Growing up in a large family of 6, with two full time working parents, we all shared many household duties. We children had many chores required of us during the week. A load of wash was done early every morning and one of us was pinning it to a line in the back yard before 7:30 AM. We removed the dry clothes from outdoors that evening, then set around in a circle until the folding was complete. We were responsible for all the dirty dishes after each meal including clearing the table, washing, drying and stacking away. Saturday was always reserved for cleaning the house. We worked hard, but all those chores were rewarded with many great meals cooked by both of my parents.
My mother, Mary, was an inventive cook and never followed a recipe, my father, Jack, always followed a recipe. Between those two styles of cooking, we never left a crumb on our plates. Breakfast was my dad’s territory, in fact my mother didn’t even speak to you in the morning, until she had a cigarette and a second cup of coffee. Both parents alternated for lunch and dinner. My father was a tall man with large hands and Boy!! Could those hands produce the most delicate tiny cinnamon rolls I’ve ever placed in my mouth. His French toast was mouth watering and his biscuits, large, soft middle, and crusty top.
My mother was forbidden to make biscuits as they resembled flat, hard hockey pucks. And believe me, you would need a hockey stick to remove them from your plate and if you dared to eat one it would remain in your stomach all day. But, I must give my mom credit for making truly different salads and soups. I’ve yet to meet anyone else in my life that combined the ingredients she used to come up with something that was fabulous.
As a child, the most favorite meal of the week for me was Thursday evening. We always had pancakes with bacon or ham. My father used the Mundine(a Uvalde, Texas family) recipe . He’d carefully mix all the ingredients: the flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, a little sugar and using a large tablespoon, place the mixture on a buttered grill(we still use his old grill to make our pancakes). The pancakes would crisp up on one side and then he’s flip them over to finish the cooking and then on to our plates with butter and syrup. My father even made his own maple syrup. It tasted like no other and I later learned that it was cheaper to do this then buy store syrup. Anyway, it was delicious. He would make animal pancakes for us – bears is what we called them but today my grandkids call them Mickey Mouse pancakes. You know, the ones with the big ears!!!!
Riley is our pancake cook in the house. For some reason, his just taste better!!!! We have pancakes for dinner either Thursday or Friday evenings. Ours are covered with bananas and strawberries. Talk about comfort food!!!! Breakfast food just isn’t for breakfast nor has it ever been that way. If you’ve eaten at a restaurant that serves breakfast all day long you’ll find ¾ of the people eating there are having breakfast for lunch and dinner. To finish our series of four cooking classes, I will end with Breakfast food.
Biscuits, Every southern girl and guy should know how to make a good biscuit. Believe me, I’ve tried every biscuit recipe from East to West and North to south. There are many great biscuit recipes out there, but my favorite comes from a New York restaurant called Lundy’s. They’re easy, light, delicious and have a great crust on top.(you won’t believe what you do to get that). Those will be served with homemade strawberry jam(strawberries picked from Marberger’s farm in Fredericksburg).
PD’2-2-2 muffins: Paula Deen’s easy delicious muffins. Riley and I served these at every breakfast meal at Granite Rock B&B. People asked for a doggy bag to take left-over muffins home with them.
Scones: an upscale version of a sweet biscuit. A recipe that you can add either fruit, chocolate or cheese and chives. Yummy!!!!
Monterey Mexico breakfast: A satisfying Mexican dish given to me by a friend in Austin, Lupita Nellis. Imagine gooey cheese and ham between two corn tortillas, with a fried egg on top and the most delicious green(Verde) sauce covering it all. This is a man dish. Her husband, Leroy, asked for this every Saturday morning for breakfast.
Brunch food: This is actually the name of the recipe I got 41 years ago in Gelnhausen, Germany, where Riley and I were stationed with the US Army. It was served at a brunch for the company commander’s wife who along with her husband was being transferred back to the States. Greyer cheese(French) between bread with a creamy egg mixture. Not just for breakfast! Can be eaten for lunch with a green salad or vegetable. My mouth waters when I think of this dish.
PD French Toast casserole: Paula Deen, the ultimate Queen of Breakfast food. This easy casserole can be made the day before and heated up in the oven the next morning. Delicious served alone or with maple syrup, it is so easy to feed a crowd and less intense then making individual French Toast. I eat this recipe cold, it’s that gooood!!!!
Lisa’s salad: a special salad recipe given to me by my niece Lisa Ondack. Different fruit combined to make an interesting salad served at breakfast(do you think she inherited this from my mother??????).
The class will be on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12 noon at the Stribbling room of the Eckert Library. Please register by calling. Class size limited to 10. This will be the end of our Spring cooking classes. Look forward to seeing you again in the Fall for a new series of classes. Call the library at is 347-5446 .