These are tried and true recipes I’ve created, collected and modified to my taste throughout the years. Living a little ways out of town, I try to keep a well-stocked pantry because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for and hate having to make a trip to the store because I’m missing just one ingredient. When I get the phone call, “What ya cookin’ tonight, Granma?” I like to have many options. I like basic recipes that don’t call for ingredients that can be hard to find.
Good home cookin’ is my specialty. I’ve added explanations to some recipes as though you were in the kitchen with me.
My tastes are shaped by my childhood growing up on a farm. We butchered a cow and a pig each year. The meat was shared with neighbors who helped cut and package the meat for freezing. Fat was rendered into lard. Lard was our cooking fat and sometimes made into soap. The soap was made in an old crock, then put in a wooden fruit box lined with a dish towel to harden. I still have Pa’s meat grinder with a large pulley on it instead of a hand crank. He used an electric motor to power it when grinding hamburger.
We had a small apple orchard, a plumb tree, mulberry bushes, and a couple of black walnut trees. We had bushels and bushels of apples. Ma froze apple slices in pie tins lined with waxed paper. When frozen, she transferred them to a bag. Whenever she wanted to make an apple pie, she’d send me to the freezer to grab a filling. Looking back, I think, “How simple is that?” All she had to do was whip up a pie crust, put the frozen apples in, add sugar and cinnamon, then bake. Freezing apples in a pie tin is something I’ve never seen in any cook book. It’s one of those things that would be lost if not passed to the next generation.
Each year, we planted a garden. Ma canned applesauce, pickles, sauerkraut, jelly, tomatoes, catsup, tomato sauce, corn and many other vegetables. When peaches came on sale, we’d buy a crate or two and can them. Although I have Ma’s pressure cooker, I no longer use it due to safety concerns.
Life was simpler then – we ate what we could raise or grow on our farm.
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