Recipes for the Generations: A Texas Cooking Tradition

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Photos by DiAne Gates

Our 15-year-old grandson stayed with us during Spring Break, and I found out public schools have reinstated what us old folks called “Home Economics”. Yep, they’re teaching the kiddos to cook and many other useful life trades—calling this class in Texas, “Family Consumer Science”. Hooray! Finally, a high school grad who won’t starve when he leaves home.

Noah wanted to test his new-found skills on some hand-me-down recipes from his Mimi and great grandmother, Nana. He cooked dinner—all by himself – for Papa and me. And now I’ll brag, he conquered a recipe that took me years to perfect—cream gravy. From scratch. Not a packaged mix. And his oven fried chicken and mashed potatoes were lip-smackin’ luscious!

I know his Nana, Great Aunt Tommie, his mom Michelle, and Grandma Marge (all of whom were caterers or fantastic cooks, hmm, must be in the gene pool), are looking down from Heaven singing, “Glory be! Look at my boy.”  Someday (in the far distant future) Noah’s gonna make some lucky girl a great husband.

So all you grandmas and papas, dust off and drag out those family recipes, and next time your old-enough-to-cook grandchild visits, give ‘em your apron and be their assistant.

Definitely an evening to remember.

Oven Fried Chicken

Recipes for the Generations: A Texas Cooking Tradition


Marinate fresh chicken tenders in a southwest salad dressing or dressing of your choice for several hours.

Mix two or three cups of Panko breadcrumbs with 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.

Dredge tenders in Panko mix and press crumbs into meat. Place on greased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or spray with Pam Cooking Spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Recipes for the Generations: A Texas Cooking Tradition


4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed

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