A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


That’s semolina to you. Grandpa’s grain elevator in North Dakota in the 1940s through the 1960s dealt with “spring wheat” and “winter wheat,” along with rye, flax, oats, soybeans, and corn. Spring wheat was usually the hard durum variety which is especially prized for pasta.

The reason I’m bringing this up is: we had a nostalgic dish tonight that was one of the first things I learned to cook as a 20-year-old bride. I picked up a free recipe pamphlet from the North Dakota State Fair published by the Durum Council of America, and it has recipes I still use for macaroni and cheese, sausage and macaroni casserole, spaghetti with meatballs, and other hearty and unfashionable things. The pamphlet recipes are professionally written and edited. Although it’s from the sixties, there is no cream of mushroom soup in evidence, and in fact the only processed ingredients are canned tomatoes and mushrooms. Fat is everywhere, but the use of salt is reasonable. This has the bonus of being a one-pot meal that can be cooked on a camp stove.

Here’s the original recipe. Of course I now modify it to use less meat, light sour cream, no sugar, more spices, and so forth.

Mexican Macaroni Sausage Casserole (as opposed to my regular vegetarian one)

1 pound pork sausage
¾ cup diced onion
¾ cup chopped green pepper
1 large can (1 pound 13 ounces) tomatoes
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces elbow macaroni

In large skillet, brown sausage, onion, and green pepper. Drain off excess fat. Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, sugar, chili powder, and salt. Add macaroni. Cover skillet and simmer about 30 minutes, or until macaroni is tender.

Oh, and here’s a fun web page:


1 comment:

Eva said...

I'd never considered until this post and our recent conversation how much we are a wheat family. Do you still have that bookshelf made from the wood inside Grandpa's grain elevator?