Table Talk: March 10

Food and family

By
March 4, 2011

(Editor’s note: This chat is over, but the transcript is available to read here. And join Kim for another Table Talk chat soon.)

Good news! Kim O’Donnel is back with a Table Talk chat on Thursday, March 10, at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET. The topic: food and family.

How often do you eat family supper? What foods make you think of family? For whom do you cook? Who cooks for you?

Read Kim’s tribute to her father-in-law — who liked to talk food and relished a good Kentucky burgoo. Then bring your own reflections and memories to share.

Of course, Kim, a trained chef and cookbook author, will be on hand to give cooking advice too, so bring your how-to questions as well. Sign up below to receive an email reminder of the chat.

See you Thursday, right here.

 Table Talk with Kim O'Donnel - March 10, 2011(03/10/2011) 
9:51
Kim ODonnel: 
Coming up at the top of the hour: Food and family. How often do these words appear in the same sentence for you? Stop by and join the conversation.
Thursday March 10, 2011 9:51 Kim ODonnel
9:59
Kim ODonnel: 
Hello! Nice to be back after some time on the road. Happy March and almost-spring -- 10 days according to my watch (but who's counting). This Sunday's forwarding of the clocks means an extra hour of sunlight -- will that translate into more time at the table? Today we're taking on food and family -- the stories from your past, the memories that shape you, the traditions, the recipes and the role family plays in your kitchen, daily or occasionally or something in between. Let's hear it!
Thursday March 10, 2011 9:59 Kim ODonnel
9:59
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Hi all! Love this topic. Grew up with my Sicilian grandma and a German grandpa who loved to bake so I have many, many food memories from growing up.
Thursday March 10, 2011 9:59 Lizka
10:00
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Lizka, share something delicious from the memory bank. Curious minds want to know. Do you bake anything from your childhood?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:00 Kim ODonnel
10:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Interestingly, I did not really learn how to cook from my elders. I feel like it's my job to teach my mother, for example, who never really learned how to cook. Never too late, right?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:02 Kim ODonnel
10:02
Kim C.: 
I had one grandmother who cooked, canned, gardened — the works, and another who cooked a little and tended a small garden, but didn't relish it. Both of them cooked some of the favorite dishes of my childhood though.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:02 Kim C.
10:03
Kim ODonnel: 
Kim C: what are some of those favorite dishes?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:03 Kim ODonnel
10:04
Kim C.: 
My grandmother (the one who didn't cook so much) used to make a shrimp cocktail with those tiny canned shrimp — haven't had that in years. My other grandmother made doughnuts. Oh man, were they good.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:04 Kim C.
10:05
Kim ODonnel: 
I've been thinking a lot about family and food lately as it relates to this country's obesity epidemic. There's more than one reason why our collective waistline continues to grow, but could one of the missing links be family dinner?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:05 Kim ODonnel
10:07
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Memories of Grandma's cooking: spaghetti and meatballs, beef stews (red wine the "secret" there), roasts at holidays, this jello mold (that my mom actually made this past Christmas, I'm releaved it's making it to the next generation). Grandpa - made all the bread they used, and all sorts of pies and cakes; the pies are my favorite - apple, mincemeat, pumpkinm pecan... they were SO good.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:07 Lizka
10:07
Kim C.: 
I grew up in a place where, when someone had died, had a baby, was ill — or any number of things — we took them food. That's gotten a little more complicated (some people don't want food!) although occasionally I still do that.

As for family dinner — it seems like a few nights a week at least are a good thing. But I know people have an aversion to it, too, if there are too many expectations, etc.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:07 Kim C.
10:09
Kim ODonnel: 
I grew up in a primarily Jewish area. When my father died, we essentially sat 'shiva' with our family's Jewish friends. The food was nonstop for days. It was of great comfort -- and something that has influenced me to this day.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:09 Kim ODonnel
10:10
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
I don't have the urge for baking really, though I try to dip my toes in a bit every now and then. I've also found a Irish soda bread recipe that reminds me of the bread my grandpa and I had on our trip to Ireland that is nudging at me.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:10 Lizka
10:11
Kim ODonnel: 
Lizka, you've got such wonderful memories. Are these recipes documented somewhere? I just wrote about a new book, The Pass It Down Cookbook, a collection of African-American recipes. The gist: pass it down. Don't let that recipe get lost. I love that.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:11 Kim ODonnel
10:11
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I'm here!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:11 Jeanne in Seattle
10:11
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jeanne! welcome.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:11 Kim ODonnel
10:12
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
Hi, Kim. I can relate to your receiving food during a funeral. One of the things ingrained in me from my grandmother and mother are that you feed those you love -- I definitely use food in that way, and always have.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:12 jen maiser
10:12
Kim C.: 
Today's my daughter's birthday, and I'd like to bake her a cake and make some favorite food dinner. But realistically, I'll have to choose one or the other.

