Thursday, September 20, 2012
My wife Pam has lots of cookbooks.
But one is her favorite.
It’s titled, “Favorite Recipes of Momma Jean.”
It was composed by a special lady, Jean Allmond, who we met in 1991 when we moved to Aberdeen as a young married couple. Many of her relatives and friends shared their recipes for the cookbook, which was published in 1995.
Last Thursday we went back to Aberdeen for Momma Jean’s funeral visitation. She died September 12 at the age of 78.
It was a reunion with a group of people we truly love – the Allmond family – our church family in Aberdeen and many more friends.
It’s a place dear to our hearts. We spent eight years there. We moved to Aberdeen when Emma was just a few months old, and Andy was born while we lived there.
Our memories of the city in Monroe County are wonderful ones. And many of those focus on the Allmonds.
They welcomed our family with open arms. They made us feel as though we had lived there forever. And our love for them grew and grew.
Once, our electricity was off at our house for an extended period. Tom and Jean invited us over. They had electricity, just a few blocks away.
It was an afternoon we will always cherish – particularly Pam.
That’s when she learned how to make Momma Jean’s award-winning chili. We’ve been eating it ever since.
It includes – three pounds ground beef, three cans Campbell’s tomato soup, three soup cans water, two cans dark red kidney beans, one and a half cups chopped onion (about three medium-size), six tablespoons flour, one tablespoon salt, five tablespoons chili powder, two tablespoons oil.
“Heat in large skillet two tablespoons oil; add onion and cook until transparent, occasionally moving and turning with a spoon. Add ground beef, stirring constantly until browned, breaking into small pieces with fork or spoon. Add soup and kidney beans. Make paste of flour, salt, chili powder and one soup can of water. Add remaining water and simmer for one hour.”
I know lots of great cooks. But none are better than Momma Jean.
She was one of those ladies who you found out what she made for the potluck lunch at church and you rushed to the start of the line so you’d be sure and get some.
But most of all, what I will remember about Momma Jean, was her great love for her husband Tom, her children, grandchildren and her extended family, which we like to think included the Burlesons.
The first recipe in Momma Jean’s cookbook is called “A Happy Home Recipe.”
The ingredients are – four cups of love, two cups of loyalty, three cups of forgiveness, one cup of friendship, five spoons of hope, two spoons of tenderness, four quarts of faith and one barrel of laughter.
“Take love and loyalty; mix it thoroughly with faith. Blend it with tenderness, kindness and understanding. Add friendship and hope; sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake it with sunshine. Serve daily in generous helpings.”
Momma Jean’s passing is a great loss to her family and friends. But smiles were plentiful Thursday as we remembered her life and her examples.
She lived the “Happy Home Recipe” to the fullest.
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