The tart was mostly clean as it was fresh tomatos at the bottom, topped with pesto. So we did.
I made ganache. And because the cream I had on hand smelled funky, I went ahead and made water ganache. About 6 hours later during our teabreak, we had a silky chocolate tart, with a filling that very much melted in your mouth and a tartlet base that tasted like… pesto. One of my colleagues liked the texture enough to have 3, the rest of us had 1 and were raising our brows at strange slightly pesto-y aftertaste. Lesson learnt, if you want to recycle tarts crusts and if they are savoury from the start, make a savoury filling. Melt your chocolate, butter, and coffee powder if using, over a double broiler or in the microwave.
Once melted, slowly add the water and stir until the chocolate becomes shiny and smooth. Add your vanilla and liquor if using. For tarts - fill your baked tart shells and put it into the fridge. It should take about hours to set, depending on the size of your tart. She knew sugar was bad for us, and steered us toward whole grains when she could.
And, she did occasionally cook. The telltale sign of one of Mom's homemade meals? The errant Completely gross yes, but something we just came to accept, and something that always made her laugh. My Mom's signature dish in the 70s and 80s was Rice-a-Roni meatballs. I found the recipe.
I'm happy to report that my Mom is now one of the best cooks I know. And, I haven't found a hair in one of her meals for years! In my house growing up, my mom liked to make each family dinner a formal occasion. Every night, the four of us sat down to a table set with a clean tablecloth, a vase of cut flowers, a full set of silverware whether we needed it or not , multiple plates and small bowls for every food group, and cut crystal goblets that she filled with water from her mother's fish-shaped pitcher.
Then the food appeared. My dad, sister and I never knew how many courses my mom had prepared on a given night: fruit and cheese, bread warmed in the oven, salad topped with toasted nuts, Italian wedding soup, pasta tossed with Parmesan and lemon at the table, meat that had stewed in wine all day, green beans and broccoli and Swiss chard, cupcakes she happened to pick up at a bakery, homemade raspberry chocolate chip ice cream from the last time she entertained.
She didn't own a microwave, but the chocolate fountain saw frequent use. We pitched in with the dishes and the cooking -- when she would let us. In return for these multicourse meals, her only request of us was that we dine by candlelight. So we did, every single night. My dad would complain that he couldn't see his food. Her solution? Light another candle. My mom is known for two things: her incredible baking skills, and her fear of spiders. This woman was -- and still is -- absolutely terrified.
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I was maybe 8 or so, and I remember my two sisters, brother and I were fighting in the back of the family station wagon on the way to the mall. My mother drove, chatting with one of her best friends in the front seat. We were heading down the freeway when all of a sudden my mother let out one of her legendary howls. She thought she saw a spider drop from the windshield above her.
Before we knew it, Mom was pulling off her shirt and crawling onto the lap of her friend, as her friend struggled to steer the moving behemoth. The fighting in the back stopped, and for a split second I think we all thought it was going to be over. We never did find that spider, but from then on she'd enlist one of us kids to check the front seat before she got in the car to make sure it was clean. My mother's baking skills are as legendary as her fear of spiders.
My favorite mornings growing up, I'd awaken to the sounds of her busy in the kitchen, rolling out freshly risen dough as a pot of oil heated on the stove. I could soon tell by the aromas wafting through the house that the morning was going to be special. Mom was making doughnuts for breakfast. Before too long, we were picking out our favorites from the freshly frosted bunch. I always chose one of the long johns she shaped using a large dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter.
My siblings and I would pile in front of the TV, all four of us propped against the family dog a very big St. Bernard , devouring her creations as we fought for the remote. We'd savor every last bite, licking the rich chocolate glaze from our fingers as we watched cartoons. In my mother's kitchen, everything is potential sandwich fodder. As long as it's small enough to be squashed in between two slices of bread, chances are that it will be, much to my parent's delight.
Brought up on my grandmother's tuna salad with chopped egg and sweet pickle relish, my mother now insists on more exotic fare. Her favorite fillings involve resuscitating doggy bags carried home from fancy restaurants. Growing up, I lunched on the likes of leftover roasted sea bass on a bagel, lamb stew in a pita, soft shell crabs and last night's salad on toasted English muffins. Nor did she serve them to my sister and me when we were kids -- which naturally meant that I craved those hydrogenated fat-filled peanut butter and purple grape jelly sandwiches on white bread as if they were candy.
