Mom used the recipe straight off the box of the Quaker Oatmeal canister. This has always been extra special because of the warm thoughts it brings to me of my Aunt Marshee who worked at the Quaker Oatmeal plant as an executive assistant for most of her professional career.
This was one of Dad's favorites, plus it felt special whenever mom made it because I didn't know of any other families who ate salmon. It was especially good when Mom added a little fat to the skillet to give a crispy golden brown crust to the patties.
Every family gathering included a relish tray filled with food that was never seen at any other time of the year. Pickled eggs, sweet Gherkin pickles, pimento stuffed olives, and even heart of palm. Most of this seemed to be enjoyed most by my great aunts, with the one exception of mom's deviled eggs. This is still a treat that I'll grab up lickety-split at any pot luck meal.
No pantry was complete without a supply of cream of chicken soup on hand for recipes such as this. For a generation of women just beginning to flood into the workplace, these quick fix recipes paved the way for Hamburger Helper and other "meal-in-a-box" solutions.
This might as well be titled, "Mom's Hodge-podge Home-made Hamburger Helper." Although I seldom cook with hamburger, this is a wonderful example of how mom taught us how to improvise, adapt, and experiment to the nth! This one's being added for posterity! The next time I pour in a cup of salsa because I'm out of tomatoes, I'll think of mom and blow her a kiss. MUAH!
After growing up relishing my mother's beef stew, I stumbled onto a decadent equivalent from Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins wonderful cookbook, "The New Basics" in the early 1990s. 20 years later and it's still a favorite winter staple. My version is a bit simplified from the original, but as long as the wine and bacon are included, the results will be savored by all.
Mom's recipe shows how versatile stew was. The specifics called for? Beef; an assortment of winter vegetables of any amount - frozen or fresh; and for liquid..your choice of tomato juice, water or bullion. For the sake of the recipe program, I randomly picked exact measurements and lazily choose the frozen vegetable route. But if you keep reading you'll find mom's original directions, so relax and do whatever works.