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I suspect my grandmother, Rose Ridnor, didn’t have a recipe book to flip through for ideas on what to fix for dinner. She therefore had lists on index cards, such as this one for meats, which provided ideas. Because my grandparents grew up in the tenements in New York, they were always very frugal, eating little meat, and supplementing main courses with bread, potatoes, pasta, kasha, and other grains.

For the most part, my grandparent’s subsisted on lower quality cuts of meat, cooked for hours, and subsequently labeled “pot roast.” My grandmother would always add potatoes and carrots an hour or so before the roast was done to make a more substantial meal. Pot roast

My also routinely roasting or boiling chicken. The broth from the latter was turned into chicken soup with carrots, celery, onions, homemade noodles, and kneidlach (soft matzos balls).

For special occasions, my grandmother made tiny sweet and sour meatballs, which were eaten with crushed matzos. The sauce was made from ketchup, brown sugar, and white vinegar.

I don’t recall her ever making lamb, veal, steak, or fresh fish. Maybe my grandfather didn’t like fish so it was disguised as gefilte fish, lox, herring, kippers, and canned and smoked salmon. Below is her recipe for scalloped salmon, which was showcases how a can of salmon can ended up serving several people, possible for multiple meals.

Beef

  • Roast
  • Pot roast
  • Stew
  • Spiced
  • Boiled
  • Corned
  • Casserole

Steak

  • Swiss
  • Swiss Fried
  • Chuck
  • Broiled
  • Pan fried
  • Stuffed
  • Flank
  • Chicken fried
  • Pounded

Ground

  • Broiled
  • Pan
  • Meat balls
  • Sweet & sour
  • Tamale pie
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Cabbage
  • Ground pepper loaf

Lamb

  • Roast
  • Ribs
  • Stew
  • Barley
  • Ground patties
  • Ground balls
  • Chops fried
  • Chops pan fried
  • Breast stuffed?

Veal

  • Roast
  • Stew
  • Chop
  • Stuffed

Chicken

  • Boiled
  • Fried
  • Roast
  • Sweet & sour
  • Fricassee
  • Salad
  • Olympic

Scalloped Salmon

  • 1 large can salmon Bumble Bee Salmon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boiled potatoes sliced
  • 2 hard cooked eggs
  • 1 cup buttered crumbs

Drain liquid from canned salmon. Remove skin and bones, and flake salmon. Make a white sauce of butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper. In a buttered baking dish layer half of fish, 2 potatoes, 1egg, and half of the white sauce. Repeat. Cover with crumbs and bake until brown.

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