I did make b-day muffins, with whole-wheat pastry flour, hazelnuts, bananas, and blueberries. Even though I forgot the sugar, they were nice!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:12 Kim C.
10:13
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jen! It's uncanny -- this theme appears in my work regularly. Food nourishes body -- mind & soul.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:13 Kim ODonnel
10:15
Kim ODonnel: 
Some of you know that my father in law recently died. I spent some days with my husband in Durham, NC & we decided to bake marble cake for his memorial service. It was sliced up & passed around like a 'communion.' I wasn't there, but my crumbs were.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:15 Kim ODonnel
10:15
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Of interest, our family recipe storehouse is the Joy of Cooking. My mom used it all the time and I grew up using it. It's one of my go-to cookbooks, even though I have zillions of cookbooks.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:15 Jeanne in Seattle
10:16
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
Family and food are very ingrained in my mind. When ever my family get together we have menu planning for weeks ahead of time and everyone wants to bring their A game!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:16 Ruth
10:16
Kim ODonnel: 
Hi Ruth, thanks for joining us!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:16 Kim ODonnel
10:16
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kim: I love the marble cake story!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:16 Jeanne in Seattle
10:18
Kim ODonnel: 
The weirdest thing about the marble cake is that I made that cake four years ago in memory of a dear friend in DC. Just before we got married. I made the cake again just as we were about to celebrate our 4th anniversary. The continuum of life.
I forgot to mention: Feast by Nigella Lawson is one of the few books I know of that takes on funeral food. Really nice.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:18 Kim ODonnel
10:18
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
I wish they were documented, but they are mostly just fly-by the seats thing. My grandma is still around, but slwoing way down and I've asked previously and she says that there really aren't recipies and she doesn't remember specific ones. Granpa passed in 2006 and we've looked around and there aren't any recipies. They have a lot of cookbooks and it seems to me that they take inspiration but always add their own touches. As such we wouldn't be able to duplicate what we remember just based on an general recipies we can find.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:18 Lizka
10:19
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Definitely agree about food nourishing body and soul.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:19 Lizka
10:19
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, my German grandmother, Omi, was a terrific cook and baker. Sadly, not many of her recipes were saved when she died. Sigh.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:19 Jeanne in Seattle
10:19
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
When I was little my mothers side of teh family made up a cookbook from her four Grandmothers with the family trees and favorite recipes from all different cousins and aunts and uncles. It is great and I still use my copy when I want to make the old favorites!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:19 Ruth
10:20
Kim ODonnel: 
Ruth, what a lovely tribute. I love this. And with all the self-publishing tools these days, this is a lot easier to produce.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:20 Kim ODonnel
10:20
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
I wonder if the obesity epidemic can be tied into what you're saying about nourishment. I know I'm a rare form of food freak, but I basically have to eat something that sates me -- either taste-wise, or emotionally -- every day. Sometimes that means a nice little bite of something homey even after I've had a lame dinner (which has given me nutrition but not really sated me).
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:20 jen maiser
10:23
Kim ODonnel: 
Jen, I do think there's something here. If our lifeline becomes a bag of chips rather than a well-balanced meal on a plate at a table, which might inspire conversation, well, then, I imagine there's some fallout. As I've mentioned before, my mother was not the world's greatest cook, but we kids were involved -- either setting the table or clearing the dishes -- in the meal.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:23 Kim ODonnel
10:23
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I love the share food with family and friends. But, I love it when people make the foods that they love and enjoy. I am part of a cookbook club where folks try to outdo each other on recipes--but that's not so fun for me. Cooking and baking are not extreme sports for me--they are about joy and sharing.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:23 Jeanne in Seattle
10:24
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
I'm here! Sorry, was side-lined by Charlie Sheen's Winning Recipes. I have two small stories to share: the first is that when I was 21, I meticulously copied down the recipes I loved from my grandmother's recipe can (yes, a can). The second is that a friend of mine is building two cookbooks (one for each of her teenaged children) with recipes of foods that they like; that way, when they leave the house to live on their own, they'll each have a custom recipe book of things that they like to make and eat.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:24 Erin
10:25
