Family history needs to always be preserved. There are many ways to preserve your family history. The first few are telling stories about who, what and how your family tree was built and when it started. Another way that I feel is the best way is by passing down recipes. Your family recipes are what shaped your family and kept it together so the next generation and grow and prosper.
My great grandmother on my mother’s side of the family is the only great grandmother I knew or can remember. I was her third great grandchild. My sister and brother being the one and two. We use to go down to her house during the summers as much as we could before she passed away when I was probably around 10 years old. I can remember walking into her kitchen and be fascinated with all the smells she had brewing. She would tell me I could stay as long as I didn’t ask too many questions or try to steal a taste or lick the spoon she just used to stir her food with. I really and truly miss her. She was a funny lady, that smelled or fresh bread and Cherry Almond Jergens lotion. To this day I can’t smell Jergens and not tear up.
Enough of that melodrama, let me tell the other reason I loved my great grandmother. She raised 4 boys and 1 girl during the Great Depression in the small town of Biscoe, NC. The town was so small there wasn’t even a stoplight and the main job there was the sawmill. My great grandparents didn’t have much but made do with what they had. Because meat and flour was sparse my great grandmother had to make the food stretch for a week. She created several recipes that have now been passed down to my grandmother, mother, aunt, and myself. I will pass them onto my son when he moves out so he can cook them. Being from the south, two major cooking utensils were a frying pan and a large stock pot. Major staple would also be lard. Flour, meat, and vegetables was rationed like everything else in the Great Depression, so families learned to ration their limited foods.
Getting back to the family recipes. My great grandmother created a steak and bread mixture that could make the food stretch longer. My family has called it Onion Battered Steak for as long as I can remember. The recipe when created contained simple ingredients : steak that was pounded thin, grated onions, milk and flour. Today we can use cubed steak instead of the pounded steak and it works just as well.
The recipe is simple. Mix flour, grated onion and milk into a mixture. Dredge the cubed steak into the mixture. Fry the dredged meat in oil for about 8 minutes on each side. There is no true actual measurements for the recipe. But I will try and give my best guess.
- Cubed steak 3-4 pieces depending on your family size (you can use more)
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 ½ cups Flour
- 1 medium size Onion
- Grate the onion : use every part of the onion only throw away the top peel
- Get a deep mixing bowl
- Combine salt, pepper, flour and milk (it should look like thick pancake batter)
- Add the onion
- Dredge the meat
- Fry in oil
- Serve with your choice of vegetables like green beans, corn, or mashed potatoes.