Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Changing Momma's Recipes - Taking Out the Unhealthy, Keeping the Love

My mom was a wonderful cook.  I can’t count how many times she made everything in my life seem all better simply by cooking me dinner.  Now that she’s gone, I find myself clinging to her recipes.  When my house is filled with the familiar aromas of momma’s cooking, it's as if she is there with me.  I can almost taste her love.  When I cook her recipes for my children, I feel like I’m giving them memories of their Granny Jo that they will never otherwise have.

Many of the recipes were actually passed down from my mom’s mom - my granny.  So many times my kitchen is filled with the love of many generations.  It's such a comforting feeling.  The problem is, many of my favorite recipes don’t exactly fit into my plan of a healthier lifestyle - lots of sugar, gaggles of butter, white flour galore.  I am 100% committed to cooking healthy meals for my family, but I miss my mom and my granny too much to give up something that brings me so close to them.  What’s a girl to do?




Granny secretly started a cookbook for me, we found it after she died.


So, I promised my daughter we would make no-bake cookies tonight.  This is probably my most beloved of my granny’s recipes; I have been eating them since birth and making them myself for the past 15 years.  Best.  Cookies.  Ever.  Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1 Stick Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1/8 Teaspoon Salt

In heavy pan mix well and over medium heat, bring to a boil stirring constantly.  When boiling good, turn heat to low and boil 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in:



Love reading recipes in their own handwriting.


1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
3 Cups Oatmeal (quick type)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Nuts (optional; I usually leave this out.)

Line cookie sheets with wax paper and drop by teaspoonfulls.

Right when we were getting ready to make them, I realized I was all out of cows milk.  I did, however, have some coconut milk.  The thought of messing with this meticulously written recipe really freaked me out. It felt, somehow, disgraceful.  Not to mention I was worried they wouldn’t taste the same.  And even if they were still good, if they didn’t taste the same, well, it just wouldn’t be the same.  But a promise is a promise.  So we substituted 1/2 cup coconut milk for the cow’s milk.

They tasted EXACTLY the same! I was so excited I was literally dancing a jig of glee in my kitchen, with a mouthful of cookie.  And as I stuffed one cookie after another into my mouth, I was overwhelmed with inspiration.  I could do this to all my mom and granny’s recipes! It will take courage, patience, and a lot of trial and error, but I can keep on substituting ingredients until the recipes are healthy - or at least healthier.  The no-bake recipe will definitely need some more tweaking before it can be considered healthy - but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.




This is what love looks like...

Healthy meals, wonderful memories, and still the taste of love.  You just can’t beat that. Happy dance!




***This post was originally written under my previous blog name, Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance.***

2 comments:

  1. Wish I knew your mom long enough to taste her cooking. Danley is lucky to have those recipes as a family tradition! (oh and for your mom's mac n cheese: i'm not sure what her recipe calls for, but I have added in purees of butternut squash and or summer squash for added fiber content, still tastes delish but that's prob because of the cheese :) Now if only i could find whole grain/wheat macaroni noodles! Good luck on your cooking adventures, I'll be waiting to hear!

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  2. Angelica, it's crazy that you can add such healthy veggies without changing the overall taste of the dish. Where have you looked for the whole wheat noodles? I have found them at Wal-Mart (the generic brand!) and at Albertson's.

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