I COULDN'T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT the day I inherited my mom's and grandma's cookbooks and recipes crammed into two banker boxes, all tattered and taped, overflowing with smaller recipes boxes and binders and books. The smell of kitchen grease, sweat, and old cardboard perfumed my car on the ride home. I climbed the stairs to my sixth floor apartment counting the flights, not caring if I was I was going to trip over myself, or if that strange smell from the boxes was going to be a problem for my apartment or my allergies. All I could think was “don’t drop them, don’t drop them.”
I took the moment to relish in the excitement of what I’ve known all these years as culinary gold, and it was finally mine. Setting the boxes gingerly on the floor, I plopped down next to them and started to dig. To my surprise, the box was filled with magazine clippings, soup can labels, xerox copies from when xerox copies was something to marvel at, and cookbooks with no covers filled with ripped off box tops.
The veil has been lifted. I spent the next two weeks pouring and cataloging all the clippings hoping to find a family original, or some clue to where all my childhood favorites had been stored. I only found sparks, and smoldering embers of inspiration that could have cued my mom and grandma to make such wonderful dishes. In all of the clippings and recipes cards I saw little notes, handwritten and faded, but nothing that made a drastic change to a dish. I even saw some ingredients simply crossed out. One can simply assume because well, I come from a underprivileged family of 6. They did their best to feed, and cloth, and gives us all the comforts they could afford.
After reorganizing the recipes, some recopied, others typed out, I had our family recipes book. Nothing that could be republished, not necessarily unquipe or original. Disappointed, I returned to my moms to talk to her about my findings.
I handed over what I once thought was gold in the newly minted binders. She asked if I had found what I was looking for, and I simply said no. She laughed, and smiled at me with the comfort that only a mother's smile can give you. “What did you think? I didn't have time to cook, we had to work, even you know this more than ever. Work, work, work!” I laughed and told her I know. Mom opened the books, smiling as she ran her hand over some of the clippings, and thumbed through the pages, like each page brought up a memory. She then stopped at on a particular page and exclaimed, “AW! Here it is. This was your favorite. Hamburger and Cream of Mushroom Noodle.” She looked at me and said, “let's make it.”
As I watched my mom effortlessly slap all of the ingredients together in the time it took for the water to boil, it dawned on me; the smells from the kitchen after school, the feeling of a warm meal ready for me as soon as I was done with homework — this was the magic. Watching my mom move in the kitchen was like watching the chaotic symphony of eight lineman, but here mom did it on here own. She made it happen, she made it hers. Sure it was a simple recipe, sure it was off some soup can, but it was all we needed as a family back then. As she placed the paper bowl in front of me, looked at it a was smiling. All of a sudden I was eight again, sitting at the counter and eating with mom.
- Topher Jacob
Cream of mushroom with egg noodles
1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 lb of ground beef
1 11 ounce can cream of mushroom
1 11 ounce can of beef broth or water
1 8 oz tub of sour cream.
1 Tablespoon of garlic salt.
1 dash of paprika for garnish
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
Cannabis Infused Butter (for Cheesy Croutons)
3-4 grams cannabis
8 ounces melted salted butter
Cheese Garlic Croutons
10 slices of bread cut into cubes
4 ounces (½ cup) melted cannabis infused butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
For the Cannabis Infused Butter
Fill LEVO Power Pod with cannabis. Add 8 oz butter to the reservoir, taking care to make sure pod is submerged. Set time at 2 hours and 175F to infuse. Once finished, dispense ½ cup of infused butter to add to recipe.
For the Cannabis Infused Cheesy Garlic Croutons
Preheat oven to 375°
Put bread cubes into a large bowl, and drizzle with melted cannabis infused butter. Toss evenly to coat. Spread onto baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until bread cubes are crisp and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes
Mix Parmesan, salt, paprika, and garlic powder into a bowl; sprinkle over croutons. Toss to coat.
For the Cream of Mushroom Egg Noodles
Cook egg noodles according to package directions, and set aside to cool
Place the ground meat in a skillet (preferably a nonstick skillet) and cook over medium-high heat.
Add garlic salt to hamburger
When hamburger is fully cooked, drain excess oil
Add can of cream of mushroom soup and one can of beef broth or water to the beef mixture and simmer on low until mixture starts to bubble
Add cooked noodles and sour cream to the beef and mushroom sauce, and mix together
Best served warm with a dash of paprika and a sprinkle of dried parsley
Top with cannabis infused cheesy garlic croutons and enjoy!