I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.
Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏
Mostversions of TarteTatin are somewhatsimilar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.
There was apparently a week in April 1992 (can’t say that without thinking of this) when my mom was on a tear through this book–7-14: Easy-to-Make Pork Casserole is from two days earlier, and there’s a few more coming up from that same time period. 6-17: Chicken Breast with Cheesy Filling seems like something my mom would have been all about–she loves chicken breasts and blue cheese.
I think Simply Delicious was aimed at the working-mom demographic primarily–a lot of the recipes focus on easy weeknight meals just as much as the fancy dinner party options. 7-14: Easy-to-Make Pork Casserole is a casserole in the sense of a casserole being a bunch of random stuff thrown together in a vessel and then heated.
Casseroles are typically defined as the traditional green bean or tuna types that we (by that I mean mostly Americans) associate with that word. This dish is a loose mixing of vegetables and pork cubes, and is honestly much more reminiscent of 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew than of “casserole”. My mom seemed to like it though, when she made it back in April of 1992.
This one’s short and sweet. I’ve made 4-34: Italian Roasted Vegetables a few times before, once as part of a big dinner party I cooked for when I was about 13 (6-22: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks and 9-20: Meat Roly-Poly were part of that as well) and Thanksgiving 2000 based on my mother’s notations on the back of the card. I know I’ve used the concept multiple times in other instances, even if I wasn’t following this exact recipe.
This is more a method than a particular recipe–you can use pretty much whatever vegetables you want with this one. Now’s a perfect time for this recipe–farmer’s markets are open and there’s lots of good stuff out there to roast. 🔥
Here’s one I’ve made before. In one of my previous entries (6-22: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks), I mentioned doing all the cooking for a family dinner party when I was 12-13 years old with a similarly-aged family friend of mine. 9-20: Meat Roly-Poly is another one of the recipes I remember making for that party.
Another memory from this dinner party: I had just gotten a new CD (Version 2.0 by Garbage) and we were listening to it on my parents’ GIANT stereo system over and over as we spent the day cooking. Gives you an idea of how old I am, and how long I’ve been cooking from this book.
Here’s one with my mom’s writing on it. 9-12: Shepherd’s Pie promises to be a new take on an old classic and I had a LOT of potatoes to get rid of. Don’t buy a 20-lb bag of potatoes from Costco because it’s “such a good deal”.
I can’t say I’m particularly a fan of shepherd’s pie, but I had all the ingredients and a lot of potatoes to burn up. It stores/freezes well, and this version uses red peppers and beef instead of carrots/peas/corn and lamb (that’s why it’s shepherd’s pie–because of the sheep/lamb). 🐑
Here’s a recipe I’ve actually made before–it’s been a while since we’ve seen one of those. When I was about 8 or 9, my mom decided that she, my dad, and I were going to take turns making dinner each week. One of the recipes I actually planned for and made (before this grand plan inevitably fell apart) was this one: 12-7: Fettuccini with Creamy Chicken.
I probably was drawn to this one because my favorite meal as a kid was fettuccini Alfredo, and this one seems relatively similar (to an 9-year old). I also remember being fascinated with the fact that I got to use alcohol in something.
Who doesn’t like drumsticks? Vegetarians, I suppose. But this is not a recipe for them. Book 1, Group 2 (Main Courses), Subgroup 6 (Poultry & Game) gives us 6-22: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks. This was cooked in tandem with 4-21: Herb-Roasted Potatoes.
Drumsticks were on sale, so drumsticks you will get. I think this is one of the ones I was making before I went out of town a few weeks ago, but I’ve been a bit behind, so the details have escaped me a bit. Not that it matters to you, anyway. 🙂
In 3-13: Velvety Carrot Soup, I talked about how I love old cookbooks for their colorful attempts at trying to make boring recipes sound exciting. Another cookbook “trope” is putting words like easy, simple or quick in the title of a recipe that would otherwise sound…well, not those things.
Sometimes they live up to their titles, and sometimes not. A prime example of the former would be 6-4: Easy Stuffed Chicken Breasts. To be honest, stuffing chicken breasts doesn’t even sound that hard to begin with, so I suppose it didn’t even need that qualifier.
Unless it sounded hard to you–if that’s the case, ignore that last sentence. 🙂 It’s really not that hard, is what I’m saying.