In addition to being an extraordinarily creative sandwich maker, my mother has a theory about sandwiches and the people who eat them. If you can anticipate the next sentence, why bother? If you know exactly what the next bite of a sandwich will taste like, why eat it? I was mystified by this at the time I was 12 , but now that I know her better, it makes perfect sense. While the act of eating, like conversation, is a comfort, the content should be an adventure -- transporting and exciting, not dull and predictable.
This philosophy extends to her cooking as well, and prevents her from ever making the same thing twice, even when she tries. What would lamb chops taste like if I added cumin, she'd wonder? Or used mushrooms instead of bacon in that frittata? Her curiosity and intrepidity inevitably win out over the tried and true.
Out of all the things my mother taught me about cooking, this might be the most defining, and explains why I am incapable of making something over again, even when I try.
It's just one of the ways I'm my mother's child. And why I love sandwiches. Terri Leckas At the time we were growing up, it was pretty unusual for a mom to be working outside the home. In spite of working second shift as a "key punch" operator, mom still took pride in having a home-cooked meal on the table every night, with a homemade dessert too.
I learned to cook by finishing off the meal that my mom would start earlier in the day. I made sure the spuds got boiled and mashed, made the salad, or cooked up a mess of pancakes for "breakfast for dinner. We would bake together too, and that experience gave me the inspiration and confidence to learn cake decorating.
Mom had lots of fun making homemade cakes for all of our birthdays; even though the decor was simple, we loved them. These days I share many of my mom's baking recipes at my cake shop. She taught me the importance of a home-cooked meal and time spent eating together.
Katherine Suszczewicz My mom loved food. She complained about coworkers, managers and job politics, but she never once complained about the food -- not the volume, not the strain of gigantic pots, not the students and staff who came to the dining hall -- not once. She was there for the food. She once was irritated that someone had come to tour the kitchen and was messing up her rhythm.
It was Janet Reno.
She didn't seem to mind so much when Chuck Norris came to tour though, and she was pleased that he was shorter in real life. I suspect she encountered more notable people there and their identities escaped her -- she was there for the food. Mom was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma in her brain in June of the year she passed away. She suffered the effects of what looked like a stroke right off the bat. Her ability to cook was stolen. Her right hand incapacitated, she could no longer hold a fork, chopsticks, her no. She was reduced to eating with her undominant hand -- food just wasn't the companion and inspiration it once was.
Driving past the Seafood Piers in D. Her oldest friend had come up from Florida to visit, and she was now assuming the duties of preparing some food for mom, a huge measure of comfort. She would put out a feast of foods that mom knew by heart: Japanese pickles, rice and the tako. She took me to the kitchen and showed me step by step how to wash the critter, beat it up, salt it, scrub it, boil it and cut it down for presentation. Mom was so delighted. I wish now that I had left and not filled her house up with all the bustling.
I wish I had left her to be with the food alone. I wish I hadn't been there when she said, "I can't chew it. Hannah Ringler When I was a preschooler, around 3 or 4, I became interested in chocolate for the first time.
I begged and begged my mother for a taste of her very nice chocolate, and she told me, "No, you're a child, you couldn't possibly enjoy it. But I wouldn't stop begging, and one day, she decided to test her hypothesis. She gave me a square, and my eyes rolled back in my head in pleasure. With some regret, she conceded that I did, in fact, love chocolate, which began our long-standing mother-daughter tradition of baking and eating chocolate recipes together -- cake, biscotti, and of course, my mother's seriously chocolate secret brownie recipe.
Claire Campbell My mom follows the tradition of the other women who came before her: no recipes, no set ingredients. I'm sure all moms have their recipes that they don't even need to think about to assemble, but really, my mom has one recipe for toffee that she follows to a T -- aside from it, nada. When my sister and I were headed to college, we begged for her to make a cookbook, and she did. Hours and hours later, she produced a cookbook that she classified as "abridged" because she couldn't possibly include all the variations of each recipe without cutting down all the trees on earth.
From gumbo to a family recipe for Nestle Road pie, everything can be modified if you've forgotten to grab something at the store or you've only got 1 cup of flour. All except that beloved toffee, which she pores over to ensure the temperature of the candy is exact to the degree, the layering of ingredients once I almost lost a hand when I dumped the nuts before the chocolate and the resting period where nobody dares to snarf one of the edges that's crumbled.
Amanda Callahan When I was about 13, my sister and I were in the car headed home after being away for the summer. She was telling us about this new recipe she had made, broccoli-cheddar-stuffed chicken breasts. She was so excited about it and had prepped everything so that when we got home, all she had to do was pop it in the oven. My sister and I exchanged knowing looks of "we will be going out to eat tonight.
