Food for Taught

Locals Share Their Favorites from Mom’s Kitchen

Eugenia Uhl Photographs

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There has never been another biscuit quite like my mother’s. And I’ve never liked another version of chicken and dumplings, the dish I always requested on my birthday, as well as hers. Is that because she set the standard in my brain long ago? Or were hers really the best?

I don’t know and probably never well. But one thing I do know is that I’m not alone.

I picked a few local celebrities to talk about their mothers’ cooking, and they all say the same thing. “My mom’s was the best.” Stuffed bell peppers, lemon pie, shepherd’s pie, red beans and rice, tortilla soup, corn and shrimp soup – it didn’t matter what it was; it was the best.

The magical part is that many of us still pull out those old recipes, if they exist on paper, on holidays for a taste of that feel-good eating that not only tickles our taste buds but also stirs up wonderful memories of childhood and the great Sunday or holiday meals that were part of mom’s spread.

I can’t say that my mom’s chicken and dumplings could one-up Emeril’s chicken Clemenceau – but they run a close second.

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