Tag: recipe

Family Recipe: Sangria

This Sangria is non-alcoholic and probably not very authentic. But it’s the Sangria that my husband’s mother serves on Christmas eve.

My husband’s parents met at a mission reunion. Both of them served a mission in the same area of Mexico. Their Christmas eve dinner is a reminder of that.

This Sangria is a nice celebration drink even if it isn’t Christmas. We even had some tonight with dinner!

Charlie’s Room: The Queen of Hearts

One morning, Charlie and Marianne left early to go to the garden store. Isaac was left behind to do paperwork and possibly spend some time reading if he got done early. Knowing Charlie and Marianne as well as he did, Isaac was pretty sure they’d go straight from the garden store to the garden in the backyard. His chances of having extra reading time were pretty good.

In fact, there wasn’t much paperwork to do, and Isaac was on the couch with a favorite novel fairly quickly. There is something about rereading an old favorite that is comforting, like a warm blanket on a cold day. Isaac was quickly wrapped up in what he was reading.

He had no idea how much time had passed when he heard some noises in the kitchen. Had Marianne and Charlie already returned and were now coming in from the garden? He looked at his book. He was only two chapters in. That shouldn’t be enough time for a typical garden center trip.

Something clattered on the floor in the kitchen. Isaac looked around for a bookmark and called out, “Is everything okay in there? Do you need some help?”

There was no response. Odd. Isaac grabbed one of the playing cards spread out on the end table. It looked like someone was playing a game and had left the cards out. He looked at the card he picked up as he marked his place in his book. The card was blank.

It sounded like someone was hitting the refrigerator with a wooden spoon. Isaac dropped the book on the couch and hurried into the kitchen. Someone actually was hitting the refrigerator with a wooden spoon.

She was thin, paper thin, and unnaturally tall. She looked like the drawing of the queen of hearts from a deck of cards, given a lower half and brought to life. But she didn’t look like a normal, living, breathing person. She looked like a living drawing, still two dimensional and drawn with dark black lines and colored in.

The kitchen was a mess. Flour, broken eggs, and milk puddles surrounded the paper queen. A cookie sheet was laying on the open oven door, dotted with odd looking misshapen lumps of dough.

“Can I help you?” Isaac asked.

“The knave of hearts stole my tarts. They must be replaced.” She pointed at the counter.

The jack of hearts card was propped up against a vase of lilies. The jack was munching a red heart that looked a lot like the one in the corners of his card and smirking.

Isaac frowned. “How did that happen?”

“Our cards were left out on a summer’s day.” She turned to the kitchen. “I would like to bake more tarts, but your kitchen is nothing like the one I’m used to.”

“I don’t know about tarts, but how does heart-shaped cookies sound?” Isaac asked.

“That would do.”

“Right. Let me find the recipe.” Isaac stepped over the mess and flipped through the pages of the family cookbook. “Here we are. I’ll get things ready.”

Grabbing a towel, he wiped up the mess, put the cookie sheet in the sink, and closed and preheated the oven. He rinsed and dried the cookie sheet, and began to mix up the cookie batter.

He rolled out the dough, and dug through the cupboard for the cookie cutters. “Which size?” He held up three different heart shapes.

“That one.” She pointed to the largest, plainest cookie cutter.

Isaac cut out the cookies and put them on the cookie sheet and into the oven. “Would you like them frosted?”

“No need,” the queen said.

They waited in silence, watching the oven. The moment the cookies were out of the oven, the queen picked up two very hot cookies in each hand and vanished.

“But they were still hot,” Isaac said to the jack, who was still propped up against the vase. Jack shrugged and looked over at the cookies still on the pan.

“I think you’ve had enough sweets today,” Isaac said. He picked up the card and went back to the living room. He stacked up the cards on the end table adding the jack of hearts to the pile, and put the cards in their cardboard box.

Then he pulled the card out of his book. He’d read the book often enough that saving his place didn’t really matter. The queen of hearts smiled up at him. He smiled back, and put the card in the box with the others.

Isaac left the box of cards on the shelf in Charlie’s room and went back to the kitchen to finish making the rest of the cookie dough into cookies. He frosted them and added sprinkles.

Marianne came in from the backyard as he was washing the last of the dishes. “Cookies!” Charlie rushed to the counter and leaned over the plate. His hand hovered over one of the cookies. “Can I have one?”

“Yes, of course.”

Charlie grinned and grabbed the cookie.

Marianne picked up a cookie with a smile. “I love these! What’s the occasion?”

“The world needed more cookies,” Isaac said. “It was an emergency.”

Family Recipe: Japanese Mum’s Chicken

This recipe wasn’t passed down to us by a family member, but we’ve enjoyed it for so many years that it’s become a family recipe for our family just the same.

