Friday Fives

1. Do you have a “Grandma’s secret recipe” in your cooking repertoire that you are particularly proud of?
I really don’t. There is my mom’s recipe box collection that I have combined with my sisters. My grandma on my mom’s side was not known as being a great cook – although she could fry some chicken – but truth be told, her daughter, my Aunt Hope was a better chicken fryer. My grandma on my dad’s side was a pretty good cook. I never received the celebrated strawberry beet cake recipe. If I had to pick a special family recipe it would probably be Bob Andy pie – a variation on a Chess pie.

2. What’s your favorite dessert?
Cheesecake. Then next would be Pecan pie.

3. What are your top 3 staples “special” ingredients that are always in your pantry?

  • gluten flour (the key to no-knead bread up here in the high altitude
  • hatch green chilis (frozen and in the freezer – they creep up in everything.)
  • Old Bay seasoning (a recent addition but it is great in scrambled eggs and on baked potatoes.)

4. Do you have a “Worst Cooking Nightmare” story?
I once was making some Texas chili and still a naive young cook and instead of four cloves of garlic, I used 4 heads of garlic. I did not catch a cold in Gunnison that winter.

5. What’s the fanciest dinner you’ve ever had? (either hosted or as a guest.)?
I had a very formal dinner with the General Staff of our Army Command and Generals from Germany and France. Our office had to help with the setup and protocol and setting the tables with all the fancy spoons and forks and name placards and fancy folded napkins, the whole deal. Pretty close to a state dinner. I didn’t have anything to do with the cooking but I did have a lot to do with the setup and grunt work in the planning.

3 Replies to “Friday Fives”

  1. 1) Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. But unfortunately only I and one daughter like those kind of cookies.

    2) Ice Cream without nuts and never Spumoni.

    3) For family kid-friendly meals, cream of whatever soups make all casseroles yummy. I have become a fan (joining everyone else) of Sriracha and Small corn tortillas (heart healthy, low in calories and you can make a soft hand taco out of just about anything.

    4) Probably my first foray into cooking a thanksgiving turkey for a large group and not knowing to start thawing at least two days early. I was up all night changing out cold water in the sink to get the bird somewhat thawed for cooking on Thanksgiving. No one got sick, so it was thawed enough.

    5)There were multiple during a friend’s wedding week in St. Louis. He married the daughter of the majority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals. Old money in that town results in going to many catered dinners at various relatives houses, all black tie and lovely. Also a nice lunch with Stan “the man” Musial of legendary Cardinals fame.

  2. 1. My grandma was not a prolific cook. However, she did make the best baked macaroni and cheese ever. My mom and I have done everything we can to replicate it, but it’s never quite the same.

    2. Carrot cake with gooey cream cheese frosting.

    3. Pasta, marinara sauce and quinoa.

    4. Not really. Most of my mishaps have been merely messy, not toxic. I always chock it up as a learning experience and keep plodding along.

    5. In a prior job, I traveled to Europe frequently. I recall being taken to an ancient restaurant in Vienna where we dined on extremely old school dishes in a formal, stuffy setting. I recall the appetizer course was an “egg” made of foies gras, and it was full of veal aspic.

  3. 1) My grandma was a terrible cook. But boy she had one heck of a recipe for ginger snap cookies. Nothing better than a warm ginger snap.

    2) good key lime pie.

    3) Tortillas, cheese and peanut butter.

    4) A rookie firefighter, not me, made tatertot casserole. He didn’t know that he needed to brown the ground beef first. It resulted in more of a blood pudding tot casserole. Yuk!

    5) I one was “under cover medical” for a presidential campaign contribution dinner. It was like $10,000 a plate. The food they gave us I really hope wasn’t the food they payed for.

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