Oral tradition recipes

Published on 7 May 2020 at 11:08

Do any of you have a "recipe-from-my-Grandma-handed-down-from-her-grandma-and-its-my-husband's-favorite" recipe?


You know, one of those generations old ones that has secret ingredients you can't get unless you are taught by the actual person?


I have one of those. 


It's called "Gramma Spunky's Chow Mein." 


Actually, the "Spunky" part I added in, because this Gramma is SPUUUUNK-Y! I'll share that story with you another time.


I remember even when Mr. Barefoot and I were dating, he would rave about Gramma Spunky's Chow Mein. We would often go to her house and pick up chow mein at the local Chinese shop, but he lived for they days she'd make her own.


So last year, I decided I better get this recipe from her. I was surprised, its actually pretty basic.


She didn't have it written down anywhere, of course. Oral recipe tradition and all. So as she stirred a pot of chow mein, she told me what to do.




1. Fry pork in water. 

2. Chop 1 bunch of celery well.

3. Add 3 cans of chicken broth to the pork.

3. Add the celery.

4. Add in 1 can of chinese vegetables.

5. Mix until the celery is soft. 

6. Add soy sauce to flavor

7. Thicken by sprinkling flour over the top and stir.

8. Serve with crispy noodles or rice.


And that's it. 


To be honest, I was a little appalled that there was canned items. Not that she used them, but that Mr. Barefoot wanted the EXACT Gramma Frisky recipe, canned ingredients and all, not the "fresh" ingredients recipe, because if I changed the recipe at all, it just wouldn't be the same.


Well, what do you know? I tried it with fresh ingredients, and it wasn't the same.


So, tonight I made the "real" Gramma Frisky chow mein recipe and I got the nodded approval from Mr. Barefoot. SUCCESS! 


The only thing I did differently was making my own homemade chicken broth. I don't have any broth, and normally don't keep cans of it in the house (unless they were home canned.) So, I quickly made a batch in the Instant Pot.

Anyways, back to chow mein. Besides the homemade chicken broth, everything else was the same. And it turned out great!


I guess there is something to not wandering from the "oral traiditon" recipes.




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