Eating with Mom and Dad
On The BoatIt has been over half a century since I ate one of dad’s dinners. He passed away due to the ravages of Leukemia. But I still remember a couple of his creations in the kitchen, or at times I should call it the galley. He loved sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, his favorite boat was Alva It was about 30′ with only a two burner Primus stove to cook meals for a family of 6. On the boat we used a Kerosene version. I remember one of the meals that mom and dad fixed quite often in those cramped quarters with a limited supply of pots and pans. Dad called it “Slumgullion”. I still like it, but have never duplicated the taste I remember from the days of my youth.
A google search for Slumgullion brings up many recipes, too many to even suggest a few. They all have similarities, but all are different. The
recipe guideline is simple. The basics of it are browned hamburger, macaroni, and tomato. Some versions use tomato sauce, others tomato paste, while others include tomato, stewed, or fresh. My brother, sisters and I would top a plate of that with Catsup – as all youngsters would do in the 40’s and 50’s. Well, it did take two burners on the Primus stove. One burner was used to cook the Macaroni, the other to brown the hamburger (and onions). When the meat was cooked the rest of the ingredients were mixed with the meat in the large cast iron frying pan to warm up and to serve from.
Special Meals at home
Most of the time Mom cooked but on special occasions Dad would step in with his specialities Sirloin Steak about 1-1/4″ thick, remember this was in the 40’s and 50’s when meat like that was still good for your health. With French Fries and Cole Slaw it was a feast, Dad would be the steak chef, and on extra special times he’s chop some garlic cloves into small slivers, and with surgical precision he would cut small incisions in the steak and insert some of the garlic. Then put it in the broiler of over hot charcoal. The ‘men’ in the family liked their steak about medium-rare, while the girls liked it done a bit more toward medium. One of Dad’s sayings about how a steak should be cooked “It should be about 5 degrees warmer than a cow in heat!”
When we had garlic in house for steak, mom would take a little of it for the Cole Slaw. I don’t have any recollection of how she made the dressing for the slaw, but it was a basic slaw, just chopped cabbage.
A Splendid Table
This was sort of a challenge by Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s podcast from American Public Media “The Splendid Table” Eating With Dad