Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ward Recipes

I just put chicken enchiladas in the oven. Chicken enchiladas seem to be a common meal in my culture, yet I've never made them before. They're not like Mexican enchiladas that you'd order at a restaurant. They're casseroled and mixed with tons of cream of chicken and sour cream. I've eaten them plenty of times, but only when other people make them. I had 44 tortillas in the freezer, so I called my sister (who doesn't really cook) to give me her recipe since she said she makes really good ones.

Yesterday my mom gave me a copy of her ward's latest cookbook (she bought nine copies to give away as gifts). I think the last time her ward did a cookbook was over fifteen years ago. I know those recipes well and would refer to them often growing up.

I was flipping through this yesterday and found six variations on the chicken enchilada recipe. And then I began to wonder who edits this thing. The duplication is astounding, but I understand everyone needs to be represented; it's not like this was going through a publishing house or anything.

I don't use cookbooks very often – not since the internet really. And I found myself looking through these recipes and not trusting some of them (like what is “That Bean Stuff”?) and wanting to scroll down and read the ratings and reviews like I usually do when I look up a recipe online. But there aren't any. I think the idea is that they were submitted because they were good, and so I should trust them.

But here's my question: If I want to make an apple pie, do I make “Apple Pie”, “Mom's Apple Pie”, “Fabulous Apple Pie” or “The BEST Apple Pie?” I don't know. And can we talk about how many of these recipes have “Yummy” in the title? Yummy Rice, Yummy Tacos, and my favorite: Oklahoma Yummy. I love a cookbook where something as sophisticated as Baklava can share a page with Oklahoma Yummy.

My generation of cooks has joined the submission list and so some of these recipes will have the word “Awesome” in them. And then there's one that actually has an exclamation: “Yummy Dip!”

A lot of these belong to people, like “Mom's Apple Pie” or “Sherry's Salsa” or “Kathy's Best Bean Soup”. I wonder how many other bean soup recipes Kathy has. Well, at least she submitted the best one.

I remember my mom calling me several months ago to tell me her ward was doing this and she had some recipes she wanted to submit, but she wasn't sure whether it was appropriate to submit a recipe in a ward cookbook that has wine as an ingredient. I told her to do it. I'm not a rebel or anything, I just think people need to realize alcohol is a perfectly acceptable ingredient for a lot of dishes. I'm looking at my mom's recipes and she either didn't submit that recipe or she took it out of the list of ingredients. But you know what, Mom? Lori Burnett has a recipe in here with wine. That must have gotten past the editor.

I'm kind of excited to try some of these. Except the Tuna Ring with Cheese Sauce. I don't think I could eat something that involves canned tuna, an egg, cheese (variety not specified), water and Bisquick. It sounds like the most awful thing anyone could mix in a bowl, throw in the oven and then put in their mouth.

I think my chicken enchiladas are ready.


Annie said...

The enchiladas were super yummy so thanks for making them. Did this recipe come out of the book?

Monica said...

See, Annie used "yummy" in her comment. Ha! She did that on purpose, right? Well it sounds like your enchiladas turned out great...Not a surprise. Oh and I love how it says "People Were Kind Enough To Comment" next to your comment count. That's pretty funny.

SRA said...

Tuna Ring...haha...sounds fantastic. How many different salads are in the book? And how many involve potato chips or corn flakes as crust for some chicken recipe or casserole? Oh, and by the way, my chicken enchilada recipe is primo. Just ask Jake Muehle, Scott Hanna, or any of the folks who came to my house for dinner club in June. :D

Kelly Durham said...

I was just reading through MY copy of the Hidden Valley Cook's Book. Carter is very excited about the Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole I discovered in there. But that tuna role sounds pretty appetizing . . . what section is it under? Did you put your tabs in yet?

leandparkermakes3 said...

You are hilarious! Hopefully if your mom ever needs dinner from someone in the ward, she wont be served the tuna ring!

Lisa Marie Trent said...

I sure hope mom hasn't handed this blog out to everyone previously and the creator of the "tuna ring" reads it and sits crying over her miscelaneous cheese.

Laura Lee said...

Kelly: There is no section for vomit inducing dishes so "tuna ring" is under "seafood" believe it or not.

Lisa: I guess everyone has their weird recipes that they like. Usually because their mom made if for them, so it's comforting.

When I was in college my roommates and I cooked for each other and one of them made "tuna burgers". I think we all had to study on tuna burger night. But this same girl refused to eat my Spring Pea Soup that you love because "it's green".