Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Friday February 04, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Soup Contest

I must say as I read through the 17 recipes that I received for the contest I know that I am so graced to have created Heirloom Meals.  To read the stories and the memories that are attached to the recipes touches my heart in the deepest place. Here are a couple of recipes and their stories:

Carol Way shares, "This soup was adapted from my grandmother’s recipe. My meme’ was French Canadian, born in Quebec City and made chicken soup year round. She was a purist, and believed that onion, celery and carrots were the only vegetables worthy of her soup. Depending on what was available, she would use rice or macaroni, never potatoes, as the starch.

My future daughter in law was born in Korea. When we visit Shane and Sophia in New York City, we always end up Korea town and feast on man doo and the Korean version of chicken soup. When I first had it, I made my version based on my grandmother’s simple soup but added an Asian flair!
It amazes me that recipes are universal. When I lived in Housatonic for over 20 years, my polish neighbor made a similar chicken soup but used potatoes while my grandmother thought potatoes would ruin the soup! My Italian father in law makes a minestrone version of chicken soup adding what ever is fresh and available from his garden.
I’m looking forward to hearing about all types of chicken soup even though I know I will never venture too far from Meme’s tried and true recipe! "

And, Mishy Lesser reveals: I come from a Jewish family and chicken soup is legendary not just for healing the sick but also as a ritual food that is sometimes enjoyed as we celebrate the Sabbath on Friday nights, and always for Passover.  I’m sure ours is not the only family where there can be fierce rivalry over whose chicken soup reigns supreme, and more than once I’ve seen significant jockeying among cooks who want their soup to kick-off the meal.  I can identify: I am that way with turkey, but that is another story.  Recently my mother and I were planning a holiday menu that included chicken soup and she shared with me that she has never been able to replicate the smell of her mother’s soup.  Mind you, my mother is eighty-three and that means she’s had countless opportunities to try to figure this out.  We wondered if the aroma and flavor she remembers came from the chickens, what they were fed, whether her mother used chicken frames or extra parts, but we haven’t been able to crack the code.  In her own words, she says “I remember chicken soup from my childhood as smelling absolutely wonderful and have never managed to experience that level of deliciousness again.  Perhaps it is just remembering the past the way I want it to be, or perhaps someone out there has the answer!”

I will be sharing everyone's recipe and story in the days to come! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
 

Friday January 21, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Channeling My Inner Czech

My dad met my Mom when he was 18, married when he was 20 and was absorbed into the Italian customs and household of my Mom.  So, you always hear me talk about My Mom and Nana and our Italian traditions.  We never really had any of my Dad's traditional foods.  Murko is a Slavic last name - Russian or Czech?  Not really sure but Slavic for sure. I think I need to heed my own advice and get to the bottom of that side of my heritage (an excellent conversation to engage on Facebook and twitter).  This all started with a discussion with my Mom - we both have cabbages in our fridge.  I said I thought I would try my hand at stuffed cabbage.  I asked her if she remembered ever having it with Dad.  She said, "yes."  So we both decided to try making it and also trying hard not putting an "Italian" twist such as Romano cheese which is very hard to do.

I opened the old photo albums to see if Grandma or Grandpa would channel their Slavic taste buds into me.

I made stuffed cabbage last night sans any Italian cheese.  Jim loved it. I think it needs some work - but here's the recipe I developed.  Would love some authentic input!!

Friday January 07, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Soup’s On!

Winter is a time for soup.  Well, hot soup.  And boy do we LOVE soup in this family.  This week I made onion soup and pea soup.  What's great is that they can be eaten as lunch or dinner and generally sates my appetite.  I just bought all the ingredients to make Portuguese Kale soup this weekend - can't wait.

Here's my pea soup recipe.

Here's the onion soup recipe. And it's true - not a good first date food - the cheese is extremely stringy!!

Friday December 31, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Happy New Year!!

Closing the book on one year and opening a new one is always an interesting concept.  I try not to make resolutions; I try to make a plan!!

So here's my new year's concoction/plan:

Eat real, in season foods, cook often for my family and friends, take care of myself, pay it forward, be open to the possiblities.

And regarding Heirloom Meals - we'll continue to provide more tried and true recipes, stories and tips!!

Happy New Year!!

And just in case - Here's a great menu for tonight with some concoctions!!

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