Tradition is the foundation of my kitchen. So many dishes come from ones cooked by my grandmothers while I watched with starry eyes. Over the years I have added to my recipe collection but I have always held dear our family favorites. They may not be the fanciest (think egg noodles with cottage cheese or chopped meat and scrambled eggs!) but we love them none the less. Today would have marked my Great Grandma Zam’s 108th birthday. She’ll be celebrating in heaven but she’s still in our hearts and in my kitchen.
They say that dishes get “flavored” through use and this is one of my favorite ones. I can’t count the number of casseroles, meatballs, lasagnas, and so on that have been baked in this dish but I do know that everything I make in it always seems a bit more magical. It was a staple in Grandma’s kitchen and now in mine. I’ll cook in it for my children as she did for hers. With trusted Elsie and Elmer by its side, anything I make, can’t go wrong. So remembering my Grandmother and wishing her the happiest of birthday’s, it may not be exact, but here’s the Conti households’ Grandma Zam’s Macaroni and Beef.