A mother’s love is the magic ingredient in these recipes
Memories of mom often revolve around the food, family and laughter in the kitchen.
For Vicki Ayers, 64, of Oak Grove, baked steak is more than just a meal that was the key to her late husband’s heart.
It’s a memory, enveloped with the love of her mother, Irene Weddle, who despite a challenging start at the Washington County Children’s Home, became a beloved foundation in the lives of her siblings, children and many grandchildren.
“She was always a caretaker, she always loved to cook,” said Ayers.
But Grandma Weddle wasn’t one to write down recipes. She just knew how to make bread, pies and steak by heart.
That’s why the handwritten recipe for her baked steak, scrawled in cursive on the faces of two envelopes, is even more special to Ayers.
“When Doug and I were dating he would love it when I would make my mom’s baked steak,” explained Ayers. “After we were married one day, he said ‘Mom, I need your recipe for baked steak, I need you to write it down for me, it’s just so good.’ And my mom, she wasn’t one who really wrote down recipes, but she wrote it on two envelopes and he was tickled to death with that.”
Those envelopes still exist today, more than 30 years later, though both Weddle and Doug have passed on.
“He would get these two envelopes out of the cookbook and make sure he’d follow exactly what she told him to do,” Ayers said. “He wasn’t much of a cook, but he could make mom’s baked steak.”
Ayer’s nephew, Brent Long, 39, also has fond memories of Grandma Weddle’s cooking.
In fact, Ayers gave the baked steak recipe as a bridal shower gift to Brent’s wife, Nadia, years ago.
“We always had grandma’s noodles on the holidays which were really good and we still have those to this day,” he said. “We’ve kind of carried on those recipes which bring back other memories of playing in the yard and being together. We still do a lot of the same traditions we used to to keep those traditions alive.”
Bill McFarland, of Marietta, said he can’t pinpoint a specific meal or recipe that has shown the love and commitment his wife Mariann has given to their family.
“I could brag on my own wife, I married so well in all possible ways,” he said. “But really every meal she puts on the table was delicious. I don’t know if it’s more about the meal or the company. Moms do that.”
Similar love was spoken of Betty Warman, the late mother of Susie Warman, 56, of Marietta.
“My mom baked all kinds of things, she was old-school and for birthdays you’d get to pick what she’d make,” explained Warman. “I’d always ask for her brownies.”
They’re the kind of brownies that melt in your mouth, moist fudge that has no business not being messy, Warman said.
“I don’t bake, really, I’m a terrible baker. I can’t get anything store bought to turn out. But I can bake two things, and they’re both my mom’s made-up recipes,” she said. “The first, of course, are her brownies. You originally melt your butter and then mix in the cocoa before pouring that in to your mix. That keeps your brownies moist before you add the fudge icing.”
The second recipe Warman has held onto is that of brownie pudding.
“It’s a cake on the outside and like a pudding inside, to me that’s kind of a miracle,” she said. “I miss her still today as much as I did in 2000 when she passed away. She was the hub of our family.”
And though the recipes for pot roast, creamed potatoes and chicken noodles have not lived on, Warman says that makes the recipes for brownies and brownie pudding all the more special.
“I still live in my mom’s home and there’s a tile my sister made here that says ‘Betty’s Kitchen,'” she added.
Grandma Weddle’s Baked Steak:
– Cut steak into serving pieces.
– Pound steak on each side, not too much.
– Dip steak in flour on both sides.
– Salt and pepper.
– Use vegetable spray in a skillet.
– Use about a quarter cup of olive oil.
– A big table (silverware) spoon of margarine and melt in skillet on medium heat with the olive oil.
– Add steak and brown along both sides.
– When brown, put in a baking dish or pan.
– Add flour to skillet and brown a little before adding water to make gravy.
– Stir and wait until the gravy thickens.
– Add salt to taste.
– Pour gravy over steak and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. If not tender enough bake a little longer until tender enough
* If gravy gets too thick, add just a little more water.
– Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Mama’s Fudge Brownies
– Melt ¢ cup of butter with 6 tbsp. of cocoa.
– In a bowl, beat 2 eggs slightly, add 1 cup of sugar and ¢ tsp. of vanilla – stir.
– Add melted butter and cocoa mixture – stir.
– Stir in § cup of flour and ¢ tsp. of salt.
– Pour into a buttered pan and bake in 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
– Top with fudge icing.
– 1 stick of butter.
– 1 cup of sugar.
– 1/4 cup each cocoa and milk.
– Combine, bring to a boil, boil one minute.
– Pour over brownies.
– Once the icing hardens, they are ready to enjoy.
– Sift together:
– 1 cup flour.
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
– 1/2 teaspoon salt.
– 3/4 cup sugar.
– 1 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa.
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 teaspoon melted shortening
– Mix well, pour into baking dish.
– Combine § cup brown sugar and ™ cup cocoa; sprinkle on cake.
– Pour 1 ¢ cups hot water over all.
– Bake 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.