Lots of people know me by my love for cooking, my love for food (not sure that’s a good thing! ;)), and being the one who always wants to try a new recipe.
But really, at the heart of the matter, I actually always go back to the standbys. The foods that mean something to me. Yes, they sure are good, but they have heart behind them.
I’m sure right now you’re thinking… she is insane. It’s just food we’re talking about here. But it’s not!! The smell of orange cinnamon rolls can instantly remind me of being a child in my grandmother’s kitchen in the summer. She would always make us orange rolls – and to this day, I have orange cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. The kind from the can!
The taste of corn tortillas reminds me of my summer mission’s internship in Mexico – and our favorite restaurant “The Hill”. Their tacos with the cheese that you pulled with your fork was remarkable – but even more so was the amazing opportunity to share God’s love with this country.
The cold and creamy taste of butter pecan ice cream instantly takes me back to my living room in high school. Watching television late at night with my dad after getting back from a basketball game on the bus was the perfect night treat. Both of us mostly sitting in silence from sheer exhaustion, but the time spent together was priceless.
And then there’s these – Bacon wrapped water chestnuts. One of my favorite recipes of all time. Are they good? Absolutely! But I tend to think they are mostly as good as I think they are because of the memories they bring up. This is one of the first recipes I learned how to make from my mom. In fact – it’s her recipe. I’m sure you could find some adaption of it pretty easily on the internet somewhere, but none of them taste quite like these.
It’s the first recipe I mastered on my own, brought somewhere and got a really good response. They became my standby for a while – the only thing I would make because I knew I could make them well! Obviously, I’ve branched out since then.. but I remember my roots, and I remember standing by my mom as she taught me each step. And every time I taste one, the crunchiness of the water chestnut and the tanginess of the barbecue sauce, it reminds me of home!
What recipe or food do you have the conjures up the most memories?
Mom’s Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
1 lb bacon (cut in thirds)
2 small cans water chestnuts (break in half and stack on top of each other)
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1. Cut bacon into thirds.
2. Wrap bacon around stacked water chestnuts and secure with a tooth pick. Place on baking tray in line leaving space between so they don’t stick together.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Pour off the grease.
4. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together sugar, ketchup and lemon juice. Heat just until warmed in microwave (about 30 seconds).
5. Pour over water chestnuts evenly, trying to avoid the toothpick if possible (it will burn).
6. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes until bacon is crispy.