Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday Favorites- Do You Cook Like Your Mother Did?

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you're all enjoying this weekend. Wanted to share with everyone for Sunday Favorites a post that I wrote on August 1, 2009 about cooking and mothers, especially my mother. Hope you enjoy it and have a great Sunday! Please go over to visit Chari at Happy to Design and see what other favorites posts you might have missed!

Sharing a Favorite Post
August 1, 2009

Had an interesting and thought provoking conversation with my mother this morning. We were watching the Food Network and one of the cooks was making a homemade pizza. She started out by rolling out a frozen, store bought pizza crust and forming it into the pan. Where by, my mom says, "That's not cooking! She's using store bought pizza crust!"

I've been thinking about this because I love the Food Network and I wondered if all our mothers feel that way about our cooking since many of us working, single or not single moms don't have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen making things from scratch.

About a month ago, I told my mom I was going to make some chili beans. My son and daughter love my home made chili beans and they're also a big hit with my son's friends during Super Bowl Sunday!

I was getting my ingredients together while my mom watched and she asked if I wanted her to make the chili for the beans. I told her, "Nope! It's easy mom, see this little packet? It's Taco Bell seasoning." She said, "What's that for?" I told her it was the seasoning for the meat. I then pulled out two big cans of canned beans, one pinto and also a can of white beans. Again she said, "What's that for?" So I told her those were the beans I use. "You don't cook your own beans???" my mom asked in shock! "No mom, I don't make my own beans. I don't have time to sit at home all day waiting for beans!"

Now I know that you can put beans on to cook in a crock pot all day. My sister does this. But we don't eat many beans. It's just my son and me. So opening a can of beans is good enough for us. So I made the chili beans and while they were stewing I pulled out a box mix of corn bread. Well I won't even tell you what my mom said then! But of course she was in shock! Corn bread from a box?

Once my homemade chili beans and corn bread were done, my mom tasted them and said they were good, for beans from a can with Taco Bell Seasoning and hamburger meat in them!

When my mom makes chili beans, she makes beans fresh in a pot. She cleans them and puts them to boil. Throughout the day she boils water and will only add boiling hot water when more water is needed so that the beans don't get dark and they stay light and pretty. I have to admit, it works. My mom's beans are beautiful. I can remember her making beans like this since I was a little girl and I remember always having to replace water in the bean pot with boiling water.

Mom also makes her own chili for the beans. She takes dried New Mexico Chile's. She likes those as she says the New Mexico ones are a bit more flavorful and a little more spicy than the others. She takes the dried Chile's and cuts off the stem, slits them down the middle, cleans out the seeds and puts them in a pot with boiling water and blanches them for a bit. Then she puts them in the blender with a few cloves of fresh garlic and various other spices. I have no clue what they are. She puts some of the hot water that is left from boiling the Chile's and grinds them all up into the sauce.

She then browns her ground beef, adds fresh beans and the Chile sauce she's ground up in the blender and adds more salt and other seasonings to taste and lets them boil so the flavors all come together. Let me tell you. . . they are mmmmmmmmmmmm, wonderful. I love my mom's beans and when she's invited to a potluck her beans are what people request that she bring.

And when she goes to all that trouble to make chili beans she also makes these small breads we grew up calling "panecitos". They're small round bread that's made like tortilla's except they are not rolled out flat like tortillas but are left about the size of a hamburger bun. When the weather gets cooler and my kitchen is not 140 degrees I will do a blog of my mom making panecitos. Remind me!

And that is why my mom says my chili beans are not home made! Hers, in her eyes are homemade! So I thought about this all for awhile and then asked my mom what her mom would have said if she had been invited to dinner and my mom had made homemade Chili Colorado and beans and then she had pulled out a package of store bought tortillas? Wouldn't her mom have commented on why my mom didn't make homemade tortillas and not store bought? And trust me, we know how to make homemade tortillas.

I then told my mom that someday, my daughter and my nieces will watch their daughters put a small pill into a bowl of water and it will automatically turn into chili beans and then I will make fun of them and talk on and on about my homemade chili beans with Taco Bell seasoning and canned beans!

