My dad died many years ago but starting the week before Father’s Day I tend to become a bit melancholy and I miss him. Not sad so much as it’s been a long time but savoring the memories of times gone by. Some of my favorite recipes are in his handwriting and I treasure them.
My mother did most of the cooking in our family. She cooked two main meals a day which included dessert. I look back now and I have no idea how she did it all and kept three kids involved with everything they wanted to do whether it was sports, dance, music or theatre.
Dad worked as a manager at the local paper company where most everyone else in our small town worked. He started work at 7am and walked non-stop all day checking on one project or another. He was nicknamed Hawkeye by the people who worked for him because he never missed a thing.
He wasn’t a very big man, frankly there wasn’t much to him at all but man could he eat. He would come home for lunch (that’s what you do in a small town in Maine) and there would be meat, potatoes, veggies, bread and dessert at noon every day. Mom would get everything cleaned up, make a snack for after school and then start on dinner.
After every lunch my father would thank her for cooking and he’d clear the table and help with cleaning up the dishes. She would tell him to “go on back to work, I’ll get that,” and off he’d go.
The weekends were a different story. My father would get up on Saturday morning and make pancakes or waffles or blueberry muffins or some other decadent thing. We knew it was never going to be the standard bacon and eggs that other kids got. Walter had a sweet tooth the size of Texas. He never weighed more than 128 pounds in his life. Thin as a rake. WHY couldn’t I get those genes, I want to know??
As far back as I can remember I would push a chair over to the kitchen counter and stand there and “help”. I fancied myself a pretty good cook even at 6 years old. I treasure those weekend memories, especially at Father’s Day.
We’d make fudge of all sorts but chocolate was his favorite. Mine was always peanut butter. Then one day he made a two layer fudge of chocolate and peanut butter fudge and I was in heaven.
“Did you see the look in her eyes when I said we would make both chocolate and peanut butter?” he said to my mother. Heaven. Seriously.
While sweets were his favorite thing to cook, he was also a master at Swedish bread rolls, baked beans and beef stroganoff. The rolls were sweet and soft and nicely knotted — perfect to be sliced and toasted the following morning and smeared with jam.
Baked beans were what every family in town had every Saturday night. Beans, potato salad, hotdogs or sausages, cole slaw and brown bread. No matter whose house you visited on a Saturday, you could smell the baked beans in a bean pot in the oven. I have no idea why that was a tradition but it was. I doubt it still is today. People have more money now.
When I was a teenager I had to help clean up after meals and if I had something to do it was always “after the dishes!” from my mother and my father would say, “oh, let her go, I’ll do her part.” He spoiled me. I didn’t realize it back then.
The recipe for today is dad’s beef stroganoff. He fancied himself an expert at it and didn’t have to be asked twice to make it for company. My mother always helped, as every wife does – doing all the prep work and doing all the cleanup but Dad “created the meal.”
The dish tastes wonderful to me and maybe it’s because it’s his recipe. I doubt that it’s traditional and maybe it should have a different name. He called it Walter style and so do I.
He was proud of it because he made it with beef tenderloin and that was a budget stretch back in the olden days. (okay, so it still is at my house) Initially some of the ingredients were less than professional. He used dried onions, mushrooms from a can and garlic powder and as he cooked it over the years he used fresh onion, garlic and mushrooms. This is how he did it and when I think about dad, I think of his baked beans, fudge, rolls and this beef stroganoff.
So here’s to you, Dad, may your beef stroganoff live another generation and Happy Father’s Day.
- 2 lbs. beef tenderloin
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 21 oz beef stock
- ⅓ cup finely minced onion
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- ⅓ cup flour
- 10 oz uncooked egg noodles
- 2 cups sour cream
- 3 tbs butter
- Slice mushrooms and cut meat across the grain into ¾ inch slices then into strips 3 x ¼ inches.
- Melt ¼ cup butter in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms and cook til browned, then remove and set aside.
- Gently cook the onion and garlic being careful not to burn until the onions are translucent. Remove and set aside.
- Using the same frying pan, brown the meat in batches and then place all the meat back into the frying pan along with the onion, garlic, ketchup, salt and pepper and all but ⅔ cup of the beef stock. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add mushrooms back into the pan.
- Blend reserved beef stock and the flour together and stir into the meat. (I place it in a jar and shake) Add to the pan and stir til thickened about one minute.
- (If you wish to make ahead, this is where you'd let it cool and refrigerate til needed)
- Cook noodles as directed on the package (or homemade noodles). Drain and stir through 3 tablespoons of butter.
- When ready to serve, reheat to boiling and stir in the sour cream.
This is a fab Beef Stroganoff!!!
Choc Chip Uru says
Your parents sound incredible my friend! I love their kitchen cooperation style 😀
Also I can imagine a cute lil you with puss-in-boots eyes at the thought of layered fudge 😉
Gorgeous looking stroganoff my friend and great post!
