My mother had a few recipes that I couldn’t stomach. Mom loved the odd cuts of meat (like organs) and learned how to cook them from her mother and grandmother. I don’t remember many of our neighborhood moms cooking the same things.
I liked her chicken hearts that were dusted in flour and fried. But I passed on gizzards.
Beef tongue was a hard pass.
Mom’s beef heart I could handle. She’d stuff the heart and bake it in the oven. Then she sliced it and I’d have a thin ring of heart around delicious stuffing.
The oxtail soup I shied away from until I hit junior high. Then I discovered oxtails were the most tender delicious meat I’d ever eaten and the broth was rich but so flavorful. Years later, I made oxtail soup for my “at the time boyfriend.” I overheard him telling a friend that he had to marry me because of my oxtail soup.
“How can she make something so amazing out of !!#!??”
My dad’s side of the family had some oddball dishes too. Christmas meant Lutefisk and fish head stew. I could not get myself to stop staring at the eyeballs staring up at me from the stew. It definitely killed my appetite.
If you haven’t heard of Lutefisk this is from Wikipedia:
Lutefisk is prepared as a seafood dish of several Nordic countries. It is traditionally part of the Christmas feast; Norwegian julebord and Swedish julbord, as well as the similar Finnish joulupöytä.
Finnish: lipeäkala [ˈlipeæˌkɑlɑ]; literally “lye fish”) is dried whitefish (normally cod, but ling and burbot are also used). It is made from aged stockfish (air-dried whitefish), or dried and salted cod, pickled in lye. It is gelatinous in texture after being rehydrated for days prior to eating.
Besides the recipes I mentioned, my mom also served us canned Chef Boyardee ravioli, Swanson’s TV dinners, Space Food Sticks and Tang.
What are some of the foods you grew up with? Did your family cook anything odd?