Those little things that your mum or dad used to do?

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Jade Emperor

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That have now become part of your own cooking?
My example:
My mum used to create the absolute best crispy roast potatoes, which for the life of me, I just couldn’t recreate. Sure, I knew about par-boiling and tossing them in the pan for that roughened texture, but still not as good.
Sadly, my mother passed away before I could ask her the secret.
I reached out to all that knew her to see if they could help me with the step that I was missing.
Eventually, I discovered that my mum used to deep fry the potatoes before putting them into the oven!
I tried this, and guess what? Perfect!
Now I won’t do them any other way, and now people ask ME how I get them so beautifully crispy!
Please share away!
 
My mum was a really good cook. She seemed to like cooking and she had trained as a housekeeper, in Denmark. I still cook a "French omelette" pretty much the way she taught me as a kid. I make tuna salad exactly the way she did, even though she always called scallions leeks. Scallions were not available in Denmark even in the 1970s, they are now. My mum didn't teach me a lot of cooking, but I did watch her and I did pick up some stuff that I only realized later I had picked up.
 
My dad didn't cook, with the exception of steaks or chicken on the charcoal grill. He didn't prep the steaks or chickens, he just did the cooking part. He does get extra points for building the rotisserie for that grill. The grill was one of those round ones that every suburban home seemed to have in the 1950s and 60s and we called them BBQs at the time. They did not have lids. He was an engineer and had been a machinist. He actually built the motor of that rotisserie from scratch.
 
My mum was a competent cook. She made a very good Indonesian hachee (in the pressure cooker) and a bean oven dish, that I can't re-create as I cannot get the ingredients here.
My dad was a good cook and enjoyed cooking. I still use his scrambled egg recipe with tomato, bacon and lots of chives added to it and all the Indonesian dishes. I've never seen him use a cook book, he went by feel and taste and I suppose that's where my improvisation in cooking comes from
 
My mom was a recipe follower. She had no true innovative cooking skills for imagination, but she could follow a recipe. My dad was the experimenter/ try new things ... Although I can't remember any specific things, his contribution to my love of cooking would be to try new things. This was pre-internet days, so everything he came across was either through PBS cooking shows or articles in the food section of The NY Times. Sunday was his cooking day, as it was the one consistent day he had off. I remember the first time he made Moo Goo Gai Pan. He purchased a wok specifically to make the dish. Adding ingredients like Snow Peas, been sprouts, water chestnuts ... Which, although, relatively common and accessible today, back then, not so much. I also remember him introducing us to Artichokes ( both plain with a dipping sauce ( usually garlic and butter) or stuffed ). Again, not something typical in a household at the time, but I loved looking forward to new things every week. Today its easy with the internet, groups like this ... So one of his biggest influences on me would be to look for/ and try new things.
 
My mom was a great cook and looked for and was willing to try everything. They traveled a bit in later years and she always brought home a cookbook.
Their last house had a huge fireplace, with an oven on the side and a cast iron hook inside. So, of course, they had to recreate a meal cooked entirely there. Bread in the brick oven, pheasant (or maybe duck or venison, not sure, as they were hunters) in a stew hanging in a cauldron. I wished I'd been there for it. Evidently a huge success, my father crowed about it for weeks! LOL

think I've mentioned this before but once...
She and her SIL roasted a whole piglet for Christmas/New Years once. Neither had an oven big enough so they cut it in half and each roasted a part. Mom got the head end, (my Aunt didn't want to touch it?), she roasted it with the apple in its mouth but it squished down, she whisked it out and stuck in a fresh one.
 
Thanks for sharing and starting this thread. I'll be interested to read more. Sadly, I don't have any directly related stories to share. Mom didn't cook.
My mom wasn't much of a cook either, but she used to make me cinnamon toast. Toasted white bread, butter, sugar, and cinnamon.

My dad made banana pancakes and bacon for breakfast on weekends. He made awesome grilled porterhouse steaks.
 
