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Even if your mom isn’t the best cook in the world, I have no doubt in my mind that there is at least one thing she makes that, if nothing else, reminds you of growing up.

For me, it’s my mother’s meatloaf. The smell of it baking in the oven on a chilly winter evening is like being transported back to my youth, and no matter how many times I try making it myself, it’s never quite the same.

These 20 people are sharing the dishes that their mom just knocks out of the park, and I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside about it!

20. I’m drooling a little bit.

Leche flan. Even the stuff from the local Filipino bakery is spongey scrambled eggs compared to my mom’s. Thick, smooth custard. No bubbles.

Her secret ingredient is the tiniest splash of lemon extract. Sometimes she’ll put a layer of flan on top of cassava cake (shredded cassava cooked with macapuno coconut). Lord, so good.

19. There’s no such thing as too much butter.

Sticky toffee pudding.

Could be something to do with the full pound of butter she uses, but who can say.

18. At least you know why she married you.

My mother is from the Philippines. Her adobo is something magical and out of this world. When my wife is mad at me she says the only reason she married into the family was so that she could eat my mom’s adobo.

I somehow forgot to mention her lumpia. Oh lord, her lumpia is something I could eat several times my own bodyweight in.

17. Ooh, please tell me more.

My mom makes the best carrot cake in the universe. Hands down. It’s her own recipe, hybridized from two different recipes she had long ago. It’s like no other carrot cake I’ve ever had. I have it every year for my birthday, she has even shipped it to me unassembled (icing in a jar, cake layers wrapped in wax paper and foil) when I lived far away. I estimate I’ve eaten this cake at least 50 -60 times in my 43 years on the planet, sometimes we make it for her birthday too it’s so good.

Editing to add that she cooked and baked a ton all throughout my childhood, and still does a fair amount. Many other things she makes are great too (her meatloaf and her chicken & dumplings are on point… pumpkin pie is amazeballs…) but if I had to pick one stellar winner it is the cake of carrots.

16. I’m willing to adopt it.

My mom’s lumpia shanghai is literally Filipino crack and no one can convince me otherwise. She has a few secret ingredients and no one else’s recipe comes close

Another note: It’s wild to me that Pinoy food isn’t as widely popular in the States. I’ve made that argument before, but if Filipinos are the third fastest growing Asian group in the States (behind Chinese and Indian) why isn’t Filipino restaurants as widely available / popular as say Thai restaurants.

It’s criminal to me since Pinoy food is so good too.

15. This is quite an endorsement.

I married into a Ukrainian family and my mother in law and wife make potato/cheese perogies for christmas and thanksgiving each year from scratch and there’s nothing like them.

You think you like perogies and then you have a homemade one and suddenly you can hear colours.

14. Tell me more.

Pupusas. A Salvadoran dish.

Absolutely delish. It’s like a flat tamale.

13. Insult to injury.

Gumbo.

My mom made the absolute best gumbo and I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to get it right because she never wrote down the recipe for me before she died despite me practically begging her to do so.

God I miss her (and her gumbo!)

12. I like all kinds.

Chocolate chip cookies!

From a recipe passed down from HER mom. So many happy memories of three of us generations making those cookies all together ; )

Always baked perfectly medium rare. She had a specific cookie scooper that she always used. After she died, my dad rested her beloved cookie scooper on top of her urn.

11. That’s just petty.

My great grandma was a renowned candy maker and wouldn’t write down any of her recipes either. “My recipes will die with me.”

I don’t understand why people do that? Let us remember you and carry on your legacy 🙁

10. A labor of love.

Not my mom, but my grandma makes the best fried chicken EVER.

I won’t eat any other fried chicken except for hers bc all the others just disappoint me.

9. I don’t know why I love this story but I do.

So my great-grandmother never wrote down her recipes either and her big thing was always banana nut bread. It’s a staple in my family. Like, every holiday, there’s at least a half a dozen loaves laying around to get munched on.

Memaw DID end up writing her banana bread recipe down before she passed and gave a copy to her daughter and DIL and each of her granddaughters.

But she wrote a different version for each person. Which like, okay weird, but she was old and never measured anything and just eyeballed it. So.. alright.

The kicker is she told each person she gave a recipe to that “Now, I gave you the REAL one because you were always my favorite. Don’t tell anyone else.”

And then she DIED and all the granddaughters compared notes on their recipes one Christmas and figured out she told them all the same thing about being the favorite and we still don’t know which recipe is the a real one or if there even is a real one or which one is closest.

8. Oooh I need that second recipe like yesterday.

My mom makes hands down the absolute best lasagna ever, and she can almost perfectly recreate the rice, noodles, and steak from hibachi restaurants.

7. When you just can’t choose.

Honestly…everything.

That woman’s like a mad scientist in the kitchen. She’ll f*ck around and experiment, turn out some really weird/gross/downright obscene stuff from time to time, and just figure out what works.

And the process ends with something that you imagine the gods would eat on Olympus.

6. It’s the homemade sauce that does it.

My mom’s lasagna was the best too! She would make homemade spaghetti sauce, from fresh tomatoes + cans of tomato paste, then cook the meatballs in the sauce, scooping the grease off the top over the course of the day.

She would also parboil italian sausage. When the sausage and meatballs were cooked she would slice them into 1/2 inch pieces. Then she would make the lasagna with alternating layers of sausage, meatballs and ricotta cheese.

All of us kids always requested this for our birthday dinner!

5. Wow, so can mine!

My Mum can make the single best roast potatoes I’ve ever had.

4. Can’t beat a good soup.

Vegetable soup with small meatballs. Was a recipe from my grandmother who learned it from her mother who again learned it from her mother (the meatballs came later it used to just be vegetable soup). Its good in all seasons and when smelling it it instantly transports my mind to when I was a small kid going to grandma for the weekend.

I have learned how to do it but my mother says it will taste better once you pour some extra love for your kids and grandkids into the soup. Don’t have kids so I’ll have to wait to find out.

3. A sweet legacy.

My late mother was a fantastic cook–which I didn’t realize or appreciate until I grew up and left home. She didn’t like baking very much and rarely did it, but she was a great cook.

But the one thing she had been making for 60 years and could do it blindfolded & in her sleep was Chocolate Roll–a mixture of egg whites & egg yolks beaten & mixed with cocoa & powdered sugar, then baked in a jelly roll pan, spread with sweetened whipped cream when cool, rolled up & frosted w/a light chocolate frosting. It resembles a large Hostess Ho-Ho.

Most delicious treat in the world. I try to make one every other week to put a smile on my dad’s face, but mine will never come out looking as good as my mom’s (but it still tastes great).

2. Or the not having to do it yourself.

Literally everything.

Even toast.

I think it’s the love.

1. I guess it’s the love that’s missing.

Banana bread.

I use the same recipe and it just isn’t the same.

Miss you Mum x

Now I’m hungry!

What’s the dish you ask your mom to make every time you go home? Let’s keep taking yummy stuff in the comments.


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