We found this recipe online when the kids were small, and we’ve been making it ever since. My husband changes the recipe a little each time, but it’s remained essentially the same. It’s definitely a family favorite.

Here’s a link to the original recipe post: https://www.food.com/recipe/japanese-mums-chicken-68955

Family Recipe: Potato Salad

Whenever I think of picnics, I think of Mom’s potato salad. I love, love, love it. I’ve tried other potato salads, but I don’t really like them. My children have followed in my footsteps and love this potato salad best, too.

It’s best cold, so it takes a little planning ahead to boil the potatoes and eggs, assemble the salad, and leave it in the fridge to cool. It’s worth it, though. In my opinion, a picnic just isn’t quite right without potato salad.

Family Recipe: Monsters

I’m starting a new project: putting together a family cookbook, one recipe at a time. This recipe is one that my husband grew up with. My family cooked something similar, but I prefer his family’s version. It’s called Monsters because it puffs up in strange ways when it’s cooking. I like to experiment with this recipe. It’s pretty forgiving. When we cook it for our family now, we double it and cook it in two cake pans side by side in the oven at the same time.

Charlie’s Room: Mud Pies

Charlie’s shoulders slumped as he looked out of the window, a glum expression on his face. “It’s raining.” He sighed.

“I’m sure that the plants are happy,” Isaac said. He could hear them singing their rain songs that no one else could hear.

“But I wanted to work in the garden today, and it’s too muddy. Mom will say we can just wait until tomorrow, and I’m tired of being inside.”

“It is bad weather for gardening,” Isaac agreed. “It would be good weather for mud pies, though.”

Charlie sat up straighter and turned around, smiling. “With the chocolate pudding? I love mud pies! It’s been forever since Mom made one.”

“I wasn’t thinking of that kind of mud pies, but it’s a good idea. I think we need something sweet on a gloomy day.” Isaac turned to the pantry and started pulling out ingredients. “We may have to make the pudding from scratch, but I think we can manage that.”

“What other kind of mud pies are there?” Charlie stood on his tiptoes to get the glass pie plate from the cupboard.

“You know, the kind made of mud. We used to make them when I was your age.”

Charlie scrunched up his nose and looked disgusted. “You ate mud?”

“Not really. We just pretended. We used old pie tins and patted the mud inside. We decorated the pies with handfuls of grass and twigs and leaves. Sometimes we mixed in acorns or made designs with pine cones or pine needles. Whatever was available.”

“And then you pretended to eat it? That’s so weird.”

Isaac shrugged. “You like to make things out of playdough. It’s kind of the same.”

“Less messy and more colors, though.” Charlie pulled out the binder that served as a family recipe book. “Where is the pie recipe?”

“It’s near the front. It was one of the ones your mom added first because her mom used to make it when she was little.”

“Found it. I like Mom’s mud pies better than yours.”

Isaac laughed. “You notice that mine wasn’t ever added to the binder.”

“I guess we could add it, as long as we never actually cook it.” Charlie grinned.

“We could write it in under Mom’s as a variation. Then we could see if she ever notices.” Isaac preheated the oven.

Charlie got a pen from the junk drawer. “I’ll do it. How many cups of mud does it take to fill a pie tin?”

“We could go out and check later.”

“Or I could get some playdough to check it out now and stay dry. Where are the disposable pie tins?” Charlie checked the cupboard next to the oven. “There they are, in the back. They’re kind of bent out of shape. I can fix that.”

Charlie worked on perfecting his recipe, measuring playdough and handfuls of ripped up notebook paper. “I can use pipe cleaners for the sticks, but what will I use for the acorns? Marbles are too small…” Meanwhile, Isaac worked on the pie.

Marianne finished her online meeting and joined them in the kitchen. “What are you both up to?” she asked.

“We’re making mud pies,” Charlie said.

Marianne looked at Isaac’s pie, and then she looked at Charlie’s. “Only one of those looks like a mud pie to me.”

Charlie grinned. “This is dad’s recipe. I’m adding it to the recipe book. He uses real mud, but I’m substituting playdough because it’s less messy.”

“Real mud?”

“Yeah, and grass and stick and acorns. He said that’s the kind of mud pie he made when he was little.”

“You’re adding it to the book?” Marianne looked over his shoulder.

“For memories. Not to eat.” Charlie admired his pie. “It looks good, though. Just not at all edible.”

Marianne scrunched up her nose. “True. Mine is better.”

Charlie nodded. “That’s what I said.”

Isaac finished the pie and put it in the fridge to cool. “I told you, we didn’t really eat them. It was just something to do. But I’m glad that Mom shared her mud pie recipe with me. I like it better, too.”

Charlie looked out the window and smiled. “You were right, you know.”

“About what?”

“It’s good weather for mud pies.”

Marianne stood next to Charlie and looked out the window too. “I agree. It’s just what today needed. Rainy days and mud pies do go well together.”

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