09 August 2010

Family recipe Monday: mystery side dishes

In going through the family recipes for the Simple Gifts cookbook, we found a few that have us stymied. This is not hard to do, admittedly. Recipes are very much like an encrypted history of their time and place, and, without the key, one is left wondering what is going on. If you are collecting family recipes and the oldest cooks in the family are still around, get them on video talking about their recipes, for goodness sake. I wish that we had. Instead, we have strange questions that no one in this crowd has been able to answer.

Lubbock First Methodist Church Hawaiian rice
2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water
2 tsp salt

Cook and set aside. Sauté in 3 T butter or oil:
1 medium onion, chopped fine
½ cup chopped celery
1 package frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
Salt to taste

Add 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can of milk (approximately) and 1 small jar Cheez Whiz to the sautéed mixture and blend into a sauce.

To serve:
1. Pour sauce over rice.
or 2. Mix sauce and rice.
or 3. Place in baking dish in 350* F oven for about 19 minutes.

Question 1: What the heck makes this recipe "Hawaiian?"
Question 2: What is its connection to the church?
Question 3: Isn't "19 minutes" oddly specific?

It is a puzzlement.

Mystery dish (it has no name)
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1 small can green chiles
1 small can ripe olives
Dash black pepper
3 T vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 T sugar
Dash hot sauce
1 small can tomato sauce
½ cup cooking oil
1 small minced onion

Mix and let set overnight. Bake at 350* F.
--Vada Brooks Johnson

Question 4: What the heck is this dish? It doesn't even have a name, and we have no idea what the results would be.

Fry 4 slices bacon crisp. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion and sauté until golden brown. Remove. Add 1 ½ cups rice; sauté 2-3 minutes, stirring until heated and slightly brown. Add 2 T salt, 1 small package frozen peas, 3 T parsley flakes, 2 ½ cups chicken bouillon or beef consommé, and 1 cup water. Add bacon and onions. Stir well. Cover tightly. Simmer over low flame for 1 hour--mixture should be dry.
--Vada Brooks Johnson

Question 5: OK, we can see that this is basically a rice casserole, but how do you pronounce its name, and where did that come from?

2 cups beans
5 cups water
5 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sea salt

Put in oven at 200* F until tender.
--Vada Brooks Johnson

Question 6: Can a recipe get any more basic/cryptic than this? It's not one of the oldest ones, calling as it does for sea salt, cayenne and olive oil....but it's amazingly terse on the details.

If you have any insights into the Six Questions of the Mystery Recipes, please drop us a note. Happy Monday.

No comments: