My husband had a dinner meeting tonight. What to do, what to eat? I could go the fast food route, but since I am trying to lose weight, I should pass on that. I know, I will eat something that he does not like; flat iron steak and french fries. Ummm.
My mother used to make this meal on Saturday evenings, but she called the meat minute steak. She would fry up peppers and onions and sometimes put the steak on a roll and call it a hoagie. Since my parents were from Philadelphia, they used a few different terms. A hoagie is the Philly equivalent to a sub. No matter what you call it, very tasty indeed. Mom had several go to meals that have become my favorite things to eat. There is this steak and fries, then there is burger (no bun) and mash potatoes; and my all time favorite was, and still is, buttered spaghetti. The spaghetti without her sauce was a meal we saved for the running of the Kentucky Derby. Not sure why, but who cares, it is good.
Of course, I have modified most of her flavor profiles, but these three meals remain untouched. I eat them when I am alone and they still take me back to my childhood. I think being Jewish has embedded the food gene in my brain. My husband does not appreciate the flavor of the flat iron steak, cooked in an iron frying pan. And, the simplicity of plain spaghetti is just lost on him. He wants sauce! He eats southern country with a little Jewish influence.
There is one person that shares my connection between food and memories. My youngest son. Without exception, he still clings to these meals that I made for my sons. As a single mom you go with what you know and what can be made quickly. He tells me that my three year old granddaughter appreciates our favorite food as well. I have had to share my secrets with my daughter in-law so the traditions can continue. I find it funny that I have passed along egg in a hole ,steak and fries and chicken patties and applesauce instead of chicken soup and latkes.
As I sat alone tonight relishing my steak and fries, my thoughts went to my mom and it made me smile. And then my thoughts turned a little sad as I realized I was sitting and eating alone. My children are grown and have moved on. My grand daughter is coming to spend the weekend with me. We haven’t spent much time together since she lives on the other side of the country, but I plan to cook her some memories. Life goes on. You can hold on to your memories and review them with fondness, but you need to make new ones for the future.