Day 5! Wow, I can hardly believe we have made it this far. Then again... we still have 26 days to go. It's a tough challenge, but I hope you are enjoying it because I am. If you need to catch up you can start here and if you would like to see what some of the other 31 Dayers are writing about, you can find them all here.
Last night I came home from work and it was cold outside, the first rain storm of Autumn had arrived. I just wanted to curl up on the couch and feel cozy and eat something simple but yummy. And then I had a thought, a memory actually. When I was younger and we came home late from Sunday night church or a baseball game my mom would throw together a simple snack that we all devoured. Seriously, not a scrap of it was left over. I don't really know what to call it, it's not really a recipe, it's more like a 3 step method. But for our purposes I will call it... Bean With Bacon Dip.
So I have this recollection of Mom's Bean With Bacon Dip and from that point I was craving it, I couldn't kick it. So I made it. Here it is.
Not super attractive, right? But it was so good and more than tasting good, the emotion and comfort that came with the memory while eating it, a memory of my whole family together around the kitchen table was so strong. Even waiting for it to come out of the oven reminded me of being young and waiting for my mom to finally pull it out of the oven and all of us burning our tongues and fingers because we couldn't be bothered to wait for it to cool off. I curled up on the couch last night with my bean dip and a handful of chips and it was great. Totally worth the 15 minutes it took to make it.
We have so many cherished family recipes that evoke the same fuzzy feelings of nostalgia for all of us: Grandma Shirley's Mac & Cheese, Dad's Chile Verde, Grandma Marje's Clam Dip, Mom's Angel Biscuits, and hundreds more. None of them are terribly difficult recipes, but they are the recipes and meals we, as a family, hold in the highest regard. They don't just taste good. They make us feel good. They remind us of where we come from.
Maybe you have some nostalgic recipes you haven't made in a while. Or maybe it isn't a recipe but something you used to buy and eat together with your family like a certain flavor of ice cream or even Stove Top Stuffing. If you are in need of a pick-me-up, try making one of your old family recipes or buying that special little treat. It has the power to change an average weeknight into a special occasion and a fun walk down memory lane. And it will make you thankful for such a small, simple thing.
Did you really think I would sign off without sharing Mom's Bean With Bacon Dip "recipe" with you? You are going to laugh at how ridiculously weird and simple this is. It's even funnier if you knew my mother. She was an excellent cook (as all Lolmaugh's are) and rarely made anything from a package or can. But here it goes:
1. Grab a can of this:
That's right, it's a can of Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup! Open that sucker up and scoop all the contents into a small square baking dish.
2. Shred a generous amount of Monterey Jack cheese and sprinkle evenly over the bean with bacon soup.
3. Sprinkle lightly with Paprika or Cayenne pepper or both.
4. Turn on the broiler and broil until the cheese melts and begins to bubble. Serve immediately with corn tortilla chips.