Chow Memories (by Musette)

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about food on this blog. Patty’s incredible raw pizza.  Tom’s trip to the Fountain.  My green curry, fresh from the garden.

I started thinking about Life a few days ago – silly little things like Trash Day beget that kind of reverie.  Every Tuesday is Trash Day around here – and there’s a certain comfort in that kind of ritual…but there’s also a melancholy.  Each Tuesday is a Tuesday I will not get back – and at my age I have more behind me than ahead of me.  I was making my mother’s corn pudding (aka ‘fried corn’) on Sunday when the melancholy hit me.   What will become of all these recipes’?  My memories?   All the people who do love these recipes are my age and our kids couldn’t care less…..sad…


And then I thought of you guys – each with your own precious memories.  And so many of them revolve around food.  Let’s face it, perfumistas are, first and foremost, hedonists.  We love scents and sensations, with a huge overlap into food and drink – you don’t have to go any further than a Facebook perfume group to see that.  There’s always some photo of something scrumptious on one of those pages.   I want those dishes.  All. Of. Them.  Preferably I would be borne on a silken barge to the preparer’s house, where there would be a lavish spread..  yeah, uh….phone hasn’t been ringing peeople!  So. in lieu of that I would be happy with the recipe.


I thought it might be fun to share some of those favorite recipes with each other.  There are so many of us, with such diverse tastes – and every time I hear of some wonderful dish or cocktail my mouth waters – so why not share them with each other?  Here’s what I want to do:  I’mo post my Mamita’s Fried Corn recipe here – but for the rest of you, you can either leave a recipe in the comments or   1.  drop a comment telling what you are thinking of sharing…then, when you have a minute, drop the recipe off at chicocoascentsationATgmail.  In about a month I will gather all of them together and put them in a Posse Taste Book and link everybody to it.  Whatever the recipe:  any sort of food or drink….a perfume concotion….whatever tickles your fancy.  Submit as many or as few as you like.  I will not be editing – I am simply compiling (will do so by ‘type’ apps, main dishes, desserts, etc)


Here’s the Fried Corn Recipe:


1 doz ears fresh corn, shucked and washed

2T unsalted butter (though my mom used Imperial Margerine – hey, it was 1960!)

2T canola oil

1 yellor onion, minced (actually just chop it fine – don’t make yourself crazy)

1 medium clove garlic, chopped fine

Salt,pepper to taste


A large-hole grater

A large skillet.


Okay – that’s the easy part.

Take 6 ears, cut the kernels off the ears.  reserve the cobs.

Take the other 6 ears, cut the kernels – but cut them only halfway off (in other words, slice lightly rather than deeply into the cob – the whole point of these 6 is to retain as much of the ‘milk’ as possible)

once you get all the kernels cut, take the cobs and grate the rest of the corn ‘meat’ into the kernel bowl – the first six won’t be as milky as the following 6 – at the end you should have something resembling kernel-y slush.

melt the butter into the oil in the skillet, add the onion – cook for about 1 minute or so (just to get it settled in there) add the garlic.  Cook for another minute or so.  Oil/butter mixture should be lightly bubbling.  Add the corn mixture.  Turn to medium-low.  Cook for about 20 minutes, covered.  Uncover, stir, cook another 30 minutes on medium low.  Finish cooking on low, covered, about 40 minutes more (this is a slow-cook dish).  Check to make sure it’s not scorching on the bottom (though some like the scorched bits – I’m not one of those folks).  Stir every now and then.

Corn mixture should thicken on its own – taste for doneness (do NOT ask me – you will know when it’s done – if you have it on low you don’t have to worry – whole cooking time is about 1.5 hrs, thereabouts.  I like to cook it sloooow.  Seems to keep the freshness and sweetness intact).  Salt/pepper to taste.


I’ll throw a couple more in the hoppa once I start getting yours – I know a lot of you have asked about the brownies I made for the Chicocoa Scentsation  – I’ll submit that one.  My friend Francine has given me her vaunted Francine’s Potatoes – and even though it’s over 100 degrees here, I would almost be willing to fire up the oven, these sound so incredible.


So drop a line here! Don’t forget – anything is game for this collection – if you are not a cook and you want to submit some other type of recipe, that’s fine.    I did this once for a book community and someone submitted a recipe for PAPER!  Tres cool!



  • Lavanya says:

    I love corn- so will try your recipe!
    I will email the recipe for my mom’s Palak Paneer/Saag paneer. It is one of fave dishes and I love my mom’s version (she doesn’t use any spice powders just herbs,onion,tomato, ginger,garlic and green chilis).

  • mariekel says:

    PS — when I say “steep with the tea” what I meant really was combine. Do not leave the tea in overnight or it will be unbearably tannic!

  • mariekel says:

    Fun post!