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Erin! These are great stories. How do you imagine you'll carry the torch to your kids?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:25 Kim ODonnel
10:25
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I am currently writing a cookbook on gluten-free holiday baking. I am including many family recipes from other folks (adapted to gluten-free). People always tell me how thankful they are that they can once again eat Great-Grandma's cookies once again, even though they are now gluten-free. So very important to be able to retain that part of the family history.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:25 Jeanne in Seattle
10:25
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Jeanne - Totally agree re cooking being extremem support vs. joy and sharing. I'm on your side and I think this is often why I shy away from cooking with people - I prefer to get into my own zone.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:25 Lizka
10:27
Kim ODonnel: 
Just thinking about a family meal recently. Family in this case means my dear friend Leslie, her 2 1/2 year old, my mother visiting from east coast and her parents visiting from Florida. We chowed down on fried chicken, corn bread and a vinegar slaw. I think about the evening often.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:27 Kim ODonnel
10:27
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
My Grandmother also kept a kitchen journal with many of her recipes in it. One of my aunts has it now. I think that is a great tradition but my only journal is a three ring binder with tons of printed, food stained pages!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:27 Ruth
10:28
Kim ODonnel: 
Ruth, you need to make a copy of that journal stat!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:28 Kim ODonnel
10:28
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
Hi friends! Erin, that cookbook idea for the kids is great. My 10 and 12 year old already have clear favorites.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:28 Julie in Seattle
10:28
Kim ODonnel: 
Hi Julie! Being a mom how does food and family intersect for you?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:28 Kim ODonnel
10:29
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Erin - Such a great idea your friend's cookbook for her teenagers.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:29 Lizka
10:29
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Lizka: Yes, indeed. I get too stressed out when it becomes about perfection and not deliciousness and sharing. That's why I stopped making wedding cakes for people--way too much stress on perfection.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:29 Jeanne in Seattle
10:29
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
I love the anticipation before a big cooking day. For instance I am having my inlaws over for supper this weekend and am planning a special menu for my MIL's birthday. She does all the cooking at home so it is nice to have her over and let someone else do the cooking for the day. I tried to find out what her favorite cake was and niether of her children knew! I was shocked and then I called her up and she said that she cannot decide and has too many "favorites" I decided on a new york cheesecake with a cranberry-orange sauce that she loves!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:29 Ruth
10:30
Kim ODonnel: 
Lovely, Ruth. I imagine your mother-in-law will be thrilled! Such a gift.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:30 Kim ODonnel
10:30
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
Do you use fewer cookbooks now, with so many resources online? I'll confess to cupboard doors festooned inside with printouts ....
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:30 Julie in Seattle
10:31
Kim ODonnel: 
Julie, I am probably not one to ask, as I have several hundred cookbooks lining the walls of my office! But papers with scribble -- yeah you'd find those all over the place...
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:31 Kim ODonnel
10:31
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
hey all! kim, your post re: pass it down is hitting home. while my own family is something of a culinary wasteland (american chop suey, anyone?), my h's mom is a marvelous, self-taught cook who uses only one recipe to make one thing (baklava), and makes up everything else based on what she learned from other women. i'm trying to slowly write all these things down so i can continue to make them for our family as she cooks less and less (and has less patience for it)
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:31 alisoncsmith
10:33
Kim ODonnel: 
Alisoncsmith, glad you could join us. Very glad to hear you have begun to document those recipes! It is truly one of the best ways to preserve your own family's heritage. As I said in that essay, when the walls of a country come tumbling down and people are forced from their homelands, the remaining relic is the recipe.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:33 Kim ODonnel
10:33
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Passing things to my kids: I think that I will do what my mom did, and that was to very passively teach me to cook. Every day around dinnertime, I was either setting the table (my kids have just started doing this, and I'm thrilled) or stirring something under her watchful eye, or chopping, or checking a timer, etc. I was involved, I was in the kitchen, and I was talking to her. Then the meal was set and we ate together as a family, rounding up the dinner by drinking hot tea. Right now, dinner is rather unpleasant (picky eaters) but I make sure that I sit myself at the table with the kids and interact at each meal.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:33 Erin
