Sweet Tea and Tacos

Savoring the Past with Mother's Day Delicacies

March 24, 2024 Sweet Tea and Tacos Season 1 Episode 5
Savoring the Past with Mother's Day Delicacies
Sweet Tea and Tacos
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Sweet Tea and Tacos
Savoring the Past with Mother's Day Delicacies
Mar 24, 2024 Season 1 Episode 5
Sweet Tea and Tacos

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As we pull up a seat at the kitchen table this Mother's Day weekend, Jen and I are stirring up more than just our family's favorite dishes. Remember those classic 70s comfort foods that seemed to warm the soul as much as the belly? We're taking you on a nostalgic journey through our childhood kitchens, from my family's hearty spaghetti with meat sauce to Jen's cherished Italian sausage with rigatoni. And who could forget the universal love for a good old tuna noodle casserole, am I right? Let's laugh together over the many uses of cream of mushroom soup and share the warmth of those cozy family gatherings that remain close to our hearts.

Sure, there are no guest voices in this episode, but the stories and recipes we're dishing out are as rich and inviting as ever. Imagine transforming the simplest of ingredients, like sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts, into heartwarming traditions that stick with us for a lifetime. We're not just recounting the past; we're looking at how these recipes play a role in our present, influencing the culinary landscape we're crafting for our children. Join us for heartfelt tales and savory secrets that bridge generations, and perhaps you'll feel inspired to share some of your own cherished food memories and Mother's Day tributes. Let's celebrate the moms and mother figures who've seasoned our lives with love and home-cooked meals.

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Send us a Text Message.

As we pull up a seat at the kitchen table this Mother's Day weekend, Jen and I are stirring up more than just our family's favorite dishes. Remember those classic 70s comfort foods that seemed to warm the soul as much as the belly? We're taking you on a nostalgic journey through our childhood kitchens, from my family's hearty spaghetti with meat sauce to Jen's cherished Italian sausage with rigatoni. And who could forget the universal love for a good old tuna noodle casserole, am I right? Let's laugh together over the many uses of cream of mushroom soup and share the warmth of those cozy family gatherings that remain close to our hearts.

Sure, there are no guest voices in this episode, but the stories and recipes we're dishing out are as rich and inviting as ever. Imagine transforming the simplest of ingredients, like sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts, into heartwarming traditions that stick with us for a lifetime. We're not just recounting the past; we're looking at how these recipes play a role in our present, influencing the culinary landscape we're crafting for our children. Join us for heartfelt tales and savory secrets that bridge generations, and perhaps you'll feel inspired to share some of your own cherished food memories and Mother's Day tributes. Let's celebrate the moms and mother figures who've seasoned our lives with love and home-cooked meals.

Support the Show.

Dave:

Welcome to Sweet Tea and Tacos. I'm Dave and I'm Jen Coming to you from our kitchen on Mother's Day weekend. Happy Mother's Day, thank you, and happy Mother's Day to my mom, mom's everywhere.

Jen:

That's right, and my mom is in heaven. Yeah, we always are a little sad on Mother's Day, but you know it's, it's all right.

Dave:

So we thought, talking a lot of different aspects for episodes, we thought what about those foods you grew up with your mom made? Because you hear a lot of times on Mother's Day people are reminiscing about home cooked meals.

Jen:

Yeah.

Dave:

So what are some things that our moms made that we just really remember? Of course, we also both grew up in the 70s. So that's a big, you know 70s food kind of connection and this goes back to kind of the whole premise behind the podcast is you know the different backgrounds that we brought together when we got married.

Jen:

Right, with you being from.

Dave:

Southern California and meeting from the deep South.

Jen:

But yeah, we did grow up. You know miles and miles apart, but yet we're about a month apart in age so we grew up very much in the same era.

Dave:

And that 70s era. You know you got 70s food. Casseroles are kind of one of the things you think about.

Jen:

That's our dog. Isn't this background drinking water Terriers?

Dave:

So yeah, the casserole, the dreaded casserole. So what are some others? You got the casserole. You got 70s. What are some other 70s food? You know, I remember my mom made an enchilada casserole kind of in a pot and it was, you know, corn tortillas and ground beef and beans and I think enchilada sauce and some other things. But it was just, you know, throw everything in the pot, put it in the oven, kind of deal. What are some other ones?

Jen:

Oh well, like you say, casseroles in general, I think were very, I guess, 60s and 70s, and my mom didn't do just a ton of casseroles. There are a few that I remember, but one of them was a tuna casserole.

Dave:

Yeah, my mom made one of those too, yeah.

Jen:

Oh, me and.

Dave:

Now, what is your mom's having?