Choc Chip Uru
Julie M. says
I ADORE beef stroganoff. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of my childhood as well. 🙂 Your dad sounds like he was a wonderful man and this is a perfect tribute to him.
Thank you Julie and so lovely to see you here!
Norma Chang says
You brought back fond memories of my childhood. Your father sounds like mine. He loved his food yet thin as a rail and like you I did not inherit my Dad’s gene. Sunday’s and holiday’s meals were always made by Dad, geese and ducks were his favorites.
I don’t know why that skinny gene passed us by, Norma. Just not fair. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
What a wonderful tribute to your dad Maureen! Thanks for sharing a part of him with us, and such important memories they are too 🙂
What a beautiful tribute Maureen! It had me smiling, and chocking back some uncomfortable liquid at the same time.
And it makes me miss my dad so much…….my dad would often come home for lunch too, and that was something we sisters waited for, especially during our school breaks. Just his presence was enough to make it special…somehow.
I don’t eat beef, but I’m sure this is delicious.
Now I am off to hunt for some easy peasy finger foods for my company tonight.
In your blog, if I might add…:D
Girls and their dads are something special, Minnie.
Parsley Sage says
This is a lovely post 🙂 And now we know why you’re such a beast in the kitchen! You had a twofer of cooking parents! Sounds like you had some really treasured moments with your folks and food. Thanks for sharing and for this outstanding stroganoff! Drooooool
Absolutely right. My mother (and my grandmothers) were all terrific cooks. My mother wasn’t so eager to have anyone help – she just felt we got in her way, but I certainly watched her cook. My grandmothers loved my “help” but I suspect they tossed out anything I made with my grubby little fingers.
What lovely memories of your father. He was quite the dad, husband, and man. No wonder you remember him so fondly.
My dad cooked too. He made wonderful coffee cakes for Sunday breakfast. He also made pizza from scratch for Saturday nights.
Except for the catsup (Don’t think they had catsup in the days of the Tzars.) this looks like a very traditional Beef Stroganoff to me. Looks delicious and I bet it is.
I make my budget Hamburger Stroganoff in much the same way.
What great memories of your dad! How wonderful you are sharing one of his treasured recipes with us in his honor…I love stroganoff~
A great post. A beautiful tribute to your Dad, and I love the recipe as well. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a sweet tribute to your dad!
Marina@ Picnic at Marina says
Maureen, I had a goose bumps on my skin when I was reading this post: so many good memories it brought. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and also for taking me back in time…
aww, thanks, Marina!
Lovely post, Maureen. Thanks for sharing your memories of your dad with us, it must have been a great joy growing up in his care. Beautiful recipe!
Celia, I was spoiled by this man. As a kid I was tiny and full of black curls and looked very much like my father. All I have left are the black curls and even some of them are turning gray!
A lovely story and a great recipe, thanks Maureen. I don’t suppose you have the baked beans recipe too? I adore good beans.
I’ve got it somewhere. I’ll see what I can find. I never brought my bean pot over with me. I used it to hold kitchen utensils til I wanted to make beans.
Mikaela Cowles says
Your dad sounds wonderful. What a fantastic way to remember him. The closest mine’s ever come to having his own recipe is “Dale’s Baked Beans.” It consisted of a can of baked beans and small hot dogs chopped up. Hey, when your four, those little hot dogs are pretty good. Now…well…I think I’d take your dad’s stroganoff.
Beans ‘f franks was a staple at many houses when I was growing up. I haven’t had this for years. Maybe I should do it tonight. 🙂
Such a warming story. I too share Walter’s crazy sweet tooth and can imagine those breakfasts would have made any kid smile. Yum!
I love a good beef strog, been years since I had one. Will have to give this one a try 🙂
Thanks for sharing xx
My dad would have loved the Internet. Sadly, he left too soon.
Jill~a SaucyCook says
What an incredibly touching and sweet post- a bit out of character no? JUST KIDDING!!! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist after your post about scraping the sauce off your husband’s chicken!!) I laughed at the part about not inheriting your Dad’s skinny genes: I always told my girls I married their dad so they could have no ass and thick hair! If only we could order “the parts” we want from each parent!
This stroganoff looks delicious and when I make it I will make a toast to your dad.
Jill, this comment cracked me up!
Cheers to an amazing Dad! I love that you have recipes in his hand writing, truly a treasure! My hubby and I adore beef stroganoff, one of our favorites for sure. Your recipe looks delicious:-) Hugs, Terra
Oh Maureen….what a lovely tribute to your dad. I miss my dad so much too. He did a lot of the cooking in our house, but his specialty was home made ice cream cakes on my birthday! Your beef stroganoff looks delicious! I hope it brought back many wonderful memories for you as you prepared and ate it!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Maureen how gorgeous! I loved reading about your father. The recipe for stroganoff sounds delicious. Funnily, I made beef stroganoff last night! Your father’s version sounds and looks really yummy!