10:34
Kim ODonnel: 
Sweet. And these are the things your kids WILL remember, even though right now dinner is I imagine more like a circus...
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:34 Kim ODonnel
10:34
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Also why I think I'm drawn to cooking vs. baking - cooking much more fluid and not stuck with "rules".
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:34 Lizka
10:34
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
My grandmother is 91, but still with us. I've been working with her on recipes in the past few years. I'll be with her next week, in fact, and was thinking of working on my red chili sauce while I"m down there so that she can tell me what I'm doing wrong. At this point, I'm really trying to figure out what I need to learn while she's still here.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:34 jen maiser
10:36
Kim ODonnel: 
Jen, you must! And then you'll have to submit it for consideration into a 'contest' of sorts we're doing at USA Today. Over the next few weeks, I'll be calling for submission for grandma or mama-inspired recipes for a Mother's Day feature I'll be doing for the paper. Stay tuned for those details.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:36 Kim ODonnel
10:36
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
speaking of which I need a white chocolate sauce to drizzle over it... any ideas?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:36 Ruth
10:36
Kim ODonnel: 
We've got a baker in the house -- Jeanne?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:36 Kim ODonnel
10:36
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
Hi Kim, I love making food that the whole family can eat . . .we have several restraints. But what I love even more is making it together. The kids are old enough now to make salad dressing, chop veggies, and give educated recommendations on seasonings.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:36 Julie in Seattle
10:37
Kim ODonnel: 
I love that your kids are involved in food prep. It's got to make mealtime that much more meaningful. Do they enjoy?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:37 Kim ODonnel
10:37
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Oh cheesecake! My grandfather used to make the most awesome cheesecakes.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:37 Lizka
10:37
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
i have visions of one day making a recipe book for her. one day
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:37 alisoncsmith
10:38
Kim ODonnel: 
Alisoncsmith, I can see that happening! Your 2 (or is it 3?) year old is already a budding cook. She'll be cooking from books in no time.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:38 Kim ODonnel
10:38
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Julie: I'm overwhelmed with both! I have zillions of cookbooks and zillions of recipe clipped from newspaper/magazines or printed from online. Eek!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:38 Jeanne in Seattle
10:38
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
to julie's question - i use both. have so many magazine pullouts that h constantly asks if we really need them all, have bunches saved to my computers, and then cookbooks galore
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:38 alisoncsmith
10:38
[Comment From redweather redweather : ] 
my aunt recently sent me an email asking me for vegan meal ideas/recipes. i'm veggie, but i also eat vegan when i can. she was asking for a friend of hers who is meeting her daugher-in-law-to-be (DILTB) for the first time, on a week's visit, and she wanted to make sure that the vegan DILTB felt welcome, with lots of food that is ok for her to eat. i thought that was a real expression of love and welcome, especially from a dyed in the wool carnivore.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:38 redweather
10:39
Kim ODonnel: 
Redweather, that IS a genuine expression of welcome. Absolutely.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:39 Kim ODonnel
10:39
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Problem with online for me is that I can't really have the computer in the kitchen - which means things get printed out, which is okay but kinda defeats the purpose (at least as far as saving paper). I often want something right by me to consult so I think I'll be sticking with cookbooks, even though I like to use the internet for inspiration.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:39 Lizka
10:39
[Comment From redweather redweather : ] 
Erin - having been an EXTREMELY picky eater as a child, into my mid-teens, I now see it as a deep and abiding expression of my mom's love for me that she made sure there was always some kind of food that I could eat happily at the table - some plain pasta, a serving of steamed broccoli - who would have thought those would be my beloved food memories?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:39 redweather
10:40
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
How about the tension between partners who come with different family favorites? My husband still loves his mother's brownies, even though I like mine better. On the other hand, I fully embrace their tradition of shrimp creole for Christmas.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:40 Jeanne in Seattle
10:41
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, I imagine your husband loves the idea of his mother's brownies because they take him back...
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:41 Kim ODonnel
10:41
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Erin: I don't know if this helps, but my 11 yo daughter recently said that the Puerto Rican rice and beans I make on a regular basis is an "acquired taste." She said she "learned to like it" after it was served to her so often. I love it!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:41 Jeanne in Seattle
