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Old 04-03-2005, 03:46 PM   #1
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Family Secret recipes...

I dont have that many to share but here is one story...

My aunt made a really good basil-vinegar. A friend of hers tried to make it but couldnt and she asked her the secret. It turned out that she used Heinz's distilled vinegar since it is made differently from all the other vinegars (I forget exactly how).

Anyhow the lady goes back and makes the basil vinegar; puts it in really nice glass bottles and starts selling it for $20 or $25 per bottle...

My aunt was so pissed! I think she still is to this day.

So what family secrets do you have?


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Old 04-03-2005, 03:50 PM   #2
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the vinegar thing, I think had something to do with having gluten or not having gluten, see like this link:


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Old 04-03-2005, 03:55 PM   #3
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About the only other family secret was the one for egg cookies. The secret was to use hard boiled eggs and to shave them down and then into the batter. This recipe I pulled from catholicculture.org website, and is an example:

Easter egg cookies

This recipe uses hard-boiled eggs in the mix. The dough is rolled out and cut into shapes. You can use these cookies as egg holders for the Easter table, by making a wreath or round shape with a place to put the decorated egg.

Decorate an egg for each person at the dinner, and include their name, and you have a wonderful "place card."

Mix grated lemon rind with 10 tablespoons sugar. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar mixture gradually. Cream together until fluffy. Beat in egg. Put hard-cooked eggs through a ricer and add. Stir in flour. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Flatten into cakes and dip into egg white, then in mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nuts, to taste. Bake in ungreased pans at 325 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. If using cookie cutters, roll dough between waxed paper, not too flat, and chill several hours for easier handling. If the children help, plan for a long session. Roll out several small batches ahead of time so that the chilled dough can be worked with when the other dough becomes soft and needs to be rechilled. Have a bowl of flour handy in which to dip cutters occasionally, and toothpicks to help loosen dough if it sticks. Work on waxed paper. Never use flour on the dough. Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick.

So I guess it's not really a secret anymore...
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:06 AM   #4
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Turkey Dressing Recipe

Sorry folks, I just threw it out last week... You see, I was decluttering... and I had this hand-written recipe that I had kept since my early marriage days, back in the late seventies... I finally gave up and decided I would NEVER again make it so I chucked it...

All her married life my mom struggled to duplicate her mother-in-law's famous turkey dressing recipe and never succeeded, according to my dad who passed in April 1980. His mom had passed long before my mom and dad were married, so some time in the forties...

It was a very time consuming recipe, it involved roasting the "abats" as they are called in French (the neck, gizzard and all the other stuff that "they" put in the bag inside the turkey,) then creating a broth with it all, (slowly simmering them in water for 2 to 3 hours) removing the small amounts of meat from the bones, using a small quantity of mashed potatoes (made with butter and cream of course) and using cooked ground veal and ground pork (again small quantities, aobut 1.5 cups each cooked) then trying for almost 30 years to figure out the spice combination: allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, S & P of course...

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Old 04-04-2005, 10:58 PM   #5
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Spaghetti Sauce

My mom makes fantastic spaghetti sauce. Among other things, the most unique thing (I think) that she does is not browning the ground beef before adding it to the sauce.
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.--unknown, at least to me
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:08 AM   #6
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my mother could never make grandma's (her mother) spaghetti sauce the same way. Years later I figured it out: You have to mince that garlic finely! Dont just toss it in there...

I figured out another thing about a lot of grandma's italian cooking. She would add anchovies to the sauce. I figured it out sort of by accident when I realized how "homey" my spaghetti sauce tasted.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:52 AM   #7
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jpinmaryland, your posting with the hard boiled egg cookies is so unique; do you happen to know the origins (what country/culture it started in) of that recipe?

"The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for" ~ Sophia Loren
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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the recipe my great aunt uses is either an old polish or slovak recipe. she is from Silesia part of Poland, at least for a time, and so the recipe might be from there.

The internet recipe I posted is not necessarily hers, it was just something I found on quick google. It is very similar, I'll have to get her actual recipe.

In her recipe she shaves the hard boiled eggs across a grater and so these little crumbly bits of hard boiled eggs go into the cookie. Making for a rather unique texture/flavor.

I'll google it a bit and then ask her the next time I see her.
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:47 PM   #9
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well I managed to fine only one more recipe, a polish recipe that uses grated up egg yolks. There is a chill step in the frigerator which I think is what my great aunt does. This recipe uses poppy seeds! I love poppy seeds:

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Old 04-09-2005, 10:48 PM   #10
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One thing I've learned about "family secret" recipes it that there is always something in the recipe that doesn't get put down on the recipe card!

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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