Staffers' Picks: The Best Recipes We Learned from Our Grandmas
They all get the "made with love" stamp of approval.
Cream Scones with Currants
My grandmother (still kicking in her late '90s!) is from Wales. She moved to Canada after World War II to marry my grandfather, whom she met when he was injured and she a wartime nurse. My grandmother is an excellent cook and baker, but when I think of all her delicious recipes, the very first one that pops into my head are her scones (SKAH-ns, if you are from up North). Studded with currants — not raisins — and moistened with a bit of cream, these were the go-to choice for an afternoon tea break with the family. When my family moved away, my mother took over making these flaky, buttery scones as an afternoon treat, and when I went to college, she sent me off with the recipe. I used to hate the currants and beg my mother to leave them out, but she insisted they stay in and would eat the ones I picked out off of my plate. These happy memories still bring a smile to my face. This isn’t my family’s recipe, but it’s pretty darn similar. Pop these in the oven and put the kettle on!
- Melissa Gaman, Recipe Developer
Lemon Meringue Pie
I inherited a lot of important things from my grandmother, including her name and older-sister authority — and her lemon meringue pie recipe. My grandma made the best, and her secret was super-flaky homemade pie crust. She had a metal-topped worktable where she’d roll out her crust, which I think was her trick because the surface could hold the low temp for as long as it took to get the perfect 12-inch round. Her crimps around the edges were always perfectly even and baked to a beautiful golden brown. It may have looked like a bakery pie, but one bite and there was no mistaking the love that went into it. On her last Christmas with us, I made her lemon meringue pie and Grandma ate two slices — hers and mine. Honestly, I don’t blame her; it’s that good. It’s one of my final and favorite memories with her. A reminder that life is short, so hug the ones you love and, seriously, just eat the pie.
- T.K. Brady, senior editor
Hearty Meat Sauce
My Grandma Neal was a great cook! She grew up on a farm in Independence, Kentucky, where Southern, homestyle cooking was all she knew, and everything was made with a lot of love. One dish that she made often for us when I was growing up was a classic ground beef and tomato sauce. I don’t have the exact recipe, but it’s similar to this Hearty Meat Sauce version from Food Network Kitchen. It was perfect tossed in spaghetti and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It’s a homey recipe that will always remind me of her.
- Amanda Neal, Recipe Developer
Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Every summer growing up, we visited my grandparents in Mississippi — and we would almost always end up going blueberry picking. My grandmother would take these blueberries along with fresh summer peaches and cook them down into a simple compote that we would put over pancakes, ice cream, you name it. It just tastes like summertime.
- Sarah Holden, Digital Culinary Producer
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
My grandma always has a big plastic container — not her actual cookie jar, mind you, because it's way too small — filled with dozens of cookies on her kitchen counter. I don't think it's actually possible for anyone to walk into her house and not eat a cookie (or two). Her chocolate chip cookies, always soft and chewy and studded with the ideal number of sweet chocolate chips, are my personal favorite. Every time I eat a chocolate chip cookie, 5-year-old me is right back in her small kitchen, helping stir cookie batter, watching my pa sneak a bite of raw dough and Mama genially scolding him. Despite all those baking sessions, though, I am known for baking super flat and crispy cookies that everyone eats but no one really craves. But Mama Hynes' cookies are never anything but perfect, basically just like her.
- Meghan Hynes Cole, Associate Editor
Once a year, my grandma will make a huge batch of her homemade dumplings to give to all her children and grandchildren. The flavors of garlic, ginger and scallions blend together so nicely when wrapped into each pork dumpling. They're the best I've ever tasted, but maybe because it's a novelty for us when she makes them and that's what makes them special.
- Lauren Tom, Associate Content Producer
Pecan Crescent Cookies
As a kid, I spent every summer visiting my grandparents in California and have fond memories of all the food my grandma would make for the family. She was known for her baking and always had homemade cookies at the ready for us to enjoy. My favorite to this day are her pecan rolls dusted in confectioners' sugar, similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies and Pecan Crescent Cookies (pictured above). Baking these cookies always brings me back to my childhood.
- Katherine Lok, Culinary Fellow, Editorial
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