Sitting right alongside a pile of old magazines. In a dusty box, tucked away on a seldom used shelf. Or, possibly in a prominent place in your busy kitchen. There they sit. A piece of culinary history. Sometimes taken for granted, other times revered. Your family’s food legacy. This series of articles, “Old School”, aims to take those family traditions out of the recipe box and put them back on the plate.
Let’s enjoy the past together!
My Mom’s recipe box seems like a logical place to start…
My mom was not a gourmet chef. She was a pretty capable home cook. She cooked delicious meals. Nothing flashy, just great home cooked food. She never owned an immersion blender, but, her soups turned out just fine. Her idea of “sous vide” was, Green Giant Boil n’ Bag. But, those veggies always came out perfect. Never fail (OK, maybe a touch on the soggy side).
She had a box of family recipes. As you can tell from the image above they’re well loved. At one point she transcribed them onto the computer and printed them out. She may have been trying to save the original cards. That appears to have been only partly successful.
Like most families, a lot of our traditional recipes revolved around the holidays. A special set for Thanksgiving and then a collection for everything else. Thanksgiving had/has its dishes that you could easily make any other time of the year, but, for some reason don’t. Sure you may cook a turkey from time to time. I know I do. But, the rest of the array of Thanksgiving foods make their appearance just once per year.
One of our turkey day standards was my mom’s Shrimp Toast. I’m sure she didn’t invent this recipe. But, like so many other family food finds, she is the default creator since no other attribution can be found (or admitted to).
My sister has been in charge of making the Shrimp Toast at our Thanksgiving gathering for a while now. She’s a pro. In a blind taste test, four out of five tasters would be unable to discern which person had whipped up this year’s batch. Probably even five out of five. That’s a tribute to how well the original recipe has held up over time (and, to my sisters ability to follow directions.)
Want a try at it? Sure you do. The beauty is, if you make it right now, it won’t have a holiday association attached to it. That means you can make this easy and delicious appetizer year round and still feel pretty good about yourself.
¼ butter, softened
1 can tiny shrimp
1 small jar, Old Tavern sharp cheddar
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
6 English muffin halves
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium size bowl, mix all of the above ingredients except the muffins together. Mix well.
It should look like this.
Spread the mixture on the 6 muffin halves. Cut each muffin into 6 pie shaped pieces. If you want to make this ahead, you can freeze the coated muffin pieces for later cooking.
Place pieces on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them on so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and serve immediately. It’s OK to burn the roof of your mouth like you would on a slice of pizza. I was led to believe that’s part of the charm.
Remember, don’t eat too many. You’ll want to save room for your turkey and pumpkin pie!
We would love to show off one of your family recipe cards. Click here. Send us a message and we’ll tell you how we can make that happen.