published Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Heirloom dishes from our mothers’ kitchens

For many families, Easter is a day to make memories as children traipse through yards in search of prize eggs and everyone gathers for the holiday meal.

For years, my family would meet at my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle John Berg’s house or at my parents’, where a table would be laden with food — deviled eggs, potato salad, ham, lamb, turkey, corn pudding, green beans and homemade sourdough bread.

Many of these mouthwatering recipes remain family heirlooms, passed down from mother to daughter. My mother’s been gone for 15 months, but every time I make potato salad, I think of her.

I can’t make it nearly as good as she did. She had a certain technique that made the potatoes tender while keeping their shape. And she knew just how much mayonnaise, sour cream and Durkee’s to blend together to make the best dressing I’ve ever tasted.

Potato salad is one of those foods that is very personal. I think it has something to do with how your mother made it. You know, sort of like fried chicken, biscuits, coleslaw — those foods that have a life all their own when your mother put her hand to them.

Potato salad was one of my mother’s specialties. And for the life of me, I can’t seem to duplicate it. My potatoes turn out either too tender or a little chewy. Sometimes I just don’t get enough onion in there. And other times I oversalt it. Oh, Momma, I plead: Can’t you reach down and take this wooden spoon and make it for me?

I have, though, inherited her wonderful recipe for corn pudding that is so simple, even a novice cook can make it with ease. I do this one well. Now, Momma, back to the potato salad ...

Happy Easter to you all.

Shirley’s Corn Pudding

2 eggs

1/2-3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups corn

1/2-3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

Beat together eggs, sugar and flour. Add corn, and mix to combine. Pour mixture into casserole. Stir in milk, then butter. Bake at 325 F for 35 to 45 minutes or until set. Makes about 6 servings.

Email Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

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