i’ve got wings. from my mom.


Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box sat lonely on my kitchen counter while I once again drowned myself in another summer of school’s out. With kids home full-time, the blogosphere disappears for me. I even wrote about it a few years ago (see?). But deLizious is nothing if not tenacious and I’m finally here to write up a recipe I baked up months ago.

If you’re new here, click on the first link (or here) for background on why Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box is important to me. Sweet or savory, comfort food or something surprising, her recipes are a window into the past and into the life of a woman I only partly knew.

Helen’s recipes represent what was on the tables of folks from the 1940s-1980s or so and these chicken wings – while not especially innovative today – were pushing the culinary envelope back in the day.chicken-wings-recipe.jpg.jpeg

Another recipe credited to Peg B. (my mom!), this one stands out in that is typed. On a typewriter. Except for the scribble about using chicken breasts cut in half and baking longer, and my mom’s name, it’s a lovely little easy-to-read scrap of paper with a few food stains.

Already a fan of DIY chicken wings, I bought the wings, made my own bread crumbs by grinding stale bread and dried Italian herbs in the food processor,breadcrumbs.jpg and made it happen.wings.jpg

The process brought back memories of my mom making Shake ‘N Bake chicken when my brother and I were younger. When asked about this recipe, she remembered it as something she pulled out when feeding larger groups at family parties. Which illustrates well the age-old cooking standard of using recipes when there’s time (weekends, parties, etc) and relying more on convenience fare (Shake ‘N Bake!) when feeding a family during the week.

Though this recipe comes from Helen’s box, to me it was more a study of my mom and her role in the kitchen as a working mother. I wasn’t overly interested in what happened in the kitchen. (Strange that I went on to build my life around food, recipes, and cooking.) From-scratch meals appeared on our table daily and even if my brother or I turned our noses up (Seeing the onions in the spaghetti sauce was too much for me. Now I love that sauce. Meatloaf and roasts were also low on my Like list. Love them both now.), we ate well.

The measure of success in my mom cooking meals for us even after a full day’s work is in part that my brother and I never thought much of it. We were fed and we never wondered that we might not be or that not everyone was. For that, I thank you mom. You’ve never put yourself in the spotlight for what you do. You just get it done and, Nike slogan aside, there’s lots to learn from that.

So the wings then.chicken-wings-with-bbq-sauce.jpg.jpeg

They’re easy to throw together, go well with barbecue sauce, and are tasty and fun to eat. Better yet, they stir up (happy and contented) memories of early childhood. What’s not to like?

We’ll move on to the over-21 crowd next week as we find a suitable sipper for these nostalgic chicken wings. Be there or be square.

12 thoughts on “i’ve got wings. from my mom.

  1. I can almost hear how crunchy they would be, leaning in for that first bite! What a great post about your memories of your mom. Of course, when we’re young, we take all that for granted. My main dinner memories are of Ramen and green beans LOL, so your dinners sound great. Although, like you, I will admit I couldn’t stand meatloaf as a child. And as far as roasts, I started one this morning (it’s wafting upstairs right now) but I have zero memories of eating roast as a kid. Beef ain’t cheap. And there’s never any leftovers. Looking at Aunt Helen’s recipe. I fear that it could tear or get spills on it. Then I think you should laminate it–but it would lose all its charm.

    Last night, I pounded chicken cutlets but just used Progresso bread crumbs on them. We don’t have a food processor, but I give you props for grinding your own bread and herbs. The elbow grease pays off.

    • Funny how our tastes change as we age. They become more sophisticated, yes? 😉 Progresso bread crumbs are genius. Just didn’t have any on my shelf. My fave is the panko at Costco.

      I remember my mom’s roasts and how they were so stringy, but now I get it that they were just fall-apart tender. And stir-fry night was crazy wild as she stirred veggies and chicken together in an electric skillet. Sooooo ethnic.

  2. oh, i remember shake and bake so well, and i remember my mom being so excited about it too – this chicken wing recipe was ahead of it’s time, she was a trendsetter )

  3. Welcome back, Liz! Homemade shake-n-bake tops the chicken wings. I love the history of your family in this one. We lived in cow country growing up and rarely ate chicken unless it came from KFC.

    I love what you did with this one. Can’t wait to read what the “beverage” will be.

  4. Ah, I remember shake ‘n bake too! Those were the days! What a fantastic recipe to have form your mom. I’ve never been much of a wing fan, though. Think it’s mainly because of the mess and low meat to bone ration that being said as I type josh is frying up some wings right now. He smoked them yesterday and is frying today, a new experiment we’re all excited about.


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