Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mamas & Memories

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. ~ Diane Ackerman

Ever notice how some of our earliest memories of our Mamas center around food? A certain smell or taste will take me back to helping Mama in the kitchen, or sometimes just watching her cook and bake. This morning I went over to visit my eldest daughter's blog, A Perennial Garden Lover, to find that she had recreated a happy childhood memory. That of me frying squash for her and her baby brother when they were just wee ones. They would snatch the squash right off the plate despite my warning of burnt little fingers. When we talked on the phone this morning, I told her the recipe came from my own Mama, who would cut the squash in strips like french fries. So in memory of my Mama, I recreated her dish today. Here is to three generations of cooks in the kitchen.

Fried Yellow Squash

Slice squash diagonally or lengthwise into strips, dip in a mixture of milk and egg and seasoned flour. I combined 2 parts all-purpose flour, 1 part whole wheat flour, Old Bay Seasoning (to taste), freshly ground pepper and 1 Tbsp. dried parsley. Dip the squash in milk and egg mixture, dredge in flour mixture and fry in a little hot oil just till nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.

In case you are wondering what those little balls are, take some time and visit Lucy over at Sweets, Savories, Etc. to enjoy a very tasty treat.


Theresa said...

How I love those memories and the recipes that went along with them. Such treasures!!! I guess you like those "whatever you call them"!!!

PGL said...

Awww, you're gonna make me cry now. Thanks Mom! Your version looks mighty delicious too!

OhioMom said...

Theresa ... whenever the food critic and I reminisce about our childhoods we have found there is a central theme .. food :) I am loving the "whatever you call them" !

Well now daughter, you had me bawling like a baby at 6:30 this morning, so turn about is fair play :) You also made me hunger for these delicious treats.

Lucy said...

Linda & Racquel... it's all about passing it on, just lovely ;-)

Tree... this reminds me we need to do "family day" & cook up those some of those favorite memories ;-)

Proud Italian Cook said...

Awww, Isn't it nice when your grown kids recall a favorite childhood memory? Food, and cooking always stirs up special times. Nice post!

OhioMom said...

Thanks Lucy ... and thanks for the wonderful "whatever you want to call them" recipe :)

Thanks Marie ... food and cooking do invoke those special memories don't they?

shambo said...

What a sweet story. There must be something about summer squash & cooking memories though. One of my fondest memories is my grandmother frying up squash blossoms. In fact, just about a month ago I was chatting with a cousin who remembered how good they were.

How special to have a recipe handed down from generation to generation.

Balisha said...

This is my first visit. I came by way of your eldest daughter.I saw the squash on her blog this morning and it reminded me of my Mom's recipe. I could spend hours looking at recipes. Glad I found you.

OhioMom said...

Hi Sue

Fried squash is still a favorite around here, seems to disappear off the plate as quick as I fry it :)

Hello Balisha

Thanks, I am glad that it brought back a pleasant memory for you :)

giz said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to share these recipes over three generations. Some recipes are just hell to decipher because who used measurements in the day.

I love this type of squash - I do this with zucchini and just love it - it's almost like having tempura.

Grace said...

aw--this is too sweet. interestingly, this is something my grandmother taught me to make, but we slice the squash into circles--the better to soak up that butter, i believe. :)

OhioMom said...


My children requested that I write down my recipes, and one of my daughters created a "Mom's Recipes Cookbook" ... so I had to spend time trying to measure ingredients to give them a starting point. It wasn't easy :) I still "eyeball" ingredients when cooking, because if most cooks are like me (and I think they are) we all play with a recipe to make it our own.


I too make circles, like my eldest daughter, but Mama did "french cuts", so I decided since DD recreated mine, I would do the same :)

Just the Right Size said...

Yum! I love fried veggies! Fried squash is one of my favorites!

I have memories of tearing up bread for Thanksgiving stuffing with my mom. She didn't cook that often, but always put on a spectactular spread during the holidays.

Now, everytime I make her stuffing, I think of her.

OhioMom said...

Hi Kathy

Mom was more a holiday cook too .. otherwise we ate a lot of processed foods. Guess that is why I started cooking so young :)

Paula said...

I so enjoyed reading this post! What a lovely tribute to your mom. These squash fries look terrific, too! Yum!

OhioMom said...

Thanks Paula

I gotta confess, I haven't made them "mom's way" for a very long time, usually I slice them in rounds. I could see her standing at the stove while I was cooking them and remember eating them just as quickly as my own babies.

Claudia said...

Beautiful - it's a huge part of hy we love to cook. We keep the generations with us.