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Mom’s Recipes

Mother’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday these days, but I thought it might be fun to think about my mom’s recipes. The only problem is, I don’t have many because my dad did most of the baking and cooking.

Even when my mom and I made sugar cookies, my dad was the one who made the dough. Then Mom and I would roll it out, cut it, and decorate it.

But I do remember a few things that she made, so I wanted to share those.

Pancakes without milk

When I was ten, Mom, my brother, and I all got diagnosed as being allergic to milk. In the 1980s, this was much more challenging than it is today, and we had to get creative about some things.

I think it was Mom who experimented with a different way to make pancakes, although I could be wrong. But somehow or other, we got into the habit of making pancakes using apple juice instead of milk. I know we also tried using orange juice, but to me, those tasted a little too strange. The apple juice ones, though, were quite tasty.

This is pretty much a standard pancake recipe, except that you use juice as a substitute for the milk, and you can leave out the sugar. Then you cook them just like any other pancake.

Pumpkin muffins with molasses

I most remember Mom making pumpkin muffins, using a recipe that called for molasses. She liked taking these to school to have as a snack option during the day (along with Animal Crackers, which was another favorite).

Until I looked up the recipe in a family cookbook, though, I didn't remember that the pumpkin puree came from pumpkins she grew, not from ones bought in the store. As my dad wrote in the family cookbook:

“She would grow the pumpkins in the garden, then enlist my help in cutting them up and cooking them. The cooked mashed pumpkin would go in the freezer to be used throughout winter for the muffins. Polly would have to shoo me away from eating the batter so there would be enough for a full dozen.”

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it.

Favorite muffins

I don’t remember these, but when I was looking through my loose recipes for the pumpkin muffin one, I found a notecard titled “Favorite Muffins” in Mom’s handwriting. I think this is the only recipe I have in her handwriting, which makes it special.

This is another recipe where she substituted apple or orange juice in place of milk. It’s also interesting because there aren’t any real instructions apart from the baking temperature and how long to bake them. I guess you could follow the same instructions as the ones for the Pumpkin Muffins.

Keeping family favorites

Family recipes can be a lot of fun to keep, as long as you still like them. Do you have any that your mom – or any other family member – taught you how to make? I’d be interested in hearing about them.

In the meantime, if Mother’s Day is a happy occasion for you, I hope you can find a way to celebrate it. And if it’s a little tender, like it is for me, I hope you can find some other way to enjoy the day.


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