Jen:

You know, it's hard to kind of remember. It seemed like, though, it was pretty simple, and she mixed it up with something you know some kind of binder and then she would do maybe like breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs on top. I just remember that if we ever had it, it was like you know, she was just kind of searching the pantry because nothing else was in there. Yeah, and it was time to go to the store.

Dave:

My mom's had. It was egg noodles and tuna and like cream of mushroom soup. That's like the thing. Was you cook anything with cream of mushroom?

Jen:

soup. Oh yeah, you know so what.

Dave:

So first was tuna, noodles, tuna noodle right, and that's really the only casseroles I remember. What are some other things that your?

Jen:

mom cooked Seventies food.

Dave:

Oh really, Not just seventies food, but what are some things your mom cooked? Oh, okay, you know you're thinking about a home cooked meal. What would that be?

Jen:

Absolutely Okay. Well, probably my very favorite was spaghetti with we have barking dogs Spaghetti with meat sauce.

Dave:

Yeah.

Jen:

That was my absolute favorite.

Dave:

We did that as well, yeah.

Jen:

Yeah, yeah, but it wasn't, you know, it wasn't from a jar or anything, you know, I mean it was from scratch. I mean I'm not gonna say we had some.

Dave:

Right, but she just didn't open a jar.

Jen:

Authentic Italian recipe, because we don't have Italian roots. But yeah, it wasn't just some old supermarket jar. Yeah, yeah, and definitely had a bay leaf in there.

Dave:

Yep, they had a bay leaf. Yeah, I think we did spaghetti and meat sauce and one of the ones I remember a lot when my mom would do would be Italian sausage and rigatoni. It was like one of those favorites of mine and sauce, you know?

Jen:

Yeah, let's see. My mom had a chicken pie but she had some health issues. It was a little bit hard for her to physically do some cooking.

Dave:

And that helped you get into cooking.

Jen:

It did. I was, you know, I was kind of the sous chef in our home growing up, but like she had a chicken pie that I loved, but it was kind of a shortcut chicken pie because she wasn't trying to make dough from scratch and things like that. She would take prefab like frozen pie crust and then just kind of cut it into strips and then put that on top, usually kind of in a lattice pattern. So things like that. She, you know, had to do some shortcuts just because of her health. But let's see what else were some of my favorites. I mean I remember just kind of everyday food like baked chicken breasts that she would do in the oven.

Dave:

Yeah, so we did our version because we had some land and we actually believe it in California we had. It was kind of weird, but we had rabbits and chickens and goats and ducks and a big garden or anything. So I always asked my mom I said so do we eat a lot of baked chicken? She's like, well, we really ate a lot of baked rabbit instead. So yeah, so that was the same thing. It was just rabbit.

Jen:

Yeah, yeah. And pork chops. I remember pork chops baked in the oven. They had the bone on. I loved those.

Dave:

They were just always so good yeah we did those More when we moved back here. I remember with the cream and mushroom soup. Oh, a funny story about the rabbit. One time we went to a PTA thing and I was some kind of chicken soup or stew or something in a pot and my mom said don't tell them, it's rabbit. So I think they'll notice this very different sized leg there.

Dave:

Well, I don't know if I've ever eaten rabbit Excuse me rabbit but so yeah, and for me we had a lot of stuff from Southern California enchiladas, which is one of my favorite. My mom would make chili viennos, which is kind of a high.

Jen:

It's a lot of cooking for that Is it an involved thing. It's an involved thing.

Dave:

But we do that. Enchilada, the enchilada casserole, we do you know just Spanish rice and shredded beef tacos we never did ground beef tacos Right and then yeah.

Jen:

Let's see what else did my mom do?

Dave:

The mortales.

Jen:

Oh yeah, that was probably.

Dave:

And that's one of those things we still cook.

Jen:

Yeah, so my mom got this recipe. Now she grew up in Mississippi but not too far from New Orleans and had a lot of family that lived in New Orleans and it was just an influence, Like they went to New Orleans all the time. You know they eat out at nice restaurants and things. So she was very familiar with this dish. And then at one point on TV, on some little you know kind of chitchat program in the 70s that they had on our local TV news station, they gave out recipes and there was a recipe for board lays.

Jen:

And so she, you know she sent in for it. You had to do your little self-addressed stamped envelope.

Dave:

Yeah, I remember that.

Jen:

They sent you back a recipe and it was for board lays and it's basically you do a pasta Angel Hair or a Rummachelli Spaghetti, something like that, and then it's. The sauce is just fabulous. It's olive oil and butter.

Dave:

And lots of clothes, lots of garlic. Yes, what can be bad about that? Oh, I know you can put that on cardboard. It'd be great. But that was absolutely one of my favorites.

Jen:

Yeah, parmesan and herbs.

Dave:

But with the New Orleans and the Southern influence, you guys did red beans and rice, remember you?

