Spirit Grooves

Mom’s Cookbook

By on April 9, 2013

Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.

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Growing up in a large family, ethnic on both sides, with a mom who was home with us and channeling her creativity into cooking… was delicious.

portrait of this blogger on cape cod when she was young

portrait of this blogger on cape cod when she was young

My mother is an artist by nature, talent and soul’s purpose. But for all those years when my 5 sisters and I were growing up, she cooked every single day. She always painted when she could, but it wasn’t until we’d grown up a bit that she finally had a studio and really allowed herself the freedom to properly pursue her passion.

!B1-PIwQBmk~$(KGrHqR,!g4E)70soghuBMgpUpHhT!~~_12In the meantime, our Italian mom cooked for us and our Armenian dad. When they were starting out as a married couple, my dad started the first English speaking Armenian newspaper in the United States, called The California Courier. My mom was the recipes editor and so she got many, many recipes from Armenians living in America. She’d try them and the newspaper would publish them. Eventually they published a California Courier cookbook. I treasure beyond measure the copy I have.

2013-03-31 14.38.03 My mother eventually decided that she would put all her accumulated wisdom, knowledge and recipes into one book for all her daughters. I remember her typing up recipes (on her actual typewriter) or writing them out by hand, and then standing for hours photocopying them and making piles as she sorted them into six big binders. It was a huge project.

2013-03-31 14.38.39

She usually referenced where they came from or anything else pertinent.

2013-03-31 14.39.46

Aunt Jeri’s Rolled Lavash Sandwiches

2013-03-31 14.41.33

This one says: Tea Balls (or better known in our family as Crumble Cookies, a name Teresa gave them.)

Over the years one sister or another has gotten the idea to turn them into some kind of cookbook or just put them all into a digital file for ease of use or to create a kind of cookbook/memoir…. But nothing yet. And I’m so happy this Carnival came up when it did because it made me think that it’s time for me to really go through the book while I still have my mom around to ask questions to. So this is the beginning of a project of my own. So far I’ve mostly just pulled out favorite recipes or used it to look for something different and fun. Now I think I’ll start with the intention of trying as many recipes as I can. Of course I’m going to have to try and *healthify* some of them.

2013-03-31 14.43.04Today I’m sharing a recipe for Dolma (stuffed vegetables). Mom would make this pretty regularly. My dad loved it. His favorite was the tomatoes. It’s naturally gluten free but since there’s rice it’s not Paleo. I’ve considered trying a version without rice, but it’s so good as it is. I may have to try it soon since I’m experimenting with the Paleo lifestyle…

Also, we always had it with Lavash. It’s funny to me that it’s a known thing now. When I was growing up all these words were totally foreign to my friends. And I don’t think the soft bendy lavash even existed then. We’d take the dry, round crackery bread and wet it so it would get soft. It was awesome. I can’t have it in my house because I will not stop eating it.

Dolma

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I’ve done tried both beef and lamb and they are delicious. Of course I have to really encourage you to use only grass-fed, organic meats. I’ve also used turkey which is good, but not as great in my opinion.

1lb. ground beef or lamb
1/2 cup white rice
2 chopped onions (about 1/2 lb.)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3 tsp chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of 1 lemon
3 bell peppers
3 large tomatoes
2 Japanese eggplants
2 zucchini – cut in thirds

Heat oven to 350
Mix all beef, rice, onions, 1/2 can tomato sauce, parsley, salt and pepper.
Scoop out vegetables and loosely fill with meat mixture.
Put into a roasting pan. Pour remaining sauce and lemon juice over.
Add water to halfway up sides.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (until rice is thoroughly cooked)
Be sure to remove juice and place in separate container when refrigerating.

And that is it. I left out the part about placing a heavy ovenproof plate on top of the vegetables because it’s totally unnecessary. I asked my mom about it when I was making this on my own for the first time and she couldn’t even remember the why of it.

I also forgot to add the water this time, in these photos. It still worked fine. Not enough juice left over though. Oh, and I didn’t have parsley. But because of this carnival I made it for my family tonight just to get some photos for you! They loved it.

veggies scooped out. I like to put the bell pepper tops back on.

veggies scooped out. I like to put the bell pepper tops back on.

ready to go in! (but not really because the cook forgot to add water half way up sides.)

ready to go in! (but not really because the cook forgot to add water half way up sides.)

 

my pan.

my pan.

I would love to know if anyone tries this recipe or if anyone can think of a way to substitute rice. I think the rice was originally a way to make a smaller amount of meat feed more people. Still a good idea with the prices for organic meat.

