Saturday, March 17, 2007
Family food customs
I asked my daughter what she wanted me to fix for her birthday dinner, and wasn't at all surprised when she said, "potato soup". It's something she's loved since she was an infant. One would almost think it's genetic, because Cliff and all his siblings are crazy about it, too, as were his parents. Years ago I started putting parsley flakes, celery, and tiny bits of carrot in my potato soup, just so it wouldn't resemble wallpaper paste so much. I've always used cream or half-and-half to make it; for years we had Jersey cows, so cream was easy to come by.
I like it fine, but it isn't what I'd choose for my birthday dinner. Rachel asked me to fix chili too, I think for those who don't care for potato soup.
And for dessert, she wanted apple pie. Rather than bake two pies, I made a cobbler (it's just a rectangular pie, I told the granddaughters).
And I made corn bread to go with the potato soup. That got me thinking about different family food customs.
My mother didn't make corn bread with potato soup; we used saltine crackers, thank you very much. If Mother made corn bread, that was our whole meal: corn bread and milk... and maybe for dessert, a piece of corn bread with molasses or honey over it. But when I married Cliff, I had to adapt to the peculiar custom of having corn bread with our potato soup.
While making dinner, I started thinking about the way I make my pies and cobblers. The fingerprint indentations around the edges look that way because that's how my mom did it. And the designs on top are hers, too. I simply never thought of making any other sort of markings on pies.
I'm just musing today. Don't mind me.