Jen:

told me that Lots of red beans and rice Kind of a quick version.

Dave:

Yeah, you know, and then there's, you know, and lots of rice in general. And we've talked about this. We did do a lot of rice.

Jen:

Y'all have a lot of potatoes.

Dave:

We had a lot of potatoes. We grew potatoes in the garden.

Jen:

And we, you know, I mean this is just kind of a deep South thing. I mean Mississippi and Louisiana and Alabama. You know some of those states are very much big rice growing states and I mean you think of South Carolina as well as one of those. But yeah, we tended to have a lot more rice than any potatoes.

Dave:

Yeah, we, like I said, the only really rice dish I remember is that Spanish rice that my mom would make from scratch. And then we did this recently kind of a similar version of it, kind of a beef stroganoff your mom would make. This to me was a real 70s thing. Yeah, how she did it.

Jen:

So she would take the ground beef and then add cream and mushrooms too, and then there were these little puff pastry shell things that you could buy at the grocery store and when they cooked it puffed up like into this kind of cup shape, and she would then take that mixture and put it down in there.

Dave:

That's how she served it. Yeah, and that's Voulavent. I don't know if I'm pronouncing it, but that's what they are OK OK. But you can make them from scratch. I tried that recently. It turned out so well, but we did.

Dave:

We had a big garden and we had the rabbits and the chickens and the ducks and all that rigmarole, and so we had a lot of vegetables from the garden. My dad cooked a lot too, but my mom would zucchini, that was he. We had so much zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini pickles, zucchini relish. I remember one time I was trying to give it away and then sometimes they'd gotten too big and they were the big honking ones and I had it a wagon, and I was running, going around the neighborhood and trying to give away zucchini and people would see me coming and not I said I know you're there. They didn't want any more zucchini from us, but we put away tomatoes, she would. Can We'd do zucchini boats, little stuffed zucchini Stuffed bell peppers or bell peppers and potatoes and Brussels sprouts. We had artichokes and avocados coming out our ear.

Jen:

My grandfather and that's a huge thing about California in general, right.

Dave:

Yeah.

Jen:

Just the availability of avocado.

Dave:

Yeah, and then you come back in. It's so expensive and it just makes me cry.

Jen:

They're a little bit more prevalent these days, I think.

Dave:

But still, they were everywhere. And then we had this squash called Patty Pan Squash.

Jen:

And.

Dave:

I don't know if that's the true name or what the real bride will like I know what you're talking about, but it was kind of a weird star-shaped thing.

Jen:

But yeah, so it was interesting.

Dave:

We were talking about the vegetables, which we just did a big veggie dinner.

Jen:

Oh, it was so good Last night.

Dave:

We didn't have the purple whole peas and the pole beans and the lime beans, butter beans. Yeah we didn't have any of that, so that's all. That's kind of a new thing for me moving to Mississippi.

Jen:

Yeah, I mean, I think of squash down here in the South. Is that yellow kind of squash Right? Yeah, and we have that.

Dave:

But we had zucchini and that and everything. So what are some other things that we do, Some of the things you grew up. I've done the enchiladas a few times.

Jen:

Yeah, and that's really good.

Dave:

Yeah, we've done stir fry. My dad and my dad would be stir fry.

Jen:

Yeah, and I remembered that too. I don't know, maybe it was just kind of a thing that started to be real available in the supermarkets. But it was these frozen bags of like a stir fry mix, and that was something that we did a lot of Sundays after church.

Dave:

Oh yeah.

Jen:

Because it was real kind of just, quick and easy, and so we would pull out the electric skillet.

Dave:

We had the electric walk. I think that was the 70s thing. It had the little plug in the wall and then you plug this big probe thing into the side of the yard.

Jen:

Right, it was literally this kind of probe thing that we plug in and it had the. It had like a dial with the temperature gauge, you know right there. But yeah, we would do the stir fry in the walk and then eat it with, I don't know, either rice or something.

Jen:

Maybe my mom would have you know, previously cooked some baked chicken or something Right, and we threw that in at the end, but yeah, so what are some of the things and we talked about this a little bit that your mom made, that you didn't like? I mean they're really for me. That wasn't that much, I think it was more, with me being an only child. It wasn't like she just was catering to me.

Jen:

But I mean, if you're going to cook for your family and use everyone kid you don't really want to make something that you know they're not going to eat. Like she never tried to serve me liver or something like that.

Dave:

I mean, I don't know, I wouldn't have eaten it, and nothing against that.

Jen:

It's just not not my thing.

Dave:

Well, my mom's and sorry mom was the scallop potatoes. I don't know what it was about it, because I like potatoes. The scallop potatoes just wasn't my thing.

