We had dinner out last night at Pancho's Restaurant in San Luis Obispo. I've been wanting Tamales lately, probably because Tamales are traditionally made around the Holidays. Anyway, we walked into the Restaurant and there on the Daily Special Board was "Albondigas Soup with Tortillas." Over in my "100 Things About Me" post, you'll see that I could eat soup for every meal. I went back and forth in my mind; tamales or soup, soup or tamales? When the waiter came over I decided... Albondigas Soup. Am I ever happy I did! It was a cold evening and I have been feeling like a cold was coming on for about 3 days. This soup came brimming hot and filled to the rim with traditional meatballs and large pieces of potato, carrot, zucchini, celery & onion. There is no way I could EVER tell you just how good this soup was! The waiter came over and I told him this is the BEST Albondigas soup I have ever had! He said they keep this soup as a "Special" in his restaurant rather than a regular menu item. I told him this soup was indeed "Very Special". That's when he said it, "It's my Mom's recipe". Well, that explains everything! It wasn't just a soup made of broth, meat, vegetables and herbs. This was a soup that had been made with love and tradition as well. There is just something about making and eating things made by mom. Did your Mom have a special recipe that was all hers? Something you would just love to be able to go home and sit at her table and eat? I do.
My mom had an old yellowed recipe book that used to be her mother's. One of my favorite things she made was Sauerbraten. She would carefully open the recipe book to the correct page and start gathering ingredients together. I watched her make it several times but to this day, I don't know all that went into it. I remember onions and vinegar although the final dish didn't taste like either of those things. She would put it all together and let it marinate for a few hours then pop it in the oven and let it cook for a couple of hours on a really low heat. The meat was really tender and flavorful when it came to the table. Gravy was made from the drippings and was served over the meat and on top of mashed potatoes. Tiny baby carrots usually completed the meal. I'm sure it was made with love and that contributed to it's natural goodness. What recipe would you you proudly proclaim, "It's My Mom's Recipe"?