My Dad was Born on Cinco De Mayo - The 5th of May
Dad passed away in 2001 - just 6 weeks after 9/11/2001, he would have been 90 on May 5th 2014.
This is how we decorated my living room with the big flowers made from tissue paper that Mom and I made. I saved the flowers and put them up each year.
My Dad was Born on Cinco De Mayo - The 5th of May
My Dad was born May 5, 1924. Dad always loved Mexican food. Growing up part of his years as a young man in San Francisco he loved Mexican food.
There was a Mexican restaurant where he went and was friends with the Frank Garcia family. I think it was called the Sinaloa Restaurant in San Francisco in the Mission District where we lived.
Every year on his Birthday he would stop by after work and Dad would place the order and they would make a covered metal tray of various Mexican entrees for the whole family dinner. What an awesome treat to have the restaurant food come home to us! This is way before take out!
Back then in the 1950's and 1960's in our neighborhood you could get Chinese to go, but not much else unless, like us, you knew a family that would prepare the food like that to bring home and keep warm in the metal steamer tray. Mom would send the tray back with Dad for the next time we got a meal from them a few times a year.
For Dad's Mexican meals Mom got the recipe for the basic Spanish rice and adapted it to suit the family tastes. She made it mild and Dad had his bottle of Tabasco sauce that he would add to it.
We celebrated his Birthday every year with a Mexican meal with all his favorites. I know potato salad is not a Mexican food, but it was his favorite - so that is what we had. We actually had it at every main gathering!
Dad's Birthday Menu
As the years went by, we moved out of San Francisco to Marin county north of the city. Mom still cooked all the food and Dad made the potato salad. Mom made a cake or his favorite Lemon Meringue Pie.
When I started cooking as an adult I made Enchiladas and Lady Baltimore cake we added to the menu. Prior to my baking the Lady Baltimore cakes we got them from the bakery.
1. Spanish Rice and Cheese Enchiladas [recipes below]
2. Salsa and tortilla chips
3. My Dad's Potato salad [recipe below]
4. Green salad with Dad's Thousand island dressing [dressing suggestion recipe below]
5. Olives, pickles, celery, carrots and dip
6. Lemon Meringue Pie or Mom's cake or bakery cake.
6. Later, my Lady Baltimore cake with the whip cream topping [recipes below]
7. Plain vanilla ice cream
My Recipes added
As I learned how to make Enchiladas in the early 80's we added that. I learned how to make the Lady Baltimore Cake in the late 70's that was added to the menu.
My youngest daughter will make Spanish Rice with Brown or Jasmine Rice now with no meat. She makes this for our Mexican burritos. We will have Mission Chips or corn chips, salsa, and Guacamole she makes by hand. She will make some taco seasoned ground beef on the side for those who want it. She has all the ingredients and some big flour tortillas set out with all the fixings such as refried beans, shredded cheese, black beans added to a cooked mix of greens such as Kale, with bell and sweet peppers and onion and garlic. They do not care for sour cream, or tomatoes or lettuce in their burritos. We each get what we want and add it to the tortillas. I use white corn flour [Masa] tortillas that are heated to crisp in the microwave. I like black sliced olives in my burrito. They use flour tortillas uncooked. The heat of the food heats up the flour tortillas for them.
Happy Cinco de Mayo
Dad passed away in 2001 - just 6 weeks after 9/11 - September 11, 2001. Dad would have been 90 on May 5th 2014.
Dad's favorite Spanish rice
Mom cooked this as a main meal rather than a side dish. Omit the meat to make it a Vegan recipe.
My Mom's Spanish rice
Ingredients for Spanish rice
3 - 8 oz cans Tomato sauce
1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
24 oz water
4 tbsp Olive oil, or Vegetable
1 large Yellow onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked rice, any kind
1 clove Garlic, chopped - more if you wish
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 Bell Pepper any color, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Marjoram
1 1/2 pounds Ground meat, beef or other
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: makes 4 cups
Instructions for cooking Spanish Rice
Chop all vegetables and saute in oil until the vegetables look opaque, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cook meat until no longer pink, drain and set aside.
In large Dutch oven or other pot add cooked drained meat, [skip meat for Vegan], vegetables and all the other ingredients except the rice.
Simmer, covered 15 minutes. Add rice and cook low covered for additional 35 minutes or until rice is done. You can cook in oven at 300 degrees at the point where the rice is added until done.
My Dad's favorite condiments:
Tabasco Original Sauce, Del Monte Ketchup and Best Foods Mayonnaise.
Dad's Basic formula - Potato Salad
This recipe was developed in the 1950's before they told us that too much cholesterol was not good for you.