Gorgeous. My Dad passed away many years ago too. And his name was Walter. Are we sisters?
thyme (Sarah) says
That is the sweetest of stories. I love that my kids will have these kinds of memories of their father. They are precious to me because my father left when I was 10 and he has never tried hard to be there for me. I see how easy it is to love your children as a father and I just don’t know how any Dad could pass up on that relationship. And…btw…I just love beef strogonoff. What a great warm satisfying dish.
Wow. Looks delicious. Even with the hot dog!
Barb @ Profiteroles & Ponytails says
I would enjoy this beef stroganoff all the more knowing how special it is to you! Isn’t it wonderful that certain meals evoke wonderful memories of our loved ones? I think that is one of the things that I like the most about preparing special dishes for my family — knowing that we are building on these family traditions. Thanks for sharing your story. I’d like to try hawkeye’s recipe sometime.
the wicked noodle says
Can you believe I’ve never made beef stroganoff? My mom used to make it when I was growing up; I should try making yours for her! Great tribute to your Dad, just lovely.
Glamorous Glutton says
Thank you for reminding us how important our Das are. Cooking and food are a wonderful way to bring back the memories of the important things in life and help to keep our balance. I love the sound of the double decker fudge. GG
Sawsan (Chef in disguise) says
This is such a sweet post Maureen. I love how your mum and dad were a beautiful team but the part I love the most is that when we grow up and look back, it is the little details that we treasure the most and remember the most like peanut butter fudge or dad clearing the plates so that you could do something else.
Thank you for sharing those sweet memories and your dad’s recipe with us
What a wonderful tribute to your Dad. I am missing mine this Father’s day too. He was always skinny as a rake as well, but I think it was all the hard work he did.
Kristi Rimkus says
What a loving tribute to your father. Stroganoff used to be a favorite when I was growing up. This dish brings back happy memories.
Beautiful tribute to your father and fabulous stroganoff. I’m sure very few people have recipes hand written by their fathers…
This is such a great tribute to your dad! Now I know where the talent came from. This stroganoff looks like some great food and you are lucky to have such wonderful food memories from your dad.
Baking Serendipity says
I love this post, Maureen. Such a great tribute! My husband would love this recipe! He is always asking for the boxed stroganoff…and I know I can make it better!
Hotly Spiced says
That’s a lovely story Maureen and it sounds like your parents were great parents. I can’t believe your mother made a main meal every lunchtime complete with dessert. My husband’s lucky to get a sandwich. Times have certainly changed. Incredible that he could eat all that sugar and be so thin. Some people have all the luck. And your stroganoff looks fabulous xx
Maureen, I love this story! Thanks so much for sharing. Your dad sounds like such a precious man. I need to bookmark this recipe.
(hug) It’s always hard when you’ve lost a loved one, no matter how many years ago it was. I’m glad you have fun and sweet memories to reflect on though. It’s posts like this that reminds me to treasure the moments I have with my dad, because every time I’m with him is an opportunity to create wonderful, eternal memories.
The Strogranoff lover in our family is my daughter. If she weren’t off at camp, I’d make this tonight! The tenderloin is kind of a splurge seeing as how it’s so expensive, but I’ll bet it’s worth it.
Aww your dad sounds so sweet! What a great post!
The Café Sucré Farine says
Such sweet, sweet memories you have. My dad died when I was 9 but I also have wonderful memories of him. How fun that your dad could cook! This stroganoff looks fabulous, it’s definitely a delicious memory from my past too!
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
Oh what sweet memories!! My dad cooked a lot also and would have loved your stroganoff!
Laura @ Family Spice says
What a beautiful tribute and wonderful memories! Beef stroganoff is one of my all time favorite meals. TOTAL comfort food for the soul.
Terrific post. Really well written. I’m not sure if there is an “authentic” recipe for Beef Stroganoff, but your dad’s looks as good as any I’ve seen. I haven’t made this dish in ages! Maybe in the fall, when the weather here is cooler again. Anyway, let me say again how enjoyable this post was. You’ve got some terrific memories.
Heather at Basilmomma says
You just cant BEAT a good stroganoff recipe! Great job 🙂
Thanks, Heather! So nice to see you here. I love your blog. You were one of my very first blog mentors but you probably never knew it. 🙂
I have some of those hand written recipes from my mother (who also passed away) so I know the feeling. GREG
This dish just looks too good! I enjoyed reading this post too. Thanks for sharing.
Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) says
great post Maureen! that beef stroganoff looks delicious!
Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says
Aaw Maureen, what a great story about your dad. This dish looks delicious; we love it in the winter.
I don’t have any memory of my father cooking for us but my husband is making several for our daughter. You are lucky to have such a father and this stroganoff looks delicious and really memorable. I think I can do just with mushrooms. What do you say?
