Thursday, July 1, 2010


My Mom, Marty, has enthusiastically embraced the Farm to Family Wife blog. So I decided that instead of her hodgepodge posting  of  recipes in the comments page, she needs to share them in the blog itself, so everyone can enjoy them. She is a great writer, and an amazing cook, and she was responsible for my earliest culinary adventures.

Mom grew up on a depression-era dairy farm in Northern New York's St Lawrence Valley on the Canadian border, back before farms were mechanized like they are today. She remembers when they got running water in the house. Her father used to sing to the cows. Her mom had LOTS of chickens. But I'm sure she'll tell you some of those stories.

She's responsible for my love of everything food,  (although I have yet to really embrace okra and lima beans, but that's another entry) and made sure that our vegetables were never overcooked. We always seemed to be on a camping trip for my birthday when I was a child, and she would bake a scratch birthday cake for me, in a reflector oven over the campfire. She used to cook gourmet meals on our canoe trips, including rhubarb cake, again with the reflector oven, because she could carry the ingredients in the canoe. She taught us how to bake Johnnycake on tin can stoves during cub scouts. Mom was a wonderful forager, and during her "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" Euell Gibbons phase, she made me eat milk weed. I appreciated all this. In looking back, she really was a Super Mom.

Here are some of Mom's tomato recipes she put in the comments page....(comments in parenthesis are mine).

Ann Hadden's Tomato Salad (Ann is my mom's friend who lives in Charlottesville, VA)
I can't wait until the cherry tomatoes are ripe so that we can have it again. Our vegetables are away behind yours here in the North Country.

Cut a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half
Add other salad vegetables. I slice baby cucumbers, green onions or red onions or Vidalia onions, chopped or sliced or however you like them.
Sliced black olives are a must.
I put mozzarella in it once and that was nice. (Greek, Bulgarian or local feta would be grand too!)
The secret of this salad is in the dressing.
Although I never measure the vegetables, I am very fussy about measuring for the dressing.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil - as Suzi says, Fresh is nice
1/4 tsp thyme - ditto
Garlic chopped. Recipe calls for 1 clove, but I put in 4 last time and it was better.

Chill before serving. It's better the next day, if there's any left, but you need to bring it out half an hour or so before you eat. as the oil solidifies.

Here's another one:

Mom's Favorite Corn Chowder
I couldn't resist adding my favorite corn chowder. We just had it the other day and is one of my favorite chowders. The recipe calls for salt pork, but when I am in Virginia I use side meat. We can't get that here in the North Country, so I froze some and brought it home with me when I came home for the summer.

1/4 pound side pork, diced (or salt pork)
1 onion chopped
Corn-if you have fresh corn, you should use about 6 cups and you should add it towards the end. Fresh corn shouldn't cook more that five minutes. If not, use 2 cans of cream corn and 1 can of regular corn.
2 cups water
5 potatoes, peeled and diced.
1 1/2 tsps salt
4 cups milk
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a Dutch oven, cook the side meat or salt pork over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, so that all of the the pork pieces become brown, but not too dry. Remove the cooked meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Saute onion in the drippings until just tender, but not brown. Remove the onion with a slotted spoon and discard the fat.
Return the onion to the pan and stir in canned corn, water, potatoes and salt, cooking, uncovered until the potatoes are almost soft. (If you're using fresh corn, add just before potatoes are done. Cook five minutes.) Add milk and simmer very gently for 10 or 15 minutes. Add pepper. Sprinkle the surface with the pork pieces. Serve immediately. Serve with some nice crusty bread.

I always thought this would be good with some seafood, such as crab.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

Love, Mom

1 comment:

  1. Vegan option for the chowder recipe, you can saute your veggies in olive oil, and substitute fakin' bacon for the meat, and your favorite soy, nut or rice milk for the dairy.

    Omnivores - if you haven't side meat or salt pork, you can substitute any hearty bacon. The Polyface bacon is particularly well suited for this recipe, as it is salty and thickly cut.