Many of the food blogs I read have stories of how the author remembers making a certain dish with his or her (usually her) mother. Unfortunately I don’t have any of those stories, as I discovered this passion for cooking after mom passed away. What I do have however is a priceless cookbook that mom made for me when I got my first apartment. In it are a number of typed (as this was before the age of the home computer) recipes that she thought I could handle as a new cook. Many of them are annotated with little notes to help me find my way through the kitchen, for example reminding me that Tbsp is a Tablespoon or instructing me how to cook vegetables. When I had shared a photo of one of the pages on Facebook last year my friend Amy also pointed out that throughout the cookbook mom personalized her notes by saying things like “Bob, did you know…”
As I look at these recipes now it gives me a warm feeling that somehow mom is looking over my shoulder as I cook. My daughter has recommended that I work my way through this cookbook and share mom’s notes as I go. I’m not sure I am going to do this in a linear fashion, but will start with one of the tried and true recipes I have made from this – Mom’s Bean Salad. This is a perfect summer salad to serve with stuff on the grill: easy to make ahead of time and something that tastes better the longer it sits in the sweet-sour dressing. As evidenced by the stain on the page (below) this is one that I pull out at least once a summer to make. The most recent occasion was last week when my daughter was in town for dinner. Somehow it seems appropriate that she was here for the first of mom’s recipes I have blogged about.