Maybe because it's Mother's Day Week and I've been thinking about my mom a lot, or maybe because my sister mentioned that she made one of Mom's standby recipes last week-but for whatever reason, I've been thinking about Mom's cooking lately. My mom was a really, really good cook. She often said she wished she had gone to chef school, and I believe she could have taught them a few things if she had. I was one of those kids who left for school every day with a home-cooked meal in my tummy (even if I didn't want it-which I rarely did), and came home every afternoon to a delicious hot dinner. I know I didn't appreciate that enough.
I remember the mornings that I did want my breakfast and those were the cold mornings when she made hot cocoa (always from scratch), and heavily buttered toast for dipping. To this day, I can't drink instant powdered cocoa. One day when I was in 5th grade, the bus dropped me at the corner after school and I had a short walk to my house. It was COLD, and as I walked up my driveway, I clearly remember smelling homemade vegetable soup. Such a comforting smell, such a clear memory! As an adult, she would often make me soup to take to work. Although I haven't thought about it much, I have a full, emotional bank of food memories from my mom.
So, yesterday I decided I wanted to make Mom's simple standby dish-Ground Meat and Potatoes. It can't get any easier, or any more filling, comforting or tasty.
I'm a Cajun girl who cannot be separated from her black cast iron. All of my skillets and pots were bought at garage sales 44 years-ago and were second hand at that point. I rarely cook a meal without one of them in service. So, this recipe was made entirely in cast iron skillets.
Cook them in about 1/4 inch of bacon grease melted in the skillet, stirring until they are brown (bacon grease? Yes, I know.)
At the same time, brown ground meat with chopped onions (one) and garlic (three cloves) until completely browned.
Once they are both done, mix together and season to taste-salt and cayenne for us...that's it.
I also cooked a batch of cornbread, skillet of course, and added a salad. My husband was a happy camper when he got home.