Nanny’s Banana Pudding

I have three indelible memories of my Nanny (my mom’s mom) and cooking. The first two revolve around holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve I have always spent with my Mom’s side of the family in my Nanny’s home. Thanksgiving found my Nanny with a faded apron in the kitchen with the turkey and all the trimmings. Christmas Eve it was the same apron, but this time a ham occupied the oven and all the cousins ran thru the house with glee at the mounds of gifts awaiting us downstairs. My third memory is possibly my favorite. It involves weekend adventures at the cabin with just Nanny and my best childhood (and adulthood) friends. Also bananas, Nilla wafers and pudding. Isn’t my Nanny the most adorable 85-year-old you’ve ever seen?

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Mom’s Spaghetti

There is no food I have eaten more than spaghetti. I grew up in a family of 7 with one income and a mom who homemade dinner every night. Spaghetti was a staple. It feeds a crowd, is simple and inexpensive to make and is just comfort food at its finest. Everyone has things they like or don’t like in red saucy pasta. If you like mushrooms, throw them in. I often do. Also, my mother recently shared that she adds a little bit of sugar to her sauce usually. It takes the bite off the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s funny how comfort dishes just taste better when mom makes them. Regardless of how many times I make this myself, I’ll always prefer getting it in my parents dining room. Nostalgia is the best seasoning there is.

I’ll always be thankful to my mom for the years I saw her in the kitchen. I always assumed that baking and cooking was second nature. That it just kind of happened because there were always amazing meals and delicious treats.

Now that I’m the homemaker, I appreciate the energy it takes to constantly plan and prepare meals and I realize that I never thanked my sweet wonderful mother enough. I think I’ll call her and do that now.

Mom’s Spaghetti
from my mom

1 pound ground beef (or you can use turkey)
1 large onion, finely minced
28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
8 ounce can tomato paste
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, cook onion and meat until no longer pink. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 1-2 hours.

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