10:41
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
yup, kim, you're right. she didn't know how to cook a thing until she had to as a married woman (and even then it was iffy - great story about her h proudly bringing home an incredibly rare roast and she burst into tears b/c she didn't know how to cook it). but she clings to those foods - the tastes, really - like nobody's business
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:41 alisoncsmith
10:43
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Jen - Do you have any suggestions on how to go about this with grandmothers when they are so old? It doesn't really work to say "I liked x; how did you do it?" as they get older. Do you start soemthing and ask her advise? Any tips on what you've found would be appreciated.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:43 Lizka
10:43
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
The baker is in! But I'm not sure what you're asking help for...:)
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:43 Jeanne in Seattle
10:43
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I know businesses like Shutterfy will take your recipes and photos and turn it into a book!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:43 Jeanne in Seattle
10:43
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
Oh, Jeanne, my sister and I HOWL (privately) over our family tradition of beef stroganoff . . . think canned everything . . . but we eat it anyway, and then make a great version for our own families.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:43 Julie in Seattle
10:45
Kim ODonnel: 
I was just talking about this with a friend who was visiting family recently. Her mother said that dad (who was turning 80) wanted his favorite beef stew. The recipe calls for a "can of beef broth." It was a brand from the 70s -- Franco-American -- and Mom insisted on using it to replicate the memories.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:45 Kim ODonnel
10:45
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
One thing I will say: I love traditions although I hate rules. If folks have sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top just because you have to (like my mom), yet no one eats them, I balk.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:45 Jeanne in Seattle
10:45
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
The kids do enjoy cooking. I have so many favorite cookbooks (including one with my then-3-year old's photo on the cover) and recipes sent by friends. We try to make something new each week. Having adopted Meatless Mondays, I'm learning some tricks with legumes . . . and cheese, which makes the blandest beans shine!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:45 Julie in Seattle
10:46
Kim ODonnel: 
You are single handedly transforming your children in the future of good eaters, Julie. Bravo!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:46 Kim ODonnel
10:46
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Redweather - GREAT story about DILTB. Definately an expression of love.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:46 Lizka
10:46
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
kim, can't wait to hear the details of that "contest" - and to jeanne, yeah, the "tension" between recipes/cooking styles is sometimes amusing (like when my MIL snorts at a way i've prepared something that's not the way she does it) :-)
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:46 alisoncsmith
10:47
Kim ODonnel: 
Alisoncsmith, as soon as I've got details, will be sure to share. I'm excited that USA Today is spearheading this project.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:47 Kim ODonnel
10:47
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Erin: That said, we always had things on the table my daughter would eat. I never said, "that's what you'll eat no matter what." I hate that attitude because it doesn't take personal taste into account.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:47 Jeanne in Seattle
10:47
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
My MIL made a book of their families fave recipes when we got married and it is such a treasure to make some of the recipes that he loves. Plus so many of them are from their Austrian background so it is all delicious! I also spent a day baking with his grandmother learning to make perogies and double buns (like two buns stuck together) so many great memories!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:47 Ruth
10:48
Kim ODonnel: 
Ruth, what an invaluable gift!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:48 Kim ODonnel
10:48
[Comment From Julie in Seattle Julie in Seattle : ] 
Our son has recently developed keratosis pilaris (chicken skin) and we're told it might be related to diet. He's already avoiding dairy due to mild casein allergies, and he cried when I asked him to go off gluten, just for a week. Can I send him to your house, Jeanne?
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:48 Julie in Seattle
10:49
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
Hi, Lizka. She isn't cooking on a regular basis anymore, but sometimes rallies when I am there. If not, I have her sit in the kitchen with me and tell me what to do. At this point, we've done the basics, so I am going to try and recreate what she's doing, but in her kitchen so that she's there to taste and advise. I also basically throw on a video camera or voice recorder anytime she talks about cooking so that I can transpose later.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:49 jen maiser
10:50
Kim ODonnel: 
