Thank You Mom

Family B-WOver the years when I talk to people and explain that I am one of eleven children people always say, “Your poor mother”. I know she never felt ‘poor’ for it, maybe exhausted, maybe tired, maybe overwhelmed, but never poor. The logistics of eleven children in a house are hard to imagine, but growing up in it seemed normal to me.
On this week’s Cooking Vamp I had the delight to talk with my mom who in her 90th year still

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has it going on and has plenty to offer on making a household work. I did some math and figured she has fed well over 100,000 mouths in her life. Some of her ‘keys’ to success I’ll highlight here.

  • Never stop learning: The Mum learned to cook from her mother and the help, Angie, in her home growing up. She continued to explore new cooking methods and with the help of a restaurateur son Bryan, even learned to love vegetables.
  • Farm to table: It tastes better.
  • Dinner EVERY night: Sit down with the family every night for dinner.
  • Even little kids can peel potatoes: Many of the siblings will attest to the fact that they could peel a cruise ships potatoes needs from practice growing up. Put the clan to work either in prep or clean up. The floor should be swept and mopped nightly, DJ.
  • Know who to keep out of the kitchen: Some kids are an accident waiting to happen. Let them paint fences.
  • Strength in ‘community’: When a neighbor has a new born, help her out with meal preparation. The Mum also had neighbors who when shopping, if there was a sale on something, would buy for everyone. Today there is a food sharing app (LeftoverSwap) for this so you can share leftovers or when you buy a fifty pound bag of potatoes from Costco 2/3 won’t go to waste.
  • Take care of one another: Do I need to explain?
  • Be a Chocoholic: Always have a stash.
  • If you are going to over-cook green beans, at least have the decency of adding bacon.
  • Order your steak rare…”How rare?” So a good vet could save it.
  • Try Mangia Mock Chicken legs

I hope these little tidbits help. And now… on to the mock chicken legs.

  1. Skewer 1-2 inch cubes of pork cutlet and veal cutlet together. Drag through a mixture of fine corn meal/flour/and Mangia rub.
  2. Brown/cook mock chicken legs in bacon grease. You can cut bacon grease with olive oil for a somewhat healthier blend. Pair with mashed potatoes, gravy and a couple of fresh vegetables.