I guess my point is that no one cooks like mom cooks. Homemade like moms made in the 40's, 50's or 60's or homemade like my sister and I cook our children, it's mom's food and nothing tops that!

What do you make that your mom would tease you about if you called it homemade?


  1. Alicia this is a wonderful post and all very true. It's all in where you are coming from, or your perspective. But so glad your mom enjoyed your chili!

  2. Sorry this is so long! What a great post. I missed it the first time around so I'm glad you ran it for Sunday Favorites. My mom passed away when I was young and my dad was king of the minute steaks, fish sticks, canned vegetables and french fries. He really did the best he could. We had so much fun at dinner, my sister and I, that we didn't even know we were eating pretty lousy food. He later re-married and better quality food was served but the fun disappeared. My point? Your children will credit you for the fun, not the food. If you serve great chili (yours is home-made in my book!) and other great foods, so much the better.

  3. podso - Thank you for the compliment. It is all about perspective isn't it?

  4. Splurgie - I love long comments! And I love what your shared about your dad. What a great memory. You are right, my kids will always remember my food, just like no one can cook better than my mom and more importantly we did share alot of fun and love and we continue to do so.

  5. My mom was not a cook. She was a career woman and I don't have any warm and fuzzies with her or my grandmother either when it comes to food. Other things yes but not food. My mil is a country cook and would make chicken noodles after she wrung the chickens says I married him for his mother and some days he's not too far off.

  6. I cook somewhat like my mom but with more of a vegetarian flair. Growing up we had meat with two veggies on a regular basis. I cook more casseroles that can be made ahead of time and pasta that I can whip up in a flash. I'm lucky that I don't have to cook for picky eaters like my mom did. Now, she'd probably prefer to eat what I cook over what she used to cook.

  7. My answer to your question is Yes.

    It is also NO.

    Actually, my dad did most of the cooking in our home as I was growing up. I still like to make most of the things the way they made them "back in the day" when I was young. Later they tried to "healthy up" their recipes, and I can skip those!

    Then too - - - they didn't do much "ethnic" cooking and FH and I both LOVE Italian and Mexican, so those things I didn't learn to make at home.

  8. Hi Alicia...Happy May Day!

    What a great post! You are absolutely right about the fact that no one can cook quite like our Mama's! My mother was a "stay at home" mom so many of her dishes were started from "scratch". Of course many of my recipes come straight from my mama's kitchen...I think I cook everything just like she does. I do admit that I take a few shortcuts every now and then. Sometimes I cook my beans from scratch and other times I just buy cans of chili beans. Mmmm...just thinking about chili has certainly made me hungry! Hehe! Loved your post, sweet friend...thanks for sharing it with us for the Sunday Favorites repost party this week! And...thank you for your sweet welcome back note that you left for me!

    Warmest May Day wishes...
    Chari @Happy To Design

  9. Donnie - My MIL sounds like yours. She would make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and I mean she would make the noodles herself out of flour and well...whatever else you use to make noodles! Like your mom, I'm a career woman and while I would love to stay home and cook wonderful foods all day long no one in my family is going to eat them and I sure don't need to eat them :-D

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Paula - Well I've seen some of the foods you cook that you've shared on your blog and lady you CAN cook! I can see why your mom would rather eat your would I in fact :-D

  11. Keetha Broyles - My dad did a lot of cooking when we were kids also. I loved many of the dishes he would make and he still cooks alot. I wish I would have learned it from him...he cooked with joy, my mom cooks as a

  12. Chari at Happy to Design - I think as long as you cook with love it doesn't matter if it's a frozen dinner or a meal made from scratch!

  13. Hi Alicia...thanks for visiting my blog. I have followed you back here. I could never cook like my mom...she spent hours in her kitchen. She made her own noodles, fresh desserts, wonderful dinners for 6 EVERY night of the week...and twice on the weekends! I look back and wonder how she did it...but she did it because she loved her family and that was her way of showing it. I love my family but I don't have that much time! Nice to meet you...~Ann


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