Sunday, March 6, 2011

Miracle Whip or Mayo?

I do not eat sweet pickles from the store! They're awful!!  I was 24 years old before I knew that the pickles from the store were different from what I had grown up with, that's about the same time I found out that Miracle Whip wasn't the same thing as Mayonnaise!  See, I had just gotten married and was about to find out that my true love and I might be hopelessly incompatible, he ate Mayo!  30 years later we laugh, and I keep both in the fridge.  It is interesting now, doing the genealogy research, to look at the foods that belong to different ethnic backgrounds and see if those foods were from a particular region and if there is a practical reason they became a staple in the diet of our ancestors.  How many foods were eaten more for the fact that they would store through the winter with no fridge or freezer than the taste or appearance?  Crops that would grow in colder climates with shorter growing seasons are why my German and Scots/Irish ancestors both used potatoes and cabbage extensively.  It is interesting to look at ethnic cuisine, and our own personal ideas of comfort foods and trace them back to an ancestor who lived on the steppes of Russia for instance and grew bushels of potatoes and cabbage!  The part of genealogy that makes it personal to me is not the name and birthday but finding out why they left 'there' and came 'here', what did they wear, and of course what did they eat.  I am collecting recipes from the areas that my ancestors came from and comparing them to the food I ate growing up, I will share as I work through them. I'm sharing my first recipe for Grandmas sweet pickles, they take a lot of effort but are sooo worth it! Enjoy!
- Kathy