You can make this recipe and use less Mayonnaise. You can also substitute some fat free sour cream for most of the mayonnaise and it comes out really good. I have tried all tofu as well as all Greek yogurt. It does not taste very good with the tofu, I have tried it and I did not like it. The best is a few spoonfuls of each Mayonnaise, sour cream and then use the remainder of your formula to be Greek Yogurt. You can add the mustard, vinegar and spices to the formula of the 'dressing' in advance and it will flavor the dressing. You can do this the day before. For Vegans - your choice of dressing.
My brother was allergic to eggs and Mom made a potato salad and a macaroni salad with vegetable oil and vinegar using the same ingredients as above sans eggs and Mayonnaise.
Dad's Basic Potato Salad
10 pounds Russet Potatoes [He always made a BIG batch]
8 to 12 Hard boiled eggs, 8 jumbo or 12 regular
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Bell pepper, chopped
2 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
Total Time: 3+ hours
Serves: 10 to 20
Instructions for my Dad's Potato Salad
This is the old basic recipe. Dad adapted it as time went by.
He used Best Foods Mayonnaise only! He used Wesson Vegetable oil only. He only used Russet potatoes. He used white vinegar until Mom started to by Apple Cider vinegar in the late 70's. He used the yellow onions and basic green bell peppers.
Later he started to use the green onions. He preferred the yellow onions. He liked basic foods. I don't think Dad used any pepper.
Mom said she added some paprika on her salad after he made the salad. Dad showed me how he made his salad when I was an adult as I was there making the salad for my daughters pre-wedding dinner party.
He cooked the russets in water to cover about 20 minutes or until tender. He took the pan and sat it in the sink to cool off the potatoes in running cold water.
As soon as the potatoes were cool enough for him which was a lot sooner than for me - he showed me how to slip the skins off under running water!
All the time I wasted peeling all those years!
So with a paring knife he would cut out the dark spots or blemishes. Then he chopped up the potatoes into the largest Tupperware Mix and store container which is about 23-26 cups, if I remember correctly.
That was a lot of potato salad. The bowl was perfect fit for his 10 pounds of potatoes and all the other ingredients. Then he chopped up all the veggies, Mom did this also. Then added the veggies. He mixed it all up. Then he added the chopped hard boiled eggs. Then he added the mayonnaise, vinegar, oil and salt. Mixing all thoroughly.
Dad said the warm potatoes helped to make the dressing and oil permeate the potatoes better after it got cold for at least 12 hours.
Emeril Lagasse says 3 hours minimum on his website for this recipe. I would also make it the day before. If I could not wait, I would at least have some that night after 6 hours.
My version: When I started to make this salad I began to add more things to it. I add the following items in any combination:
chopped dill pickles or sweet or dill relish
small cooked shrimp - not canned
About 6 pieces of crispy cooked bacon broken in small pieces
Jicama finely chopped
garlic powder or minced garlic
parsley or cilantro fresh or dry
yellow mustard or Dijon Mustard
I would also make my salad from Red potatoes. I have made the salad from Yukon gold potatoes and that comes out fine as well. The basic salad as Dad made it is perfectly fine as is. I would always use a dozen regular size eggs. When I had my hens I could really tell how much better the salad was with my fresh eggs!
Dad's Thousand Island dressing
Dad's Secret Formula was these specific brands: Best Food's Mayonnaise, Del Monte Ketchup, French's Mustard, Wesson oil, Distilled White Vinegar, Dill pickle relish and Tabasco sauce. The amounts was the secret! But it was a great dressing for the basic salad. They used: Head Lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, chopped celery with the leaves, green onions and cucumber. My parents had this salad at the main meals. They never added any other ingredients into their salad. Dad would add a couple of spoonfuls of Mayonnaise to the top of the salad. Later when they learned that mayonnaise was not such a good condiment, he only used a tiny spoonful of the mayonnaise. He had a very hard time giving it up. The same with my Mom she still used the Mayonnaise until she stopped cooking for herself and only had it occasionally.
Sherry's Cheese and Green Chile Enchiladas
- Adapted from several recipes.
2 large 28 oz cans of Old El Paso Enchilada sauce
16 large Flour tortillas [You can use any kind of Tortilla]
1 large yellow red or white onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped [less if you like]
3 to 4 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 large can 27 oz of Ortega whole green Chiles
1 large 16 oz can Black sliced olives
1/4 cup fresh cilantro plus reserve leaves for garnish
1 cup sour cream
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 8 - 2 for each person
You can measure each of your items into 16 parts so you have equal cheese and onion mix. A muffin tin or two is great for this.
