Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two Stories of Frugality

When my parents were entertaining, my mom would cook a whole brisket. In butcher jargon, a brisket is made up of two separate muscles which are sold together or separately. The lean "first or flat cut" is more expensive and the fattier "second cut or deckel" is cheaper.

Mom would cook the whole brisket and use the first, more expensive, leaner piece to serve company. She would slice the second, fattier, cheaper piece, smother it in B-B-Q sauce, and serve it to the family for dinner later in the week. While it was never spoken, I believe she served it in B-B-Q sauce so we couldn't see how fatty the meat really was. Either way, it was delicious!

Periodically we would visit my Great Grandmother Lee. We were not really close to her because when my Grandmother Lillian's husband died, Great Grandmother Lee's son, the Lee Family cut off my Grandmother from any inheritance and basically disowned her because she had been diagnosed Manic/Depressive.

Great Grandma Lee would serve us milk and poppy seed cookies. I have the recipe she used and still make them now and then. The interesting part is that she used a small glass to cut the cookies into rounds. Apparently she used the "rounds" for her better company because the cookies my family got were always the bits and pieces of the baked, leftover dough that had traces of the round glass, but we never saw a full cookie.

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