I believe cooking was in my blood from a very young age. I didn't have the opportunity many young ladies from large families have to learn along side their Moms or older siblings in the kitchen because my Mom just felt like it was easier to just do the cooking herself. Although we all had chores to do such as mopping and the dreaded dishes,(which one time my sister tossed out the back window to get out of doing) the cooking was her job.
She had lost her own Mom as a very young child and was raised by her Dad who was away working on the railroad a lot and so she never learned by a Mother's example either. She did the very best she could to see we had hot meals and at times she struggled to just get food on the table for her eight children . And I'm sure stretching a dollar wasn't always easy either.
I recall a screened in porch with my imagination running wild going through an entire calendar simply picking out all the holidays that you could plan a party around and making menu's and themes to go along with each one when I could barely spell. Of course there were never any of those parties but I sure had fun planning'
It was kind of a challenge in our house to see who could make cocoa fudge turn out amongst my brothers and sisters. Needless to say there were many pans of fudge eaten with a spoon !
But with just one cook book in the house, one burnt hand later I had made my first batch of Rock Candy from sugar ! It was the start of a love for cooking for me which lasted all through my school years with home economics being my favorite subject. I still have some of those recipes from thirty something years ago.
Growing up in a large family was great but times were tough because my Dad worked construction but had to go on unemployment in the winter. She somehow made meals out of the simplest things. Which leads me to the next recipe I am posting. Although it 's not exactly the healthiest recipe I have yet to find any kids that won't eat it. Try it out on a blustery cold day but don't skimp on the butter or salt and pepper or it won't taste like it should.
We loved this growing up and when my older brother left home would still request this for his birthday which we found so humorous. Now I make it for my grandchildren once in awhile too.
When I think back now to the foods we were brought up on I know we were actually eating foods that were so good for us but at the time we didn't quite appreciate the things like beans or rice.
Cook 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni according to the package and drain well.
Put back in the pan and cover with milk. Add a whole stick (yes a whole stick) of butter.
Add lots of salt and lots of pepper and heat until it's hot but do not boil ! Ladle into bowls and add more salt if it needs it. If your cooking a larger batch you will of course need more of everything.
Hope you at least try it once. And thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me.