What was the first thing you remember cooking? I look back through the fog of time to when I was 4 years old. My favorite food back then, aside from sweets, was a good fried egg sandwich. It seems a bit funny to me but these sandwiches are really still my favorite. My dad liked soft-boiled eggs and I detested them. To this day I can’t bring myself to eat a soft-boiled egg because I was made to eat them when I was younger.
During the week, my mom would make “my sandwiches” just the way I liked them: bread toasted to a golden brown, lightly buttered, and the egg fried over easy to medium. I watched my mom make these for me.
My dad worked at Loring plowing snow in the winter, and winter was when I learned how to do for myself. Mom would put a crock of beans in the oven Saturday and set the alarm clock for every hour to tend them. I would get up at seven or so in the morning on Saturday, just in time for “Captain Kangaroo.” There was a program I didn’t care for from 8 till 8:30, so I put my observations to work. I would dig out the small skillet, the bread and the eggs and butter. Then I would push a chair over in front of the stove, put the skillet on the burner on medium and add a bit of butter. As soon as the butter melted I would crack the egg into it and watch it until I figured it was cooked enough on bottom, and I would flip it to finish cooking.
I’d put two slices of bread in the toaster, then when it was done I’d take the egg out of the pan, place it on a slice of toast and dump the hot butter out on top of it. With the toast on the top, a sandwich was made. Then I would push the chair in front of the sink, fill a cup with hot tap water, get the instant coffee out of the cabinet and put a spoonful in the cup with about four spoons of sugar, kid style. Then I would take my sandwich and coffee into the living room to keep my appointment with Mighty Mouse on TV.
My mom never let on that she knew I was making my own breakfast and I never said anything. That was the first thing I ever cooked until my teen years, when I learned to cook basic things like potatoes or a hot dog. To this day I love to cook and have made my own recipes for things such as stir fry, fried rice and different soups and stews. My wife makes my fried egg sandwiches for me every once in a while now, and as she does I sit back and remember when . . .
Here is a favorite recipe of mine that I would like to share for Barbecue Beans and Beef.
Ingredients: 1 to 2 pounds ground beef, 3 15-ounce cans pork and beans in tomato sauce, 1 small green bell pepper, 1 sweet vidalia onion, 1 to 1-1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, 2 large containers of refrigerated-dough biscuits and cooking spray.
Dice green pepper and onion; set aside. Brown ground beef with diced onion until almost done, then add green pepper.
Finish cooking meat mixture until onions are transparent, then remove from heat and drain. Empty beans into a large saucepan, add brown sugar and barbecue sauce and stir to combine, then add meat mixture. Heat to a bubbling boil. Remove from heat and spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Pour in bean mixture and level off with spoon. Open the biscuits and flatten each to about 1/4 inch thick; place them on top of the bean mixture. Preheat oven to temperature on biscuit package. Bake until the biscuit tops are golden brown.
Serve with more biscuits or hot rolls. It also makes a good easy casserole for church and club suppers. Enjoy.
I had a nice chat with a gentleman the other day who said he liked the articles about my dad and snow plowing. He told me he remembered those days and he lived in the area I told about. I really appreciate the good reports.