Rinse and slice the green chiles lengthwise for all 16 of the chiles. Set aside. Chop together the onion, garlic and cilantro. Reserve some sprigs of cilantro for garnish at serving time.
If your olives are whole slice the olives. Shred cheese if necessary. If you pre-warm the flour or corn tortilla for 10 seconds in the microwave they will bend easier and not break. Assemble the 16 tortillas in a large 13 X 11 x 4 or larger pan so that the tortillas are like a taco with the bottom flat to the pan. Add some cheese to each tortilla.
Add one sliced chile to each tortilla. Add a spoonful of onion, garlic and cilantro mix to each tortilla.
Add more cheese to each tortilla and 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce. Carefully roll up each tortilla. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the enchiladas. Add Enchilada sauce to the top of all the tortillas. I like to cover all of the tortillas.
Chop the remaining chiles and add to the top. Add sliced olives to the top. Cover with foil to seal. Bake 350 for 20 to 30 minutes
Keep covered until ready to serve then add some cilantro and dot with the sour cream.
Heat remaining Enchilada sauce for those who want more sauce.We found some whole grain flour tortillas that we really like and work nice for all our needs.
The Lady Baltimore Cake
My son 2nd Birthday and his Lady Baltimore cake [angled cake for photo]
My 2nd Daughter's 3rd Birthday - my Lady Baltimore Cake
Lady Baltimore Cake Recipe - White cake with whip cream topping and fruit on top and the middle
Traditional Lord and Lady Baltimore cakes were white cakes with a boiled frosting. Topped and filled with raisins, dates, figs and topped with some nuts. They marinated the fruit in Sherry wine.
I worked for a bakery in the 70's and the recipe she made she used the coconut, cherries, peaches and bananas. I have gone to bakeries that have had their cakes with the raspberry filling. I have even had one with the strawberries. I added the coconut of my own idea. You can use any kind of fruit combination.
Lady Baltimore Cake
Prep Time: 30 mins prep, 30-40 minutes bake
Total Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Serves: 12 to 18
Ingredients for Lady Baltimore Cake
1 Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Cake
3 egg whites for cake mix
1-1/4 Water for cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil for cake mix
Fruit for filling and topping
1 -15 oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1 medium size jar maraschino cherries, about 12 to 20 drained
12 oz unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup canned peaches, drained and diced
1 banana, ripe but not overly ripe
1/2 cup chopped nuts or Almond slices
Whipping Cream topping recipe
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold, 35-40% butterfat content)
1 or 2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix the cake according to directions. [You can use any white cake mix or white cake from scratch] Pour into a 9 inch x 13 inch pan that has been oiled and floured or lined with parchment paper. Bake 350 pre-heated oven 30 - 40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Check box for directions. Cake will be moist. Let cool. While cake is baking or before as you need a cool room, make the Whipped Cream Frosting. It is very helpful to have the cold room and to place your mixing bowl [preferably metal] and electric beater whisks in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. Add heavy cream to bowl and start machine on low speed. Then add vanilla adding sugar gradually. Slowly increase the speed to high to whip the heavy cream.Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups whipped cream.
After cake has cooled - assemble fruit that has been drained, coconut, chopped walnuts, and sliced banana. You can add the coconut to the outside and the inside.
Mark your cake with toothpicks sticking out the sides of the cake. Take dental floss holding it in both hands with a foot in between your hands. meet the center of the cake side like you are going to tie the floss. Place the floss above the tooth picks. Pull the floss through the cake to cut it lengthwise in a sawing motion. Place a thin cardboard between the layers and scoot the top layer on the cardboard.
The alternate method is to divide the batter and bake two pans of cake.
Frost the top of the one cake. Add banana, peach chunks and pineapple chunks at intervals in one layer. If you do not want any of this kind of fruit, you can use what kinds you want such as strawberries, and kiwi. As long as the fruit is dry, or well drained.
Add some of the whipped topping to cover the fruit. Carefully add the other half of the cake on the top. It is OK to use clean toothpicks to hold the layers together. Just let your guests know before hand. Add the remaining whip cream. Decorate the top with pineapple and cherries. Use your hand to add a layer of coconut to the side of the cake that has been frosted with the whip cream. Add chopped nuts to the top of the cake lightly. The nuts and coconut are optional. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. Be sure to cover any leftovers.
The Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Cake with Pudding in the mix is available at WalMart.
I Love you Dad! J.E.S. 1924 - 2001
This page is dedicated to my Dad. He would have been 90 on May 5, 2014