Country Kitchen: Foods From Your Various Homes

Country Kitchen: Foods From Your Various Homes

By Mary Emma Allen

If you've lived in different homes or areas of the country, even in different countries, you'll find you've acquired a wealth of food lore. Even if you've lived in one home or area, you probably have traveled or visited friends and relatives who cook differently from the way your mother does.

You will find food preparation methods change over the years with the introduction of new technology. However, some foods of childhood that you didn't care for may appeal to you as you grow older. Now at my grandmother stage of life, I often crave some of the recipes my mom prepared, simpler recipes than those I once liked.

Foods From Different Regions

When you move around the country, as Jim and I have for his work, you'll become acquainted with foods which vary from those of your childhood. Try them even if you're not sure you'll like them, just for the experience. You may find these dishes tasty.

Jim became an Air Force pilot after college graduation and was assigned to a base in Texas. The food was much different from that traditional to our New England heritage. However, this is where I became fascinated with the regional culinary variations throughout our country and began researching and writing about my discoveries.

Foods of Relatives

My mother-in-law comes from a Midwestern German heritage. Some of her ancestors migrated from Germany. However, the foods her mother cooked were determined more by the overall German influence of settlers to that area of Ohio.

My aunt was born in Quebec so had a French heritage and enjoyed preparing and talking about some of the foods of her childhood. Even though she lived most of her life in New Hampshire, the influence from a French Canadian childhood remained.

I'd call the foods of my childhood American farm cooking. Our meals were hearty yet simple, consisting of foods from the garden and pork, beef, and chicken raised on the farm. We grew apples and my aunt and uncle peaches, pears and cherries. In the days before freezers, we did a great deal of canning.

Trying Different Foods

In addition, my mother often tried recipes from other cultures. She wanted us children to get a sampling of something other than her cooking. As she termed it, she didn't want us to be "fussy eaters" when we went out into the world.

What are the foods of your life? Where have you lived that has influenced what you prepare for your family?

Granddaughter's Memory Recipe

A food of my granddaughter's childhood is CORN MEAL DROP BISCUITS. The other day she prepared these for lunch and will create memories for all of us this way.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine in a bowl, 1 1/3 cups all -purpose flour, 1/2 cup corn meal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard.

Cut 1/2 cup shortening into the dry ingredients until large crumb consistency. Then stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese with 1 cup skim milk, until ingredients are slightly moistened. Don't over stir.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm. Delicious.

(C) 2003 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

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