Dinner for Jeff and the Girls

Back in 1993, I asked my grandma to write down some of the recipes that she used to prepare for our Sunday afternoon lunches. (Nearly every week all of the cousins and aunts and uncles would go to Grandma’s house after church. She spent the morning making a TON of food for us, and if one of us claimed something as a favorite, that item would reappear often. (My favorite? Hog Potatoes.))


This evening I busted out Grandma’s Cookbook and made her famous Mostaccioli for Jeff and the girls.


Harper wasn’t a fan because she doesn’t like pasta, but everyone else proclaimed it a hit.

Next up? My great grandma’s sugar cookies.

(I just noticed that the second ingredient listed in Grandma’s vegetable soup recipe is Chuck roast. I sort of love that. She would NOT be a fan of my vegetarian ways.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

13 thoughts on “Dinner for Jeff and the Girls”

  1. Harper doesn’t like pasta? What kind of mother *are* you??!!!

    (Asking as someone who inexplicably raised a child who to this day does not really care for ice cream.)

  2. My husband won’t eat pasta (or rice… or anything remotely similar). :(

    May I say that I *love* nostalgia via food? Just today I made my dear aunt Linda’s coffee cake. I loved her to pieces and I love that cake. So tied up in memories and love.

    And your grandmother’s handwriting is gorgeous.

  3. I have often thought about the recipes and dishes from my childhood that are tied up in memories; they are almost all recipes that Rachel Ray would shun. (Thirty minutes wouldn’t even cover the prep time! I’m sure there were more hours in a day back then.) Anyway, then I feel guilty at the food-as-memories legacy I will leave behind: Meredith’s favorite thing I cook is “ten-can chili” because, well, it consists of ten cans of stuff thrown together in a pot. Sigh ….

  4. Don’t you love old recipes? The world’s most perfect woman ( my lovely SIL) comes from 2 families of St Louis baking royalty. She has access to a treasure trove but has no interest in ever baking anything again.

  5. What a treasure. My mother made an almost identical recipe but called it “Noodle Burger” whether she made it with noodles or any of various shapes of pasta. I am going to make Hog Potatoes now, because you brought it up.

    I’m curious — does Harper dislike all pasta, or just certain kinds? I ask because my grandson said he didn’t like pasta and he’s an excellent eater of almost everything. He said he had pasta at school and doesn’t like it. When I told him spaghetti, mac and cheese, and one of his favorite dishes I make with farfale were all pasta, he was confused. Turns out he’d had some dish made with penne pasta and didn’t like it, and they said it was pasta, so he figured he doesn’t like pasta. He now won’t eat any recipe made with penne, but still loves all the others. He just insists the ones he likes aren’t pasta.

  6. Those recipes are such a treasure, to use the same exact word as ‘Grammy!’ Personality, painstaking handwriting, friendly warnings about gaining weight or messing up the dish and wasting expensive ingredients…they’ve got it all :-) For the record, had you invited me, I would have eaten the hell out of that mostaccioli.

    Also, to answer Teri’s question above (wonder if she’ll ever see it though), I think to peel potatoes that have been boiled whole, you dunk them in cold water and then you should be able to just sort of squeeze them out of their skins, gently, with your hands. No tools involved.

  7. This post made me so happy/sad. My Czech grandma always made Sunday dinner – roast pork, dumplings, apple slices, etc. I know all things weren’t better in the “old” days, but I miss the traditions. I miss rosy cheeked grandmas and bookstores and laundry hanging on the line. I’m exhausted by kids’ sports events on Sundays (hate with a burning passion), everyone buried in their smart phones while in ine, 4,000 cable channels and loads of cheap stuff from sweat shops. I was born 50 years too late. Thanks for continuing to take the time to post every day. I appreciate your thoughts!

  8. I always enjoy recipes that are written as narratives rather than the stale step-by-step robot thing. Also, her writing reminds me of my grandmother’s. I fear that good penmanship is becoming a dead art form.

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