Dishes from your Family

Do you still make the dishes your family had when you were young?
We had a pretty standard rotation of things like beef stew, chili, Swiss steak, pork chops and rice, spaghetti, fresh fish if caught, and steak. Lots of steak.
We always had Sunday dinner and that was always chicken or a roast.
I make those dishes occasionally, but certainly not on a regular basis.
So many more options today, but those traditional favorites sure are tasty.
Any family favorites still in your active rotation?

Grandma’s brisket sure is. She made a great one with onions, carrots and , wait for it, the sauce was water and ketchup but it was really good. Braised for hours. I do it now but with pinot noir, beef stock and a little tomato paste istead of water and ketchup. She also cut up potatoes really thin and put them in halfway through the cooking. Sliced the meet halfway through too and put it back in liquid. It’s never dry!


If you grew up Italian (I’m only half but it was my mothers side of the family and her mother lived with us as well) then yes 100%. Myself and all my cousins make their version of my grandmothers gravy and meatballs. (mine of course being the best rendition). I write often about how much I enjoy making a big ol’ pot of Sunday gravy and how each time I do I’m inundated with the memories of doing it as a child. My grandmother use to make her home made pasta, which I would hang from sting that crisscrossed her kitchen, the entire house would smell of garlic and onions, a smell which still immediately brings me back to those Sunday mornings.

My mother was not nearly the cook my grandmother was, this combined with my father owning restaurants left us mostly eating most dinners there and not home. There are a few, very few, things that I still make of my mother however the Sunday gravy is still the big dish.


Chicken and garlic spaghetti. Just chicken cutlets, dredged in Italian seasoning and breadcrumbs and fried, with spaghetti in garlic and oil (with plenty of parmesan) alongside. These two things always went together in my house growing up and to this day I don’t make them separately! Salad with Wishbone Italian salad dressing was the vegetable side. Although I have improved on my mother’s technique for both dishes (and replaced the Wishbone with a homemade vinaigrette), it’s still an unbeatable combo and a very satisfying dinner!

The first time I had a plain chicken cutlet was at my friends house when his mother cooked us dinner. I had only experienced chicken parm, never just chicken cutlets. I was so confused, I still remember asking if it was “done” or was the gravy and cheese still coming. LOL


Spoken like a true Jersey boy!


Interesting. Chicken to me was either fried or with dumplings.
English Irish Texas heritage here, and our menu reflected that.
Chinese, Mexican, Italian -pizza and otherwise, were our dining out dishes.
Our spaghetti was ground beef and tomato sauce, nothing like Jr. describes.
I didn’t discover the whole Italian culture in KC til I was 18. Other side of town. :slight_smile:

Good timing. I’m having a bowl of soup that I made a few nights ago. Goat with Chinese herbs. Didn’t particularly care for this growing up.

Now that my grandma and ma are not here to make this, I miss their herb soups so much. My first attempts were not very good. With each effort, the flavor is getting closer and closer to my memories. I know I will never fully reproduce their wonderful soups, that’s ok.

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And chicken to me was either “potted” - which was basically braised like the brisket only with chicken, fried or roasted. And it was never a cutlet.

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@winecountrygirl, do you have the recipe for this? I’d love to try it.

My mom was not a great cook but here in Southern Indiana we still love fried baloney, put a little mustard on in and you are ready to go.

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The brisket? I do it from memory but tried to write it out once. I’ll message you for your email address


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message your email address to me

That reminds me . . . growing up, fried chicken was chicken cutlets dipped in eggs and bread crumbs. In high school I was invited down the shore with a friend’s family. The first night they were having fried chicken for dinner. I was so confused . . . there on the table were pieces of chicken with bones in them. Didn’t they know chicken with bones was meant to be roasted and served intact?

Most Sunday meals were roast chicken or roast beef with potatoes (mashed, roasted or, what I now know are lyonnaise, but at the time were just potatoes with onions) a green veggie and salad (with Wishbone Italian). I still like my roasted meat :laughing:

We were a very traditional middle class family who ate dinner together every weeknight at 6:00 sharp. Lots of fried food and steak. Mom joked she was happy dad never discovered chicken fried steak as we would then be eating fried food every night. I haven’t carried on this tradition. But I do still think of dinner as a protein-starch-veg proposition.


Us too - my parents still do eat at 6pm every night!


Dad retired when I (the youngest) was in college. Between not working and an empty nest, the 6:00 rule went out the window. He did still prefer fried foods until the day he died; but hey, he was underweight with low cholesterol so nobody could give him grief.

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Another one I can recall is Sunday breakfast. It was always fruit or fruit juice (grapefruit was a favorite) followed by waffles and sausage. The waffles were made in the waffle iron mom received as a wedding gift in the 1950s.

Now mom lives with me and the same waffle iron is in my cabinet. Every now & then we break it out on a Sunday morning. It still turns out a damned good waffle. And grapefruit is still the fruit of choice.


It’s all very confusing between my father’s family and my mother’s family.

The things I grew up eating and that I still make for family and friends are:

  1. Fašírky (breaded and fried little hamburgers)
  2. Kielbasa and potato soup
  3. Wiener schnitzel

And then there are:

  1. Steak frites
  2. Sautéed chicken with butter and lemon, and parsley or thyme or leeks or capers, or whatever
  3. Glazed vegetables

There are many more, but these are the most requested, or the ones I can make for dinner without too much brain power involved.


I grew up in CA where all of the produce was/is super fresh and hyper local, like from within a 15min drive is where Dole, Foxy, Driscoll’s etc… all have fields to this day.
My grandma would cut wedges of fresh cold iceburg, and add a thick smear of homemade mayo and refer to it as salad. As a kid eating the wedge of “salad” with my hands was a delicious thrill. At least a few times a year i need this. Her homemade pies are legendary- but i don’t bake and she had a few decades of practice so her pie lives in my fond memories (and has ruined all pie from about anywhere for me, it never is even close)

My mom has always been more of a baker, traditional cookies, brownies, muffins, etc… i memorized her take on the tollhouse choco chip cookies before i was ten.
One of my favorite meals was always this chicken/probably cream of mushroom soup gravy/white rice baked dish; after i stopped eating chicken i would still have the sauced rice. Not much cream of mushroom soup in my life any more, but i am still passionate about mushroom gravy even if i don’t make it frequently.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr