My mother-in-law, the Barefoot Contessa, has been visiting us for the past week or so, and we've been enjoying some of her cooking. It's been really nice because this is our busiest time of the year, with the beginning of school and both girls in soccer, etc. Let's just say that I'm getting really tired of fast food.
Last week the Contessa made her famous Beef Stroganoff for us, and Zoe Bug especially was in Heaven. I'm glad I have at least one kid who likes mushrooms because not even Peanut Head will touch them.
This recipe is one that the family has been begging the Contessa to write down for ages. You know how some people are about their recipes. "Oh you know, a little of this, a little of that. I don't really know what all the measurements are. I just throw it all together. Anyone can do it. It's nothing really."
And then, Heaven forbid they take the recipe with them to the grave. It's a crime.
My great grandmother, Nano, made this unbelievable coffee cake when I was growing up, and when she died there was no recipe. It makes me sad to think about it. I remember Nano wearing her faded apron, dusted with flour, carefully forming the dough into a round loaf. I even remember the way the dough tasted when I snuck little pinches of dough off it, before it went into the oven, and I can still smell it. When the coffee cake came out of the oven, Nano would let the kids have a cup of coffee to dip it in. It was awesome.
Hey, it was the 70s. People didn't wear seat belts. Kids smoked candy cigarettes. We drank lots of Kool-Aid. We lived dangerously.
Well, we're not going to let the Contessa take this recipe to the other side with her, hopefully sometime in the very distant future. When the Contessa caved to our demands to make her Stroganoff this week, I insisted that she let Zoe Bug write down all the steps and ingredients so we could finally get it down on a recipe card.
And now here I am, spreading it all over the internet for her. You're welcome, Contessa.