One of my favorite cookbooks is a family cookbook that my daughter put together years ago. It is called The Best of the Best Family Cookbook. My maiden name is Best, thus the name of the cookbook. It is full of the best recipes of many of the women in my family both past and present.
My great aunt Dorothy is one of those women and she was a wonderful cook. I have fond memories of her and Uncle Bud who I affectionately called Uncle Bug. At one time she and Uncle Bud owned a little hamburger stand in California. Many of the recipes in my family cookbook belonged to Aunt Dorothy.
I love using old family recipes but I have found that sometimes they need a little tweeking. Our cooking and eating styles are quite different today than they were 50-60 years ago which is how old some of these old family recipes are.
With our fall weather here in the NW I have found myself craving soup a lot so I decided to make Aunt Dorothy’s Minestrone soup for dinner last week. As I started cooking and tasting I realized that the soup just didn’t have the flavor I am use to in my food. I wish I could have discussed this recipe face to face with my Aunt Dorothy. I love those kind of conversations that take place in the kitchen between friends and family members when you are preparing a meal. Sharing tastes, questions on how to prepare something. The opportunity to share, work and talk together.
Lucky for me my husband, gets home from work around 3:30 or so as he starts early, early in the morning. He isn’t much of a cook on his own but he is a good kitchen helper. As I cook, he helps prep and clean up. He is also my taste tester. As I was making this soup we would discuss it as I went along making it and we would discuss what the soup needed. A little more garlic, some Italian seasoning, possibly some sausage (that was my husband’s suggestion) and I think next time I will definitely make it with some sausage. I just didn’t have any that time.
We had a fun time tasting and talking and I got to share a few of my memories of Great Aunt Dorothy with him. Even though Aunt Dorothy wasn’t there in person, she was there in spirit!
I’m excited to be partnering with Bon Appetit and Epicurious to talk about the importance of face-to-face time in the kitchen. Who do you enjoy spending time in the kitchen with?
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1 C onion chopped
- 1 C celery chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 3 tsp garlic minced
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 4 C beef brtoh
- 4 C water
- 1 C cabbage shredded
- 2 carrotts diced
- 1 C macaroni
- 1 tsp salt.
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans
- 1 zucchini sliced
- Saute onion, celery, parsley and garlic in olive oil.
- Add in all ingredients except for kidney beans and zucchini.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Add in kidney beans and zucchini,
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Also, check out BonAppetit.com‘s “OUT OF THE KITCHEN,” an exploration of the coolest food artisans in America, from spice blenders to knife makers to cider brewers. See how they mastered their crafts—and learn how to apply their knowledge at home.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bon Appetit. The opinions and text are all mine.