Thursday, December 6, 2007

Skeletons in the Pantry

It is that time of year when everyone seems to be entertaining....formal sit-down dinners...buffet meals for a crowd...and my personal favorite...drop in visits. That means lots of cooking and baking. It also means lots of opportunities for....hmmmm, what's a NICE word for screwing up???? Oh well, we all do it so why sugar coat it (foodie pun, sorry).

Kate over at Thyme for Cooking has come up with a wonderful event...Skeletons in the Pantry and I have two to share. One belongs to my mother and since she's no longer around I can finally share the truth. First let me say very mother was an awesome cook and baker. Everything she served was delicious and lovely to look at too. Don't even get me started on her cookies....each and everyone of them - perfect...same shape, same size, no burnt bottoms, melt in your mouth...a very hard act to follow.

At Passover, when we're not allowed to use regular flour (only unleavened will do) so we use matzo cake meal and a little potato starch and lots of eggs separated (it's the gently handled egg whites that make the sponge cakes light and fluffy). My mother was famous for hers. Everyone in her large family (she's one of seven children) raved about her sponge cakes. What they didn't know was that sometimes....well... sometimes they flopped! And, naturally when they flopped it was quite spectacular and, just as naturally, we (her three perfect children) were blamed. There were rules we had to running, no jumping, no slamming doors, no shouting while the cake was in the it any wonder I still cringe when someone mentions sponge cake! Of course if you are feeling up to the challenge, Marcy Goldman in A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking has a great recipe for it. As for me, I'll just wait for an invite, if you don't mind. Oh...and my mother's flops....seen only by us and the garbage man.

As for my's not a flop... it's a box. I love making things from scratch and I used to make a matzo and mushroom stuffing for my holiday Orange Ginger Capon. It started as a Passover dish, but was so good, there was mutiny if I didn't make it for every holiday that called for a large stuffed bird. One year when the girls were young and I was frazzled....20 odd people coming for dinner, and just getting over a flu, I decided to buy a box of Streit's Stuffing Mix (shocking , I know). I added mushrooms and onions and even 1 delicious chicken liver, but was a mix! What can I's 20 years later and I'm still making THAT stuffing because my family rejects anything else!

So what's your embarrasing skeleton? Please head over to Thyme for Cooking and share...I know I'm not alone!

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Gay Carrillo said...

Thanks for sharing, Ruth.


katiez said...

20 years? With a box stuffing? I love it! And you are so brave to share with the blogging world!
My mother was like that with one of her cakes, too. I remember the 'no jumping' well!
Apparently I was a jumper...