    Here is my favourite heat-beating summer quaff: I call it Liza’s iced tea, after the lady who served me the original version (I have tweaked it a tad):

    1 pitcher brewed black tea
    1 tsp grated ginger
    generous squeeze or two of lime, to taste
    1 bottle ginger beer or good-quality dry ginger ale
    a few crushed mint leaves (optional)

    Allow the ginger and lime to steep with the tea overnight before adding the ginger ale/beer and ice. They ratios should be about 2/3 iced tea to one third ginger ale/beer but of course, you can adjust it to suit your palate.

    I had the very kind staff at the Stanhope in NYC make this for me on a hot day. At first, they though it was an odd combo. A few minutes late, my waiter came over to tell me that the whole staff were in the kitchen drinking it!

  • helenviolette says:

    Fun post Musette- I want to make that corn! I love to cook and bake :) Also- I was a teacher in another life and did a cookbook project with my students. They were to submit a family recipe along with page or poem about the recipe. This Banana Cream Pie recipe came from one of those eighth graders and I have made it dozens of times since and it is a HUGE hit every time- takes about 10 minutes- so is great for get-togethers when time is scarce. You will need:

    One graham cracker crust, package of vanilla instant pudding (calls for whole milk, Nilla wafers, 2 ripe bananas, Cool Whip.

    1. Slice bananas in 1/2 or 1/4 inch slices and cover the bottom of the pie crust with those banana slices
    2. Follow instructions for instant pudding and cover the bananas with a layer of pudding (about 1/2).
    3. Follow with a layer of Nilla Wafers and cover with the rest of the pudding.
    4. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (I usually chill it until I am going to serve and then top it)
    4. Top the pie with Cool Whip.

    • Musette says:

      If I make this, El O and the cub will build a shrine to you! ;))

      xo >-)

      • waftbycarol says:

        LOL…the first time I ever watched paula Deen she made this , and I doubted her credibility as a cook !!
        The captain loves it , but it makes my teeth ache to even think about it !

        • helenviolette says:

          Paula Deen! I probably would not have made it at all- but at the end of our cookbook unit- we had a party and the kids brought their dishes and we had fun trying them out. This was by far the biggest fan favorite!

      • helenviolette says:

        Make it! You will not be disappointed!

  • Julie says:

    What a great idea! I will email recipes for my 2 of my favorite recipes (Orzo salad and strawberry rhubarb pie with easy crust), but they aren’t old-timey. I have some recipes my Mom gave me, but they aren’t particularly traditional. Will have to see if she has any of Grandma’s!

    • Ann says:

      Wow — rhubarb! Love that stuff and the pie sounds wonderful. Don’t get much of it down here in the South, but it is divine.

      • Musette says:

        Julie –

        For one second….just one, insane second….I thought you were making an orzo salad with strawberry rhubarb pie filling. 😕

        I am not a well person these days, obviously. 8-|

        xoxoxo >-)

      • tammy says:

        Mercy sakes, Ann, what part of the South are you in that doesn’t have rhubarb pie?

        • Musette says:

          I was going to ask that very thing!

          xo >-)

          • waftbycarol says:

            Rhubarb does not grow in warm climates , and is very difficult to find on any restaurant menu . BUT Publix Grocery usually has frozen rhubarb that works very well in any pie recipe .
            In my family , it is forbidden to adulterate our rhubarb pie with strawberries …my recipe is a rhubarb custard with eggs and lemon juice and tapioca that caresses the tart rhubarb with creamy sweet pudding . In a buttery two crust pie , it is sublime .
            Will e-mail it to Musette .

          • tammy says:

            I’ll be darned….I grew up in Georgia, and rhubarb was perennial for us! It died out when it got hot, but we had tons of it. I have no trouble growing it Arkansas, either, and my Aunt Lila has a whole row of it in Texas.

            And I am pretty sure you can get rhubarb pie at House of Pies in Houston, though admittedly I never asked if they used frozen rhubarb.

          • Julie says:

            I believe it just needs a frost to grow, so as long as it gets cold-ish in the winter, it is fine. Over here in San Diego, there’s no frost so no rhubarb, but our grocery stores will occasionally get some fresh from elsewhere.

          • jen says:

            I just made some stewed rhubarb like my mother made, taking hours–two minutes in the micriwave with some splenda and lemon juice added.

  • Mother Courreges says:

    Actually Musette, it’s Potatoes Francine, not Francine’s Potatoes; and believe me, I did NOT name them!

    I’m salivating right now over these recipes and at risk for shorting out my keyboard….

    • Musette says:

      My darling!!! Sincere apollergies for the misnaming.

      Hey, everybody! It’s the vaunted Francine! Of Potatoes Francine!!!!!