Jen:

Huh, now see, my mom would make scallop potatoes and I loved it. Yeah, I don't know what the deal was with it, okay, Now we've since developed a recipe or kind of, and what do we do?

Dave:

Found a recipe, I think A lot of times, what we do is we'll look, okay, I want to make something like this, or I've seen something like this, and we'll look at three or four recipes and kind of put the best oh, I like this over here and this over here and we kind of put them together and it's more about technique. Yeah, yeah and because. But, and I don't know, maybe it was the milk we were using, maybe it was goat milk. You know, we used goat milk and everything.

Jen:

Oh yeah, y'all had goat.

Dave:

Today. It still makes me cringe. It's one of those things that's going to run me out of the kitchen the goat milk.

Jen:

Well, and now, we've done some, I've done some research on this, because I was puzzled because I've bought goat milk for our kids and I've had it and it smelled fine and tastes fine and you just had this huge aversion to it but, something about when you have goats in the male goat being around right can change something about the flavor depending on kind of what's going on with the goats.

Dave:

So that may have been the thing, but the one we did had like heavy cream and butter. I mean, how can you go wrong?

Jen:

you know yeah the one that we did, and the one we did that one time it was like really thin sliced sweet potato.

Dave:

I mean it's super thin, and you soaked them in the cream. I mean yeah, it was pretty good but yeah, some other things. So we do Brussels sprouts a lot. You know, we like Brussels sprouts here. And you said, or your mom said y'all did a lot and see, I don't remember my mom doing Brussels sprouts hardly at all.

Jen:

I don't know. I mean, it wasn't that she wouldn't have eaten them. She liked cabbage and things like that.

Dave:

We used to do, you and I, when we were more newly married. We used to do the canned green bean and the baked chicken and rice a lot yeah.

Jen:

Oh brown brown rice.

Dave:

Okay, it's this thing?

Jen:

I don't know.

Dave:

This is to me kind of a 70s thing. It would be 70s.

Jen:

Yeah, this is 70s, but my mom would do you put it in some kind of like a ceramic, you know casserole, not really casserole dish. I mean it was a higher dish than that Maybe needed to be about five or six inches tall.

Dave:

Right.

Jen:

And start off with like a cup of rice and then she would use like kind of a canned type of leaf consomme.

Dave:

Right.

Jen:

And then like a stick of butter. Yeah, literally Cucadup rice, a thing of that consomme, I think, a can of water and then you could throw in, you know, like a can of, like a small can of mushrooms and a stick of butter, and you put it in the oven no-transcript.

Dave:

So easy yeah easy and you stir it up a couple of times.

Jen:

But that was one of my favorites. Yeah, that is pretty good Our kids like that.

Dave:

That's something we've made for our kids that they've enjoyed.

Jen:

Yeah, and we use some kind of other broth.

Dave:

Right, we'll just use a beef stock.

Jen:

Yeah, we just get a good quality beef stock.

Dave:

So what are some of the things, as we wrap up, that you think our kids are going to remember?

Jen:

For my cooking.

Dave:

From your cooking.

Jen:

Yeah, well, I do a lasagna that they really like yeah, buddy. I would say one of the distinctive things about it is the noodles.

Dave:

I don't make the noodles from scratch, right, no, but we have found a noodle on the market.

Jen:

A lot of lasagna noodles have that kind of frilly edge yeah, and they tend to be kind of thick and can be a little chewy in my opinion, but these are perfectly thin. They don't have that rich taste.

Dave:

Right, they're no boy.

Jen:

They're no boil, and so you're just utilizing the liquid from the sauce and they're just easy to eat.

Dave:

And we don't use ricotta. You don't use ricotta.

Jen:

No, I don't use cottage cheese or ricotta. Yeah, I use a white sauce. Instead, I do a cream sauce. Yeah, and that woof.

Dave:

Yeah, yeah, that's pretty good.

Jen:

Chicken pie yeah, I do a chicken pie from scratch. I do, we'll do that.

Dave:

We'll talk about chicken pies when I'm coming.

Jen:

OK, but yeah.

Dave:

And your biscuits. I think if I had to think of a few.

Jen:

And lately I've been cooking a lot of biscuits, a lot of biscuits. During all this, shelter at home.

Dave:

Yeah, so that's this week. We're celebrating moms and reminiscing about the food that they cook, the home cooked meals that we remember growing up with our mom and the ones that, hopefully, our kids are going to remember.

Jen:

Yeah, so happy Mother's Day to all the moms or mother figures out there, and we hope you had a great weekend.

Dave:

Yep. So thanks for listening. Subscribe, Leave a comment. Comments are great. Check out the website, sweetteentacoscom. Check out the Facebook page and send us an email. Let us know some things you want to talk about or comments you have. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks a lot and have a good day.

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