Family and Food

Our family event on Sunday got me to thinking about food.

But not just any food, family food.

While I don't particularly enjoy cooking or baking, I think it's a wonderful skill to have and am blessed and grateful to have many great cooks/bakers in my family.

My great-great Aunt's cream pies are what really got me started thinking along these lines. She makes one coconut cream pie and one chocolate cream pie for every family get together. They are full of wheat and dairy and sugar and I have a sliver of each. Every. Time.

I'm careful of my diet at all other times. Get together with friends? Book club? Eating out? My birthday? Check, check, check, and check. I'm the poster child for willpower. But Aunt Helen's pies? All bets are off.

I'm protected by the love that's baked right in, right? Right?

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="472"] Yes, please![/caption]

Courtesy of Rock Recipes.

Moving on.

On the other side of the family, was my Grandma Sunshine's mostaccioli. She would make up a vat for most holidays and get togethers. It was amazing. I once asked her if she had a recipe and she shook her head and said that the only real secret was to make it the night before so all of the flavors could combine and soak into the noodles.

Grandma also really enjoyed ham and beans, Little Debby snack cakes, pineapple upside down cake, and Vess Soda. As kids, we loved going to Sunshine's house! It was the best.

One day, shortly after she passed away, I was walking in our subdivision at night and someone was cooking ham and beans. The smell was so strong it permeated the air and stopped me in my tracks! It brought back a lot of good memories of great meals at her house.

My other (step) Grandma, Viv, makes Watergate Salad, without fail, for every holiday party. She invented the term "signature dish." Every holiday, without fail, there's a bowl of Watergate Salad gracing the table.


According to the internet, this is a Southern favorite. I don't know about that, but it was certainly was my favorite holiday dessert.

I used to hate nuts so Grandma made a special serving for me without pecans and still does to this day. I don't have the heart to tell her I've gotten over that. I love her thoughtfulness. And a huge serving of Watergate salad that's just for me and no one else! Muahahaha.

My Grandpa was known for his Easter coconut cake that he baked in a lamb-shaped pan, and his key lime pie. I'm not a fan of key lime pie, but I always had a slice of his and I always enjoyed it. He also was a huge fan of Haas gooey butter cake and ice tea.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="225"] Grandpa's last name (and mine growing up) was Haas.[/caption]

They're not kidding with the "St. Louis tradition" bit. This stuff was legit. So sad that they went out of business! I've always jokingly thought that they went out of business because their biggest customer (my Grandpa Haas) passed on. They could only limp along for so long before they gave in to reality and closed their doors.

As for my great grandmas on my mom's side, I couldn't recall any special recipes. I asked my mom and she said that Grandma Mayme loved cooking so much that she rarely made the same thing twice (and why wasn't that gene passed down to me?). Great Grandma Haas had one memorable dish, as far as my mom remembers, a peach toffee cake. She never did write down the recipe.

I looked it up on Pinterest and found this:

Courtesy of

Looks amazing. Maybe I'll make one for my mom over the holidays.

So, there's my family food ramblings. I wonder if other people associate their loved ones with certain dishes or if it's just me?


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