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My mom was from a huge family out in the middle of nowhere who ate what you could get on the farm. They didn't have recipes. I had her make the chicken and noodles for me and wrote it down the best I could and it took some practice and it also can go wrong if the weather is not just so. But it's delicious.

She and a couple of her sisters all had competing ways to make lemon pound cake. None of them could really give you a recipe but I got notes from two of them and did my best to put them together and managed to make a couple of good ones.

My grandmother often had small new potatoes that she fried in bacon but I could never get them to taste the way hers did and my mom didn't really know how to either. But she definitely fried them in bacon grease. I never caught her boiling them first but I think maybe that had to be what happened.
 
I do often wonder if there is an element of love for my mother in my fondness for her cooking.
I couldn’t be honest and say that she was a great cook. She wasn’t. If you were wanting to be a delinquent and smash some windows, all you required were my mother’s scones.
But I will never forget (or accurately replicate) her scouse - which is a quite simple English stew using minced beef, carrots and onions and a gravy. I loved it, although it was considered a “poverty” dish. Yeah, we didn’t have a lot of money back then.
 
I wonder if anybody had much money back then.. can my mom's generation even if someone had money they were pretty careful with it because they had lived through what happened in the United States and 1929 known as the Great depression when nobody had anything.

My mom really excelled at making candy. She made marshmallow fudge and I caramel type candy similar to fudge that she called Aunt Bill's that nobody else seemed to make. If we had nothing else at Christmas, it would have been a good time just for the candy alone.
 
My mother was relatively good basic cook, as long as she had a written recipe. Nothing notable because she had some food quirks. Such as corn HAS to be yellow and beans, cut, are green. There are more but I don't remember.

One thing I do recall vividly is when she cooked a steak, it was so well-done it could be used to shingle a roof. Guess that's why I like mine rare! Oh, well!!
 
Another thing my Mom would make sure of ( which I still do, and made sure of when my kids were still in the house), even though she wasn't the greatest cook, we always had a balanced home cooked meal ( A protein, side of veggies, dessert ), and we always ate dinner together as a family around the kitchen table, talking about how our day was ...

An aside: there was never a day when she broiled fish or lamb chops where she didn't set off the smoke detector , and had to fan it until it stopped beeping.
 
My mother was relatively good basic cook, as long as she had a written recipe. Nothing notable because she had some food quirks. Such as corn HAS to be yellow and beans, cut, are green. There are more but I don't remember.

One thing I do recall vividly is when she cooked a steak, it was so well-done it could be used to shingle a roof. Guess that's why I like mine rare! Oh, well!!
Back in the day, it wasn't quite as safe to eat meat rare. Especially pork. There's been a lot of refinements since then so that now you don't have to practically burn pork.
 
Back in the day, it wasn't quite as safe to eat meat rare. Especially pork. There's been a lot of refinements since then so that now you don't have to practically burn pork.
That was because there can be trichina in pork. Modern hygiene methods in raising pork and inspection have eliminated virtually all trichina from pork.

But, some game meat, like bear and porcupine still need to be cooked to the same sorts of temperatures as poultry to be safe and kill any trichina.
 
My mother was an excellent all-around cook. Plus, she was the queen of leftovers that did not look like leftovers. Roast one night, Manhattans the next, Hash for a third night and, if there was a bone, soup soon followed. Money was tight so food waste was not going to happen. She made candies and a fruit/nut basket at Christmas. Also, she stuffed dates with pecans and rolled them in powdered sugar. Simply delicious. Every room was decked out for holidays...
 
My mother was an excellent all-around cook. Plus, she was the queen of leftovers that did not look like leftovers. Roast one night, Manhattans the next, Hash for a third night and, if there was a bone, soup soon followed. Money was tight so food waste was not going to happen. She made candies and a fruit/nut basket at Christmas. Also, she stuffed dates with pecans and rolled them in powdered sugar. Simply delicious. Every room was decked out for holidays...
I've never heard of Manhattans.....looked it up, a hot roast beef sandwich gravy on top.

My mom is still alive. My mom did very little stuff.
 
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