Moving along in this A to Z challenge, I'm lifting "interview" type questions that my father answered for me in a journal called A Father's Legacy.
On page 37...
Tell me about your mother's cooking. Can you recall your favorite meal? What made it your favorite?
Mom never claimed to be a good cook--she much preferred to work outside or at a sewing machine.
But actually, she fixed some wonderful meals! We were quite poor so she had to be very resourceful.
Each summer she would can vegetables, rabbit, chicken, and fruit--maybe 500 quarts--and put the jars in the cellar.
Through the year she would draw out the jars and feed us well, even if there was no money in the house.
I can't recall a favorite meal, but I can recall the rich puddings, caramel dumplings, and chocolate goodies she would make. And her gingersnaps were heavenly!
Note from Zoanna to my readers--
To this day, Daddy actually prefers burnt cookies to properly baked ones. It hearkens back to the way his mom used to make them, because she wasn't fond of kitchen work, so between being poor and having a mother who didn't especially enjoy baking, cookies were a doubly rare treat.
Every year since we girls started baking on our own (probably in high school), Daddy requested burned cookies. Every Christmas after I got married, I would make him a batch of gingersnaps or chocolate chip cookies and wrap them as a gift under the tree. He would gush gratitude, as if I'd just bought him a '66 Mustang convertible.
One year I thought he wouldn't miss burnt cookies--maybe he was just being polite--, so I gave him a few other gifts and skipped the burnt cookies. He didn't say anything directly to me that day (and I was a grown woman with teenage kids) but all evening he seemed to sulk just a little. As we were leaving their house, I asked Mama about it. "Is Daddy okay? He seems a little down." She said, "He's okay, but he told me a little while ago he really missed your burnt cookies."
Oh, for heaven's sakes, really?!! I went home and burned some gingersnaps as soon as I could-- and delivered them promptly.
When he opened the wrapped tin, he let out his phrase of highest delight: "Well, forevermore! What have we here? Aaah, burnt cookies! How did you know!! Thank you SO much!"
I'm sure that when my father is gone from this earth, I will get a big lump in my throat at the very smell of cookies starting to burn in the oven.