The theme for this week on 52 Ancestors is “Invite to Dinner” and today, January 27th, was my mother's birthday, so I decided to write about some of the foods my mother, Wilma (Falk) Albertson, served to our family. Of course she enjoyed eating also.
We lived on a farm and had our own beef and my father was a hunter and fisherman, so had lots of kinds of meat and fish to eat. Some of my favorite dishes included Swiss Steak, which was a thick beef steak cooked with onion and tomatoes; heart with dressing, the beef heart had been boiled and then sliced in a casserole dish with dressing on top and baked; duck and dressing, again the duck was boiled and then the meat taken from the bones and placed in the bottom of a casserole dish with dressing on top and baked; (you might think I really liked dressing not just with turkey); meatloaf, made from the recipe on the Quaker Oats box which is still one of my favorite recipes; Texas hash, which was hamburger, rice, onions and tomatoes; macaroni mixed with tuna fish and cream of mushroom soup; baked salmon; and fried salmon or stealhead steaks. It looks like I had a lot of favorites. That is my style, I like lots of different things.
Well, did my mother ever serve any vegetables? Yes, of course she did. If you count potatoes as a vegetable they showed up most days. It seems like one of the ways I helped in the kitchen often was peeling potatoes. During the summer from our garden, we had green peas, green beans, corn on the cob, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We usually grew some winter squash which would be ready in the fall. I did like the acorn squash when served with cinnamon and sugar. During the winter we had home-canned green beans and frozen vegetables purchased from the store. It seems like my mother used a rotation of frozen spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. While growing up it was only the spinach that I liked. As an adult I have learned to enjoy broccoli and cauliflower, but still am not fond of brussel sprouts.
We can't leave out dessert. After one of our neighbors put in a blueberry farm, I learned how much I enjoyed blueberry-peach pie. For my birthday I often would request prune cake, which my mother could make so well. I didn't even care if it had any frosting. For family Christmas dinners, I remember my mother was asked to bring the pumpkin pies. They were really good. A dish that I haven't had for a long time was floating island. This was soft custard with meringue floating on it. She only made this for special dinners when we were using the best china and pretty glass dishes. Another dish I liked was a baked apple dessert.
This has been an enjoyable trip down memory lane for me.