We talked about our summer over prepping a salad, and ended up having a wonderful meal. We were so impressed that our mom had pulled off this complicated recipe. So impressed that we told her to go relax and we would clean up the kitchen. While cleaning the kitchen, we discovered the truth: The chicken breasts were store bought from the deli section and she had just followed the directions for reheating. We laughed so hard and vowed to never tell her that we uncovered her secret. Katie Mugg Growing up, I was in touch with a handful of different countries and cultures through my parents.
Through various connections they befriended people from Botswana, China, and Nairobi to name a few, and would invite these friends to dinner. I cannot remember a day when I thought this was abnormal, to me it was quite normal, if not expected that an international guest would be joining us for dinner on any given night. Through those interactions, I grew to understand a bit about the countries from which they came. As I grew older, my parents' circle of international friends increased and began including people from Colombia, Australia, Congo, Ghana and Japan.
By this point, I'd grown to love seeing different faces at the dinner table and sharing a meal and a conversation with our guests. I'd sometimes ask mom if anyone was coming to dinner. On the occasions she said "no," I was disappointed. Now that I am older, out on my own and have begun my own family, I always enjoy opportunities to host a meal. My husband and I certainly don't have the same wealth of international connections that my parents do, but even when we're dining with "regular Americans," I relish the time because I'm doing what my parents did: opening your home, your lives, with the intent of entering into someone else's life.
I learned how to cook in my mother's kitchen. But more than that, I learned that food is not simply something that's eaten to satisfy hunger, it is something to be enjoyed in the presence of family and foreigners, something that can bring people together, spark conversations, and warm a person's soul. Audra McCoy My mom is passionate.
She embraces life and lives the hell out it. She is also very generous. Her name is Barbara, and she is a beautiful, creative, Southern woman. Those elements of her personality are very present in the the food she prepares. She enjoys cooking and sharing meals with the family and any friends who drop by. There is always plenty to eat. We had dinner every night, even though she held down a full-time job and worked as much overtime as possible to take care of us. I remember the dinners she made in the crock-pot -- always soft, creamy and homey-tasting. She was the first to add cream of mushroom soup to her casseroles and make a sauce -- back in the 70s or early 80s it was innovative, yummy and clever.
She was the first one to introduce us to tacos made at home -- the crunchy half-moon shells stuffed with ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce and salsa. I loved her pancakes.
For tarts - fill your baked tart shells and put it into the fridge. In my mom's case, her recipes reflect a commitment to a kind of straightforward practicality that does not shortchange taste. So yeah, do me a favor and vote. The beet gnocchi and shrimp dish with shiitake, cremini, saffron martini cream, radicchio, asiago and sage was also tasty. Wisdom from the Trail : Rose Morgan 7 years ago. My mom, though diminutive in size, was a world-class eater. The author encourages you to read the first installment in the series to better understand the events of this one.
One morning, she mistakenly used the packet of lemon pound cake mix instead of pancake mix. We could not stop telling her how tasty they were. To this day, I will take a quality cake mix with good flavor, such as lemon poppy seed, carrot, banana or chocolate, and make "gourmet" pancakes. That little mistake is now our family tradition. Our family was different: In the refrigerator was always a stainless steel bowl with pickled cows heart. If we got someone to try it, they liked it. Indeed, she was quietly proud of being helpless in the kitchen.
It showed that she had never had to do that sort of thing. As a college president's wife, she did a great deal of entertaining, but rarely found herself behind the stove. That was not her place. When she did find herself behind a stove, she usually burned whatever was in or on it, and she had developed a somewhat fatalistic attitude.
When I returned to live near her in the s, she found peculiar an effective remedy I had for an upset stomach, one that was common in Europe, but almost unknown in Lafayette, Louisiana: charcoal tablets that calmed intestinal turbulence and absorbed the poisons. Once when she saw me popping them, she told me: "I don't know why you're wasting all that money buying charcoal when all you have to do is ask me to fix lunch. In the course of a long, gracious, and, on the whole, very happy life, she did master a few, a very few recipes for those occasions when a cook was not available.
Late in life she devised this recipe for Gin Soup as a first course. The amount of gin she used depended on her estimate of how palatable she thought the second course was likely to be. If it appeared that it was turning into an unavoidable fiasco, she poured with a heavy hand. Mary Ann Fink My grandma taught me how to make the best bread in the world when I was 10 and she was I am teaching my grandkids now, even though I am not Jessica Edwards My maternal grandmother lived in the small community of Cando, North Dakota, where my mom grew up.
Cando was a whole 1. Going to visit Grandma Clara was always an adventure.