It’s like this: I’m slowly developing what I consider to be “my” versions of certain recipes. These are recipes that, by and large, I’m happy with. Last couple of weeks I’ve nailed down recipes for chili and Sloppy Joes — these are not ultimate recipes in an objective sense, but they’re recipes that I’d make again following the same recipe I put forth.
I never used to operate this way: I generally made it up every time using some clumsy pastiche of recipes I already knew, and while that was certainly exciting, it left room for much variation. One day it was, “Gosh, this chicken is delicious!” Three weeks later it was, “This chicken mysteriously tastes like candle wax dripped on the perineum of a professional wrestler.”
With a child on the way, I’m going to have less time to, as it were, fuck around at meal-time.
It is therefore time to establish some kind of culinary canon here at Der Wendighaus.
Every house eventually develops one, I think. Or, at least, families do. You always hear, “Oh, you need to try my Grandmother’s gnocchi,” or, “My mother’s ham salad recipe will tear off your nipples and choke you with them it’s so goddamn good.” Hell, some people will get in fights about it. “My family’s spaghetti recipe is the best!” “No, mine is!” “Get your axe, for now we go to war.”
My Mom-Mom had a host of recipes that live in infamy: pierogies, bleenies, koshe. My mother had and has her own: apricot-glazed chicken, turkey tetrazini, slow-cooked coffee-marinated beef. Hell, my Dad made this elk-meat chili using itty-bitty Thai hot peppers that would melt your molars, but it was awesome.
Anyway, I think I’m orbiting around the point.
I’m opening this to the hive-mind:
What recipes are recipes you think everybody should know? Like, on a generic level, “Oh, everybody should know a meatloaf recipe.” Or lasagna, or fried chicken.
Second follow-up question — if you say, “Everybody should totally know a kick-ass pancake recipe,” then I further beseech you, what is your pancake recipe? Do you have one? (And by “pancake,” I really mean, “whatever recipe you consider crucial.” I’m not asking you specifically for a pancake recipe.)
What meals are canon at your house?
And, how do you make ‘em?
Once more, I crowdsource to you because you people are smarter — and, let’s be honest, much prettier — than I am. Hop into the comments if you’re feeling kind, and jam your wisdom into my craw.