Voice recorder is excellent idea -- grandma can sit, share the method, you transpose/translate .
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:50 Kim ODonnel
10:50
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Remember chipped beef on toast? Some sort of meat, in some sort of sauce, on toast? I loved that stuff as a kid. Nowadays, I hear folks talk about it as "punishment food." LOL!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:50 Jeanne in Seattle
10:51
Kim ODonnel: 
We had it -- frozen Stouffer's in a bag. I couldn't stand the stuff. My mother apparently still enjoys from time to time.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:51 Kim ODonnel
10:51
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
When I was baking with my grandmother-in-law she doesn't use measuring cups so she would put an ingredient in a bowl and then I would take it out, measure it and add it to the recipe. It worked well to get a general idea of how she does things and then recreate at home too!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:51 Ruth
10:51
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
redweather and Jeanne, you're both right on target. I am at the point now where I make one dinner meal, but there is always accompanying bread and butter. If nothing else, the little turkeys (6, 4 1/2, almost 3) at least have something to eat from the meal. I am sure that as tastes expand, the offerings will be more diverse. At this point the 6-year old is starting to come around, especially after our Sunday dinner of "roast beast" (having been Dr. Seuss Day at school the previous week) prompted him to try, and love, the roast that was served.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:51 Erin
10:51
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
jeanne - which site have you found that's good for recipe books? lizka, i've found that asking to cook something with said grandmother-MIL-aunt works well. time spent together AND you learn the recipe
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:51 alisoncsmith
10:51
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
One more thing: arm yourself with a scale in addition to video and audio. I work with her on the recipe, try to redo in my kitchen, then revise the recipe. It's a long process, but now I'm making my albondigas & Mexican rice exactly right which is worth it.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:51 jen maiser
10:52
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Ah - good idea about taping seesions. Thanks Jen!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:52 Lizka
10:52
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
ruth - so jealous (in a good way) you have a book with austrian family recipes!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:52 alisoncsmith
10:52
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Julie: LOL! I will help you figure out recipes, that's for sure!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:52 Jeanne in Seattle
10:52
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Julie: Also, it takes weeks for casein to completely leave the body. It's one of the most persistent things to stay and cause trouble in those sensitve or allergic.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:52 Jeanne in Seattle
10:52
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
And, thanks Jeanne. I do become frustrated, but I refuse to turn the dining table into a battleground. It's either what I've made (parts of which usually someone will eat), or bread & butter. And at least one dinner a week that everyone loves: pancakes.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:52 Erin
10:53
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Allison: The one I've seen people use is Shutterfly.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:53 Jeanne in Seattle
10:53
[Comment From alisoncsmith alisoncsmith : ] 
i do have odd affinities for processed stuff occasionally, like stouffer's or stovetop. probably has something to do with the sodium amounts
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:53 alisoncsmith
10:53
Kim ODonnel: 
Or..the memory! It's got such a hold on our tastebuds. It's part of our history.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:53 Kim ODonnel
10:55
[Comment From jen maiser jen maiser : ] 
alison, i'm with you. my mother makes a ridiculous version of chicken divan with canned mushroom soup, frozen broccoli, and like a whole jar of mayo that i inhale every time she makes it -- in my house you wouldn't find any of those ingredients, but i still crave it.
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:55 jen maiser
10:59
[Comment From Ruth Ruth : ] 
My mother made so many dishes that I love from processed foods. A broccoli, cauliflower, carrot dish that was steamed in the microwave with cheese whiz and a can of mushroom soup or chicken stew with cream of mushroom soup and canned potatoes! I love these dishes but never make them at home!
Thursday March 10, 2011 10:59 Ruth
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
I love all these stories. Thank you so much for sharing. Family comes in all shapes and sizes these days. However you define it, pass down those recipes. They define a time in history -- of a culture and of a community. You all seem to be carrying the torch so very well! Next week's topic still TBD -- could be green -- spring, St. Pat's, environmental stuff -- will keep you posted. Take good care & eat well. All best.
Thursday March 10, 2011 11:01 Kim ODonnel
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Table Talk

Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and a longtime journalist. She is the author of a new cookbook, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.

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