Honor Thy Mother

The Four Letter Word

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If I were to pick one thing that defines me, I’d tell you that I’m passionate about food. I’ve been a foodie since around birth. Which is such an overused term these days, but true story, my love for good food was present in every aspect of my upbringing. I grew up on homemade baby food (which I now realize was actually paté), everyone gets their hands dirty on Thanksgiving Day, and I was sent to school with really weird [“gourmet”] school lunches. Trust me; no one was willing to trade me their “Snak Pak” for my Tupperware of huckleberry crumble. I remember longing for a PB & J with plain ol’ grape jelly, instead of the “bluebonnet jelly” (fittingly blue) that normally stood in the fridge amongst a variety of pickled items and mysterious condiments who’s exact purpose would be unknown to a vast majority of the population.

I remember my sister’s friend and her mom coming for dinner one night; my industrious mother repurposed leftover béchamel, adding parmesan, garlic and herbs, and with a whip of her whisk it was Alfredo. Pairing it with pan fried chicken and perfect al dente campanelle (we never had ordinary fettuccini) she served it to her guests. The daughter shot her mother a horrified look, a look asking if she would have to EAT my mom’s take on Fettuccini Alfredo, and her mother said to her, “It’s fried chicken and mac and cheese! Shut up and eat it!”

That’s just how my mom did things.

Now that I’m a grown up, and running this little food company (called Ham I Am!) that was started 31 years ago by my rock-star-of-a-mother, I do my best to honor her and the values and appreciation she instilled in me, but it’s a balancing act trying to find a happy median between the adult in me and the good little hipster trying to have as much fun as possible, nosh at all the trendy spots and drink more craft cocktails than she should before the clock hits 2 am. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make me special. In fact, it makes me terribly basic. And the truth is I’m not my mother. I wish. I long for her energy, attention to detail, drive, and charisma. That special touch she has to put on a party effortlessly. But one thing I’ve learned it’s NOT effortless. It is a lot of a four letter word, W-O-R-K, and the petrifying bottom line is, one day my mom is going to pass on the baton, and I’m going to have to step up (and you will too).

I recall my sister saying to my mom recently, “Mom, what are you trying to do? Maybe I know a better way.” Now, I’m no Martha, or Rachel, and I would not say for one second I can do ANYTHING better than my mother, but maybe I can do some things with less effort and still throw a dinner party on fleek. So crank up some gangsta rap, and let’s honor thy mother—don’t worry, we’ll do as little work as possible.

Hogwash Glazed Carrots

Spice things up this Thanksgiving with Hogwash Glazed CarrotsLast holiday season I was doing a tasting at a Dallas Central Market location and one of the clever Foodies (shout out to Bryan Wallace) suggested using Hogwash for glazed carrots and it's completely changed my outlook on cooked carrots. The horseradish and gives a surprise kick [...]

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Sharon's Perfect BLT

Slice and marinate perfectly ripe and juicy tomatoes, yellow, orange, red, cherry, heirloom, Beefsteak in olive oil, cracked salt, cracked peppercorns, chopped fresh basil, rosemary, parsley and a little bit of mint ( let marinate for a few hours before you make the sandwiches)(Save all the juices from the tomato mixture, as it is the [...]

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Leftover Recipes

Recommended by Grancy..... Holiday Leftovers What a great gift, to open your refrigerator and find the fabulous remnants of your holiday dinner! We can only eat so many ham and turkey sandwiches, but we can put our creative juices to work and come up with some fabulous meals!   Turkey Tetrazzini: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/turkey_tetrazzini/   Turkey Pot-Pie with Sweet Potato Topping http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-leftover-recipes-turkey.html   Turkey Vegetable Soup with [...]

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Creating a Warm Welcoming Home for your Guests

Creating the Atmosphere of Warmth and WelcomeSo, I've cleaned, cooked, decorated, washed the dog, but.....there is still another component we need to focus on.Creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your Thanksgiving guests. Try these tips:- Dim your lights in your dining room and living area- Add candles - no need for scented - your [...]

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Grancys Mashed Potato Casserole

With all the hustle and bustle around the holiday meals, I have found that recipes that I can assemble ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until meal time help make life easier!  One that I would like to share with you is a scrumptious Mashed Potato Casserole which I received from my dear friend, Nancy [...]

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Grancy

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Mashed Potato Casserole

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Turkey Tips from Grancy's Toolbox

Q:  What size Thanksgiving turkey do I buy? A:  Figure 1 1/2 lb per person on a 15-20 lb turkey.There is less meat to bone in a small turkey under 12 lbs, so figure 2 lbs per person. If you have left overs, watch our blog for recipes!   Q:  Do I buy frozen or fresh? [...]

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From Grancy's Table - Pineapple Souffle Side Dish

  As I make up my holiday menu, I can't help but hear my son Shaun's voice saying "Mom, we have to have the Pineapple Souffle to eat with our turkey and ham or it won't seem right!" Years ago, Grandma Podi handed down her recipe for Pineapple Souffle to me.  Since then, it has become [...]

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