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • German Red Cabbage: A Family Tradition — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares her favorite dish and a part of her family’s history.
  • Rotisserie Chicken Recipes for Meal Planning — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama shares a new recipe that is in her family’s meal-planning rotation. Check out how she uses a rotisserie chicken to get through the week.
  • Grandma Wicken’s Sugar Cookies — Jana Falls at Jananas talks about how special her Grandma’s sugar cookies made her feel.
  • Recipe: Seed and Bean Burgers — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings shares one of her favourite frugal recipes that is also super-healthy and totally delicious.
  • PULLING Dinner Together For the Kids – Crockpot Pulled Pork — Lisa at The Squishable Baby PULLS dinner together for the kids.
  • The Best Banana Muffin Recipe (Gluten Free & Vegan) — Dionna of Code Name: Mama’s adventures in gluten free baking have not been 100% successful. But today she is guest posting at Fine and Fair to share a banana muffin recipe that will knock your socks off!
  • The Pierogie Mama Whips Up Strawberry Pierogies! — Bianca at The Pierogie Mama shares her family’s recipe for strawberry pierogies…a sweet, summery version of the Polish dumplings that she affectionately named her daughter after.
  • Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters and shares a favorite family recipe.
  • Crispy Duck Confit — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes the liberty of starting a family recipe tradition with this super simple, totally delicious crispy duck confit.
  • Stovetop BBQ Chicken — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares a yummy BBQ chicken recipe that you can make on the stovetop in less than 25 minutes, fridge to table!
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Casserole w/Bacon — Martine at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth shares a naked food twist on an old family favorite!
  • Strawberry Panna Cotta — KerryAnn at CookingTF.com shows you her favorite dessert, a quick and easy Strawberry Panna Cotta that she enjoys so much, she had it instead of a birthday cake this year.
  • Special crepes for a special day — Mikko at Hobo Mama is learning to cook his grandma’s signature holiday meal alongside his dad.
  • Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free vanilla orange sugar cookies, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade “Flubber”!
  • Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that’s been around forever.
  • Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
  • Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she’s trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
  • Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It’s a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
  • One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you’ll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
  • Our Family’s Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
  • Deliciously Easy Crock Pot ChiliLactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
  • All-Purpose Crock Pot PorkCrunchy Con Mommy‘s simple “recipe” for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
  • Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
  • Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
  • Grandma’s Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma’s banana bread. It’s love in a loaf!
  • Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.

Comments

  1. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
    April 9, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Mmmm – this is one of the Carnival recipes I’m pinning to make at our house :) This looks SO good! Also, I know exactly what you mean about wanting to make a family cookbook and never getting around to it. I’ve even had my dad send me lots of recipes via email (and yes, I’ll need to healthify them, too!!). Someday!

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      yep, someday. Me too. But if we get them into the computer as we go along it will be much easier.
      This was a great idea for a carnival!
      It would probably make a great book just as it is… all the original recipes and any healthier versions if possible. Plus the stories…

  2. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    April 9, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    What a great story of how your family has treasured and passed on recipes! I love these really traditional old-country sorts. My family would always have a big family gathering where they’d make pork balls in salted milk. I have to admit I’ve never been tempted to replicate that in my own home ;) — but I love the tradition of it and really should!

    Our go-to substitution for rice is usually finely shredded cabbage. I’ve heard grated cauliflower works well, too!

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      well, what if you make it and your men all love it! then you’re stuck with it. Tread carefully, my friend.
      thanks for the ideas for rice subs.

  3. Jennifer @ Hybrid Rasta Mama
    April 9, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Ohhhhhh, I love dolma! I used to make them all the time and miss it. Your recipe is slightly different and now I am inspired to try it!

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      thanks, i’m so happy to have triggered a good thought.

  4. KerryAnn @ Cooking Traditional Foods
    April 10, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Looks yummy! You could sub the rice with shredded cauliflower, I bet. I’ll have to try it and see how it turns out.

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      I’ll try that cauliflower too… hmmmm…. at least it’s gluten free as is. thanks for the suggestion.

  5. jan
    April 10, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    Wow how lucky you were to have a mother that cooked so often!

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      it’s really true. I’m always amazed to hear about other ways of growing up. I appreciate it all and hope my daughter does someday as well.

  6. Melissa
    April 10, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    I didn’t realize you had a multicultural background. How fantastic that your mom took such care to preserve family recipes. She sounds like a wonderful woman! I have kept a book of all the recipes I love most from my great grandma, grandma, and my mom, but I would love to have their handwritten versions of each one instead of my own. What a precious memory!

    • treepeters
      April 11, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      it is precious to me. thanks.
      It’s great that you have all those recipes too.
      And you can tell Annabelle and Elliot about their great, greats as you cook and eat together. Em knows about my grandmother this way.

  7. SRB
    April 11, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    What a beautiful story and gift. Wow. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this!

  1. Favorite Healthy Family Recipes | LivingMontessoriNow.com - [...] Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters …
  2. Rotisserie Chicken Recipes for Meal Planning - Crafty Garden Mama - [...] Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters …
  3. Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play « Intrepid Murmurings - [...] Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters …
  4. One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap | Natural Parents Network - [...] Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters …
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  6. Vranameer Chicken : A Family Recipe | Diary of a First Child - [...] Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters …

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