Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mom and Dad's House - Holden, MA

Despite all the places in the world that we have traveled, one thing that is as true for us as it is for many other people, is that the most comforting place to be is with our parents. And of all the restaurants that I have dined at and raved about, home-cooking from your parents often beats it hands-down. With that in mind, I thought that describing a trip home to see my parents in sleepy Holden, Massachusetts (from a food perspective) might be fun. My family (mom, especially!) likes to cook up a storm, and here I present some of the deliciousness she cooked up on my last visit (starting with the peach strudel pie on the left!). 
It was a long weekend that I got to visit during, so I have plenty of food items to cover. First, there was the roast pork shoulder that my dad decided to cook up. It started as a huge 5-pound, bone in shoulder. After trimming, it was marinated in a host of delicious spices, including chili powder, chipotle, ginger, garlic, cumin, and corainder. Many hours of roasting at a low temperature (250 I think) later, a tender, almost falling apart piece of pig emerged from the oven:

 2 forks and 5 minutes later, we had this lovely treat to eat:

I enjoyed my pork in a homemade barbecue sauce, rolled up in a tortilla burrito-style. And the cooking (and eating) didn't stop there. For dessert, my mom concocted these cute little "apple-pie lollipops:"

Made with a cooked-apple filling and 100% butter crust, these mini-pies found the balance between "tender" and "flaky" perfectly. Yum. Nobody can make a better pie than mom! And, on that note, these little pies were hardly the last pie of the weekend!

Before getting to that though, one of the greatest things to eat in the whole world in my opinion is a freshly made pretzel. This is something that my mother has recently learned to create in her own kitchen, and it is awesome every time. After boiling the dough in slightly alkaline water, they are baked, and they come out crusty and moist and delicious. This time around, she made some with jalapeno on top to satisfy my craving for some spice:

With some of her home-made nacho-cheese sauce on the side, this was a great lunch-time snack!

For dinner, I often ask my mom to make more traditional Indian food. This past visit she made peas with paneer (mutter paneer - a fairly spicy dish in gravy). For those that don't know - paneer is a very simple cheese that is basically made by adding acid to whole milk. This dish is excellent with rice or naan:

Of course, I also wanted some Indian-cooked meat, so my mom made these spicy chicken drumsticks. The outside is crispy while the inside is perfectly moist and succulent:

And finally, she also made some king fish steaks. King fish is a meaty fish, and it's almost like a combination of swordfish and salmon in texture and flavor. My mom's version is prepared by soaking the fish in milk (which mellows the "fishy" taste of the fish and also helps with the final texture), adding lots of spices (chili, cumin, coriander), and then frying the steaks until done. The result is a crispy-fried exterior, and a nice flaky interior.

I think it's appropriate to finish up with dessert. There were quite a few. Already, I've mentioned the apple-pie pops and I put the beautiful picture of the peach pie (made with local Ithaca peaches that I brought home!) at the very top. There was also this divine coconut-cream pie:

This pie had a super-thick custard filling, and it was absolutely delicious. If you're wondering how I could have possibly eaten all this food, well let's just say I got to keep the leftovers, and that might be the reason why there has been a bit of time since I posted recipes of my own!

1 comment:

  1. You do take some beautiful pictures and the food comes alive as if one can taste it right off the screen.

    Food looks delicious, I hope it tasted as good too!