Wednesday, April 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 5: Food

Page 2
Strange but true, there is a recipe in my family with unknown origin (to me) that is called "Page 2". It was on Page 2 of some handwritten cookbook/spiral notebook and called "Page 2". Crazy, I know!! It is a very 60's recipe and I believe that is were it dates from. I remember eating it when I was 8. It is something I wouldn't think of eating today and I remember I might have made it once or twice early in my career as a wife and mother.
It is a basic casserole type of recipe and goes like this:

Make a pot of mashed potatoes.
Brown ground beef and chopped onions; drain.
Add a can of green beans and a can of corn; stir.
Add two cans of Campbell's tomato soup; stir.
Salt and pepper.
Pour into a casserole.
Drop big spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes onto the mixture.
Sprinkle with paprika for color.
Bake until mixture is hot and bubbly. (probably 350 degrees, 30-40 minutes)

Voila.. Page 2.

It isn't bad, I remember liking it and when my cousin's came to visit us in Rochester from Akron, Ohio, my Mother said, "What should we have for dinner?" and my sister and I were all serious in jumping up and down crying out, "Page 2! Page 2!" like we were introducing our cousins to the bestest thing on the planet. I think it was just the excitement of the cousins coming to our place in the world and we wanted them to have what we thought were the best things in our life. Thinking about it makes me laugh now. For many years it was a star in our family. Probably because it was easy to make, no thinking and the leftovers were delish. My mother could whip it together and be done with it. Maybe I should make it again to see if it holds the same appeal as it did when I was a child. Maybe, I am not a fan of high sodium or canned vegetables and tomato soup goes with grilled cheese sandwiches! (another favorite food) I do remember it makes awesome leftovers! And I think I will poll my son and daughter and see if they remember it.

Today, one of my most favorite foods is basil pesto. I love it, it is easy to put together, I don't need a recipe, it just happens in my food processor and it freezes well. Sauté a bit of chicken, veggies on hand (broccoli, zucchini, anything like that), throw in some cooked pasta and stir in pesto until it looks like you want it to look when you eat it and eat! Mm. 

An old memory, Swenson's Drive In, in Akron Ohio. Once we got to Akron and settled in, my Mom was like a homing pigeon to Swenson's and we would drive there and park, the food brought to us on a tray and we would eat in the car. My sister and I thought it was such a novelty and my mother felt like she had come home. She was unhappy in her marriage to my biological father ("Dad" is reserved for my wonderful step-father who has passed away) and I think going home to Akron and something like that Drive-In food joint was a normalcy she needed and she enjoyed sharing it with my sister and I. I can say this now that I can think back and see her with an adult's perspective, this place helped her in some way. The familiar. Home.

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