It’s probably safe to say we all have memories that are food related.
Favorite holiday treats from childhood or favorite foods at family gatherings have a way of making us feel warm and fuzzy. Taste and smell trigger memories in which food played a starring role.
The smell of certain foods can transport us to a specific place in time with full memory of what was happening at that exact moment. We hope a different take on our Eat In Column will help us do just that; share recipes that are part of our lives. Not just “more things to cook” but an opportunity to share a recipe with a story. We hope you will join us on this sentimental food journey by allowing us to share your recipe stories.
In July of this past year, my family lost our most prolific family cook, our matriarch, my mother-in-law Mary Hosea. In the early days of my marriage to Myron, when our children were too young to be involved in endless weekend activities, we spent many nights at Myron’s childhood home waking up to the wonderful smell of bacon coming from the kitchen. I used to love to sit at the kitchen bar and chat with his mom as she mixed-up pancakes for the grandkids. Because, there were always pancakes.
A Sunday dinner spread would be so plentiful that that same bar would overflow in dishes. From mac and cheese and green beans to Watergate salad and pineapple casserole, if we were there for a family dinner, she prepared it all. Each of us had a special birthday meal she would make. Mine was baked cubed steak with potatoes and onions, coleslaw, fried okra and old-fashioned chocolate pie — real chocolate pie, the kind with a meringue. Myron’s birthday always brought a chocolate pound cake to the house with the center opening filled with all the rich icing that ran in, and had no where to escape creating a fudgy puddle of goodness.
The girls, though, loved Grandma’s lemon mousse. They’re both young adults now, but I’m certain they never visited Grandma’s house when lemon mousse wasn’t in the freezer just waiting for their visit.
Since it’s January with resolutions in full swing, I’m sharing Mary’s Lemon Mousse recipe. It’s light and lemony without being too tart. It shouldn’t do much damage to that diet you might have started with the New Year. I’m not typically a fan of lemon desserts but even I like this one.
In the days after Mary’s service when the Hosea home grew quiet, I sat at that bar with my eyes closed and I swear I could smell bacon cooking.
Grandma’s Lemon Mousse
1 large can Evaporated Milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 package graham crackers or 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
½ stick butter, melted
Chill the milk in the refrigerator overnight. Whip chilled evaporated milk until it appears foamy. Pour in sugar and mix well. Slowly add in lemon juice, mixing as you go. Pour over graham cracker crust and freeze overnight.
Graham cracker crust:
Pour melted butter in dish. Pour graham cracker crumbs in butter. Mix and press crumbs over bottom of dish.
Talk to Cindy
Connect with Cindy Hosea on Twitter @chosea.