I’m a horrible neighbor. Well, I do wave when I pass someone out in their yard but gone are the days when parents sat outside as their children played, visited and even shared a glass of lemonade or iced tea. I can’t blame the culture but think about it, you must hurry home to fix supper or you have a project to work on. I know that’s been my excuse for years. There were times the power went out or a storm blew down some trees, then we saw the neighbors, but I’m extremely guilty of running into the house and doing my thing.
I don’t really remember what I was looking for, but the kitchen drawer was the spot I chose to start. Everyone has “that drawer” in the kitchen, be honest, everything paper and otherwise that you have saved is there. Addresses, recipes, pens, birthday candles, I could go on and on. As it turns out I found several recipes, some I had made before and some not. I picked three and decided to rustle up all the ingredients and make them.
After a hundred-dollar trip to the grocery store, I was ready to proceed. My son and his family were on the way home from a trip and I wanted to prepare a great meal, so I chose three out of the ordinary (for me) recipes to make. I will share these recipes at the end of this post.
There is a certain significance to these recipes in that my mother-in-law, Kathleen McDonald, who had a huge impact on my cooking and all-around housekeeping skills, wrote one of these recipes with her own hand. She’s been in Heaven for about ten years now, so it was particularly moving for me find this recipe. That was the Broccoli Salad. The Four Layer Pie, our all-time fave, was another recipe, although written by me, but was another family recipe I got from Grandma.
She was what I would call a precise cook. As I put these recipes together, I was reminded of her special and neat way she cooked, especially the Four Layer Pie, because you could see the layers both defined and beautiful. The Broccoli Salad was cut in tiny little pieces, again, precise and beautiful to behold. My daughter pointed this out when we ate mine, but, oh well, it’s me. As I was pressing the crust into the pan for the pie, and thinking of Grandma McDonald, I sized my cooking skills up as too good for “Worst Cooks in America,” yet not good enough for “Chopped.” Funny what you think about when you’re cooking.