The last time I left you, I was still in State College. The last couple of days I was there I was trying to talk to Mama Trudy about her childhood. That was a little bit of a failure; All she told me was that her father was an engineer and he lost a lot of property during The Depression. It was a little disappointing, but my mother told me that she had a very traumatic childhood. Mama Trudy’s mother passed away when she was 4 years old, leaving her father to raise nine children on his own. My mother said that her older siblings used to tell stories, but now a lot of them aren’t around to say them.
As we sprinted through the cooking this week, the past few days have been pretty mellow. My brother and mom had to drive out to Pittsburgh today for his follow-up doctor appointment. If you don’t know, that is about 2 and a half or 3 hours each way. That also meant I was fully responsible for the puppies today. Yesterday, we made chocolate chocolate cheesecake and my Mama Trudy’s brisket.
And in case you were curious, the Fader on Wednesday went really well. If you didn’t read my last blog, a Fader is a Fake Seder, a term I made up. It was quite delicious. And the dessert platter was beautiful.
I managed to finish the rest of the Petites Four Squares (because they are just beyond delicious), and we are thinking of repeating some of the recipes soon. This would definitely be one of them. On another note, tonight we are having chicken with my Mama Trudy’s stuffing and even more matzoh ball soup. She accidentally dropped all the leftover soup earlier today, but at least now I have a picture of it to show you!
I am going to try to talk to Mama Trudy about her family, but from what I have seen she is reluctant to talk in detail about her childhood. I will let you know how that goes. I have so far learned that her father was an engineer, but my mom gave me a signal to stop asking questions soon after. I have been taking a lot of pictures of photos of family members when they were young and/or alive. I am getting all the anecdotes to make a perfect cookbook! I will let you know in a couple of days how it goes, since my mom and I are planning to leave Sunday, Monday at the latest.
Due to a weather delay, my mother and I left Wednesday instead of Tuesday to visit my brother, Danny, in Pittsburgh. He had surgery on his meniscus at 4 am the following day. He currently has to keep his knee at 180 degrees, so I am the one to take care of his two 4 month-old puppies. He heard that he needed to get the surgery 4 days after he got the puppies. At least they are adorable.
On that Friday, I met my mom’s cousin Judy (Mama Trudy’s sister’s daughter). She will be sending her mother, Anne’s, potato kugel recipe and pictures soon! My mom, Danny, Pudge, Mojo, and I went to State College Saturday to see Mama Trudy and Papa Sam. Danny and his puppies will stay at their house until the end of the month when he will hopefully well enough to go back to Pittsburgh. I think he’s doing pretty well so far- I am just happy he has his puppies to keep him company.
When I got to State College that Saturday, I showed Mama Trudy, Papa Sam, and Aunt Renee (my mother’s older sister) my poems I wrote about Mama Trudy’s family a week or two ago. I have tried posting them here for over an hour but the website appears to just not want to have my poems.
And then after that, we made carrot soup. Here is a picture of Mama Trudy and I making it.
My mom has been raving about this chocolate dessert Mama Trudy would make all the time when she was little. Her and Renee would always eat them frozen because they were too impatient to let them defrost. We found the name Petites Four Squares, and made them too. After following each direction to the letter, it tasted exactly how my mother remembered it.
We also made “liver pâté,” but we all know it’s just chicken liver ground up with onions and garlic. That is not my favorite, but here is a picture of it anyways!
After that, Papa Sam made his Southern fried chicken. He learned how to make it when he was growing up in Saltville, VA. He hadn’t made it in over 50 years! Mama Trudy told me that he didn’t make it in so long because he would always make a mess, getting grease on the floor, the counter, and even the ceiling!
When we were done, Mama Trudy said that he was much neater making it. And it tasted delicious.
My mom and I are commencing our 4-week-long trip Tuesday. We start in Pittsburgh because my brother is having a huge surgery on his meniscus. My mom and I are going to take care of him and his puppies for a week to make sure he is okay. My mom and I will be cooking, and I will be taking pictures and recording the recipes the entire time. From Pittsburgh, we go to State College to see my grandparents, Mama Trudy and Papa Sam. Mama Trudy is one of nine, but a lot of her siblings are no longer with us, so it is important to get a lot of recipes and stories for her to make up for her entire side of the family. Continue reading “Update on my trip!”