Kitchen Belleicious says
fabulous! Just fabulous and what a wonderful post. I haven’t had beef stroganoff in years and now i can’t wait to make it
Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats says
Yumm! I have always love beef stroganoff.. Though I don’t get to have it often, so it sure gives me an excuse to make this dish.. xoxo
Jennifer (Delicieux) says
What a wonderful tribute to your Dad and a wonderful way to remember him. It’s clear you inherited a wonderful love of food from both of your parents.
Nina Munchen says
Wow, I can’t help drooling. I just love tenderloin 😀
Well done Maureen!
If you submitted your beef strogaoff photos to http://www.foodporn.net , I’ll bet they will make you on the home page.
Gosh, you have made me sooo hungry !
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Thank you for sharing wonderful story about your dad. You have lovely memories of your father and I enjoyed reading about him, and your family. I’ve never cooked Beef Stroganoff before but it’s been on my list to cook for at least 3 years. I know, it is crazy. Your first photo make me crave for this. Have to cook soon!
Baker Street says
What a sweet tribute to your dad, Maureen. I see how you get your love for food! The beef stroganoff looks super delish! 🙂
Iron Chef Shellie says
Oh I am over due for some strognaoff. My boyfriend loves it, but I can never be bothered to cook it 😛
SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) says
I love this post, Maureen. What a lovely way to honour your Dad. Food provides such a strong link to memories… and it sounds like you’ve got wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing!
This is such a great presentation. Such a beautiful combination! : )
Thank you very much.
Jen @ Savory Simple says
If only we could all have those genes. Thank you for sharing the story about your dad. This sounds wonderful 🙂
What a tasty tribute to your Dad, Maureen. Thank you so much for sharing the memories. Your Stroganoff is filled with goodness and I’m thinking pretty darn yummy too!
Megan @Country Cleaver says
I love a good beef stroganoff – it’s comfort food for all those rainy nights. Perfection!
Thanks for the comment, Megan, really nice to meet you!
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
Such a sweet post. It looks like a wonderful family meal.
Cheryl and Adam @ pictureperfectmeals.com says
What a loving tribute to your father. So many wonderful memories are connected to the foods we make. It’s a wonderful way to remember those we love who are not with us. And tasty, too! Lovely recipe.
You have wonderful memories of your Dad! Making two kinds of fudge sounds like a lot of fun. And, the stroganoff is a perfect Father’s Day meal.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful food related memories of your day. My own father passed away 2 yrs ago this past April and I’ve made several dishes in that time that he enjoyed and asked for and thought of him during and after cooking them.
Beef stroganoff is one of my favourites as well and I too make it with instant onions in the form of onion soup mix. 🙂
… sorry for the typo. Of course, I meant “food related memories of your DAD.”
I can read typo 🙂 I met John online. I’m really good at reading typo.
Tania @ A Perfect Pantry says
Such a delicious meal… this would go perfect with a crusty slice of bread too.
You are so right, Tania. I don’t often serve bread because then I eat it. 🙂
Dee at Deelicious Sweets says
This was such a sweet post. It brought tears to my eyes. This dish looks absolutely perfect in every way and I wouldn’t change a thing either! Thanks for sharing such a great memory.
thank you so much, Dee, you’ve really made my day
With you sharing such beautiful stories and showing so much love the beef stroganoff will live generation after generation.
Such lovely memories! And your photographs have me craving a plate of that stroganoff right now!
Thanks, Ashley, I really appreciate that. Lovely to meet you!
So lovely. you have reminded me of an old time classic dish!
Katherine Martinelli says
What a special recipe! I love beef stroganoff and can’t wait to try this version.
I loved this post, it was very moving! Who cares if the recipe’s traditional, it looks great as it is 🙂
I actually thought I had commented on this post but reading through this beautiful, wonderful story of your dear dad I realized that I hadn’t read it before. I’m all teary eyed now. What a guy he must have been. I love the story – how he cooked, ate and spoiled you rotten. And I love this beef strogonoff and will be making it for my family.
You are so sweet. I’ve really enjoyed the posts about your dad.
mike thees says
Never though of ketchep in Stroganoff gotta wait for the weather to cool down though to try it
It’s winter in Australia 🙂
This is one of the best Father’s Day tributes I ever read. What an amazing man, not only could he cook and bake, but he always offered to do the dishes! 128lbs of pure LOVE 🙂 I have no doubt his beef stroganoff is exceptional, via the photos, but I would love his recipe for peanut butter fudge!
Jessica @ Cajunlicious says
Such a classic and comforting meal!
Dear Maureen, this sounds like a delicious and hearty dish. True comfort food at its best! Blessings to you my dear, your friend, Catherine xo
My heart is smiling over this wonderful tribute to your Dad.