Recipes lost

English: Pacific Ocean (Nov. 14, 2003) -- Mess...

English: Pacific Ocean (Nov. 14, 2003) — Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lamar Hardy, from Indianapolis, Ind., applies butter to freshly baked dinner rolls in the bakery aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Over 15,000 meals a day are served aboard Stennis while the ship is at sea conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jayme Pastoric. (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dinner rolls and sweet potatoes. Something so small made me a tad melancholy this morning. I was going over my grocery list for Thanksgiving and I added rolls. But I was sad because what I really wanted was my Great Uncle Rufus’ homemade dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, not some generic store bought ones. His were phenomenal. He’d make them over the course of a couple of days. I don’t know why and I have no recipe. And even if I did, there’s no guarantee I’d be able to replicate them exactly. He also made fabulous sweet potatoes. They weren’t fancy or anything, just perfection.

There are a lot of recipes that are lost to me because family members have died. Uncle Rufus’ little sister Emily was also a fantastic cook. I’ve try to make fried pies and pork chops like her’s, but they aren’t even close to the stratosphere she was working in.

Then there are the recipes I have managed to get before someone dies. My mother gave me her cucumber and tomato salad recipe, but I still can’t get it to taste as good as her version. So of course I make her make it when she arrives. Bad daughter.

Note: This image, although not mine, is a great coincidence. My Uncle Rufus was a Navy man who served as a cook on his ship during World War II. And, like the guy shown, he lived in Indianapolis, Indiana for the majority of his adult life.

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