How Important I Am: By Means Of a Christmas Present

Yea, sure, she’s my mom.

So suspend disbelief about my importance for just a while. Been waiting for the right opportunity to blog about this. Could have done it many times but this time hit me just right. When you get the very best Christmas gift you ever got, the time has to be just right to talk about it.

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I guess she got tired of me calling and emailing for family recipes, so she complied all of hers, two grandmothers’ a great grandmother, and a few others. It spans home cooking from Germany to Italy to Texas.

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Index! Categories!
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Handwritten notes to accompany typing
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Sometimes just handwritten
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Some have “Family Favorite” stampings
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And some pages are double sided

Here’s what prompted me.

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On a lark, today, I had 2-3 cups of some previously frozen, thawed beans left. These beans. The previous dressings I did were all “just OK” for me. Nothing took me back to a childhood of getting my hand slapped for getting into the Chi-Chi Beans too early (yep, that’s what the garbanzos were always called chez moi, and I didn’t even know what a garbanzo or a chickpea was, until I was at least 20).

You’ll have to work it out yourself, but it will be well worth your time. Now you’ll understand how it is that I so often post food stuff and don’t really give specific measures. But I’ll tell you this: I got the vinegar (apple cider) exactly right on just the eyeball method. Click to enlarge.

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I’m absolutely sure that the juice from one can of garbanzos is absolutely critical (the beans got added to the salad). But, I just eyeballed it with the olive oil and vinegar. Good amount of parsley, one large clove of crushed garlic. No fresh onion, so I used my standby dessicated onion in a jar. Sea salt & pepper. Just bring it to a boil, turn it off, let it settle and then pop it in the fridge to get to roomish temp before tossing it in the beans. Then, refrigerate. They are best chilled, or, at least, having some time to all hook up.

Careful, though. After you’ve put away the crucifix, the garlic necklace (less a clove or two) and the wooden spike, you just may find your knees buckling at the flavor. I still am, after all these years.

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  1. Hilda on August 22, 2013 at 05:45

    My (immigrant Hungarian) parents also called them “chi-chi” or chick peas. A European naming?

  2. pzo on August 22, 2013 at 06:44

    My mother did a similar huge family cookbook project probably about 1975. She hand wrote every page on mimeograph masters and then ran off a dozen pages or something. She was still a teacher and so had access to the machine. She then gave them to us kids and/or wives and some family others.

    When my ex and I went The Big D, Barb asked Mom if she could have a copy of the cookbook, as I had taken it early on. My mother graciously gave her one.

    I need to scan one as the mimeo is fading with time.

  3. Cathy on August 22, 2013 at 06:46

    Richard, this is a treasure!! You have been truly blessed with this gift and I look forward to trying this out. I got my Mother in law’s recipe book and it is neat. She is a great cook and it is fun to read recipes before the phobias that plague our society started. I remember talking to my husband’s grandmother once about her recipes and got overwhelmed by the amount of lard she used on a daily basis. This was the 80’s what can I say! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Cathy on August 22, 2013 at 11:29

    I also want to note something else we’ve lost — the beautiful penmanship of your Mom.

  5. Wes on August 22, 2013 at 13:51

    Your mother’s penmanship is beautiful!

  6. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on August 22, 2013 at 14:14

    your mom’s handwriting is beautiful.

  7. thatswonderful on August 22, 2013 at 18:05

    That’s such a lovely gift from your mom. Care to scan it and share it? Feel free to say no.

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