I don’t know how my mother came up with this, but most of the time we had a new recipe to try at least once a week, sometimes more. It all depended on if she had time to look thru all of her cookbooks or not. We knew we were totally doomed if she happened to run across a new recipe book at the store and that book somehow would end up in our grocery bags mysteriously. We were not the typical family where the children had a dilemma of “not liking those yucky vegetables”. Our thing was, “”Uh Oh, it’s “new recipe day…AGAIN! What have we gotta eat now?” When Dad came home from work, he never knew what to expect and we learned a long time ago to say how good it was even when we didn’t like it, to keep from hurting mama’s feelings and to not get that ‘You better not say a word!” look from Dad. She was always very proud of her accomplishments and it was hard to hurt her feelings and tell her we didn’t like what she had spent hours cooking. That is why I must tell about the cantaloupes. Mother had planted a garden this particular year and of course one of the crops was the infamous cantaloupes. Every time we turned around, someone was bringing in a ripe cantaloupe. There was so many cantaloupes piling up on the counter in the kitchen and she needed to do something with them to keep them from spoiling. What does she do? Pull out the dreaded cookbooks and spends hours looking for a recipe that she thought would be “scrumpi-delicious and totally irresistable to the eye and palate”. Cantaloupe pie!! Did I say cantaloupe pie? Of course, I did….one of the cookbooks she bought had that recipe in there!!! She proceeded to get her ingredients together and made several pies. They looked so pretty when they were pulled out of the oven and you could see Mama glowing with pride. Did I mention that looks can be deceiving? If that is one lesson you have never learned, pay heed to it now for future references, should anyone ever offer you a slice of cantaloupe pie! The first bite was just okay and by the time you were able to get the third bite down, you were looking for a place to spit it out. It didn’t matter who you were, if you were unlucky enough to come by the house, you were served…..Cantaloupe Pie! For once, we could not disguise the “Oh Lawdy!!! That stuff ain’t passin’ my lips!” look. Even to this day, she still laughs about how horrible those pies were and admits that was one of her “bloopers in cooking”!
Below is a recipe that she made famous at our family reunions. It was easy to make and served a lot of people and once family members tried it, it was expected of her to bring the dish. Hope you enjoy it because we sure do!
3 lbs Ground Chuck
1 large onion chopped
3 sm cans tomato sauce
3 cans of mexican style corn, undrained
3 tsp marjoram
3 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp rosemary leaves, crushed
1 dozen corn tortillas
2 lbs (approximately) cheddar cheese, shredded
Brown the meat and drain. Chop one large onion cook it with the meat after draining the fat off. Cook until onion is tender. In a bowl, mix tomato sauce, mexican style corn, marjoram, cumin, and rosemary leaves. Pour half of the sauce mixture into the meat and onion mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Line a very large casserole dish, or two 9×13 casserole dishes with corn tortillas. Pour and spread meat mixture evenly over the top of the tortillas. Layer with cheese, another layer of corn tortillas, rest of the sauce mix, and then top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with salad or chips and salsa.