This is the ACTUAL “recipe” that my mother gave me for her meatballs. I remember the first time I went to make it and I thought “Gee, she’s pretty specific about things like how many cans of tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, but to go with HOW MUCH MEAT? Is it 1lb? 3lbs?! How many eggs? How much ketchup? How many…how much?!?!? Argh!! These seem like important details to know.”
A lot of us have these kinds of family “recipes” (and I use the quotes on purpose.) Most likely, these are the dishes our family members made and ate all the time – so much so that the cook no longer really needed the details. But for those of us trying to re-create a favorite food, the details are important! So, as we approach Mother’s Day this year, maybe it’s a good time to get your mothers and grandmothers to write down the recipes – recipes that will have no need for “quotes” or at least with as much detail as can possibly be gleaned from them. If they just don’t know, try cooking the dish with them and doing some measuring as they go.
Knowing how to make these dishes will be treasured for years to come.