      Fabulous Francine ^:)^

      And I don’t care WHO named them – they named them well!

      Here’s that recipe, everybody: gotta share RIGHT NOW:

      Potatoes Francine

      For this recipe, just increase quantities / for a few or for a crowd.

      Red or white potatoes, washed and dried (peeled if you wish)

      2 cups heavy whipping cream

      1 package boursin cheese (any flavor except the fig).
      Garlic/Herb or Cracked black pepper work very well.


      Fresh minced garlic and/or herbs (optional)

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees

      Grease a gratin dish well with the butter.

      In a heavy saucepan over a very low flame, heat the cream and the boursin cheese stirring until completely incorporated.

      Slice the potatoes very thin and place one overlapping layer in the gratin dish. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and garlic/herbs if using. Ladle the cheese/cream mix just to cover the layer lightly. Repeat several times until top of dish is reached. Make sure there is enough cream mixture to completely cover all layers including the top one.

      Bake for at least an hour, usually more; top should be dark golden brown and everything should be bubbling like mad.

      Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

      Using extra garlic, cracked black pepper or fresh chopped herbs on each layer really kicks the flavor up. Let whichever boursin flavor you are using be your guide. I also try to find heavy whipping cream that has not been ultrapasturized, as I think the flavor is better. Just remember not to take it out of the oven too soon; the potatoes should be tender with no “raw” taste.

      …..I don’t care that it’s 1 billion degrees outside. I’m ready to fire up the oven RIGHT NOW!

      xoxo >-)

  • rosarita says:

    Oh, this is a great idea. I am pretty much a world class eater and I love old fashioned recipes – remember all those jello *salads* that showed up at family reunions and church basement potlucks? Chock full of canned fruit and maybe a token showing of grated carrot, topped with a cream cheese/cool whip combo. Yum.

    Your fried corn sounds delish, Ms A, although I truly hate cutting the corn off the cob. Brings back memories of a stifling hot kitchen full of corn silk, cutting corn to can or freeze (we always had a big garden, with about half planted to sweet corn.) That canned corn sure was wonderful in the winter, though.

    Here’s one of my favorite summer recipes, my mom’s refrigerator pickles, as written. I use less sugar. Cram everything onto the slicer blade of a food processor and these are ready in minutes.

    1 quart thinly sliced cucumbers (preferably the long, thin uncoated type)
    1 cup thinly sliced onion
    3 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp celery seed
    1 cup cider vinegar
    2 cups sugar

    Combine the cukes & onions in a large bowl & sprinkle with the salt and celery seed. Mix it up with your hands so everything gets coated. Combine the vinegar & sugar in a saucepan and heat to a low boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the cucumber & onions; stir well. Let cool, then store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Keeps for three months.

    • Musette says:

      those pickles sound delish – I’m going to make them, once I get some cukes from the farmer down the road.

      I hear you on the corn. Corn prep is a true pain, innit? But come Thanksgiving, that sweet, golden goodness will definitely be appreciated. I spent years of my young life in thrall to the summer corn. This evening was only 2 dozen. Tomorrow will be 2 dozen more.


      But come winter…… 😡

      xo >-)

  • FragrantWitch says:

    This is a genius idea! I have an fabulous cake recipe that uses grated courgettes, rice flour and ground almonds with a lemony icing. No-one EVER guesses it is so healthy. Also, a feta salsa and rosemary flat-breads from one of my favourite blogs.

    Thanks Musette!

    • Cheryl G. says:

      Things to do:

      Make the fried corn

      Make the double frosting cake (gotta find someone with a birthday to ease the guilt?- Nah!)

      Make the FragrantWitch’s cake. Please share the recipe.

      Sorry, no Jello for me.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    I’ve got a chocolate cake recipe with – hedonist that I am – has two frostings, both of which you spoon over the cake while hot. A vanilla buttercream and a chocolate ganache. True story…my Dad used to work with Navy guys when my parents lived in Maine thirty-odd years ago. He came home with a recipe from one of the guys, whose wife had made a cake for work and Dad just loved. So mom made it and brought it to a church potluck. It was a hit there, too. One of the ladies asked mom where she got the recipe. She, in her innocence, responded, “Oh, honey got it from a magazine called PlayBoy!” Crazy Cake has been a family favorite ever since. It was even the grooms’ cake at my brother’s wedding!

  • tmp00 says:

    Mayonnaise. If you’ve ever had fresh, home-made mayo you will spurn even Hellman’s (Best Foods out here) as a poor substitute. and it’s so easy to make you won’t believe it.

    • Yep, Tom. Homemade mayo. Learned it at my mother’s shoulder (she was too short to have me learn it at her knee.) Great for artichokes.

      Meanwhile, I have a stellar chocolate cake–that contains 2 cups of fresh, cooked beets.