01 March 2013

Family Recipe Friday - 'Peasant' Dishes

I know that I don’t have to tell you that many of our ancestors lived, loved, and survived in economically lean times and our ancestral women often had to come up with meals that ‘stretched a buck’ and that could feed many.
Today, many of us preserve these family recipes; they evoke fond memories and if truth be told, we and our families enjoy them by far more than some of the finest meals that we ourselves can cook or that we can eat at the finest restaurants.  There is just something nostalgic and ‘warming’ to eat a meal made from simple recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Potato Pie
Potato Soup
Fried Mush
Hamburger Gravy
Creamed Dried Beef
Hot Dogs and Baked Bean Casserole

Are but a few that I have fond memories of and that I have shared with my family over the years.  I lovingly call these meals ‘Peasant’ Dishes and they are some of my family’s most often requested meals.  

A really simple dish, and one that I liked, sort-a when I was a child – it was served with milk, and I wasn’t very fond of milk.  But, Grandpop made it, and I loved Grandpop!  And, I loved potatoes.  So other than the milk, bleck(!) it was a delish dish.

The Recipe
·         Basic pie dough
·         Baked or boiled potatoes, cooled and cut into chunks
·         Melted Butter
·         Parsley
·         Salt and Pepper to taste
·         Milk

1.    Roll out the dough – you need enough for a bottom layer and a top layer
2.    Gently stir / mix (so as not to crumble / mash) potatoes, butter, parsley, salt and pepper
3.    Bake at 350 degrees until crust is golden, about 30 minutes or so.

To serve:  Slice, place in shallow soup bowl; pour milk over the pie (enough to your liking).  Eat and enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this dish as is, and have very fond memories of sitting at my Grandparent’s dining room table enjoying this with them and other members of my family.  But . . .

I like to cook and I love experimenting with and ‘dressing’ up those ‘peasant’ meals that I enjoyed as a child.  So, I have come up with a variation or two . . . Next week, I’ll share those with you. 

For now, I am off to share one of these ‘peasant’ dishes with my family and to reminisce and share some childhood memories and create new ones.

What are you favorite recipes and gastronomic memories? 

For our ancestors, food is what brought the family together around the table – sadly, the tradition of gathering as a family around the dinner table is dying, if not already dead, to a vast majority of families in the U.S. -   Isn’t it sad that that our younger generations will not have their own fond memories of laughing, loving, and sharing meals with their families and creating memories that will last a life time?  My husband and I have made it a point over the years to gather our family and friends around the dinner table as often as possible.  And, I am very hopeful that my sons will continue that tradition.  There is nothing stronger than the bond of family and it should be treasured and preserved.

1 comment:

  1. Our family favorite 'peasant dish' is Shepard's Pie. Great for a hodgepodge of Sunday's left-overs.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)