not one of her fortes, baking certainly was. In reading over the few recipes I kept, I found a theme -- simplicity and easy. I'll share two of those here.
First, Sunday Morning Special (what really was special was her giving it a name, which made us appreciate it all the more.) Super simple:
- butter a square baking dish;
- place shredded wheat biscuits in it;
- dot with butter; sprinkle a bit of brown sugar;
- add milk so about 2/3 of the biscuits were covered;
- bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and biscuits soften.
One of her candies sounds really strange when I read the ingredients, but as kids we thought it was delicious, Coconut Potato Candy. As I recall, she made it only at Christmastime. Like many recipes of the day, terms were general and quantities often unstated.
- Boil several medium sized potatoes; drain off water; mash the potatoes;
- Add powdered sugar and coconut until very stiff; (proportions? experiment!)
- Spread onto a buttered platter or baking tray;
- When cold, pour on a thin coating of melted bitter chocolate.
Happy Mother's Day to all who take on the role of mother.