Maybe you’re like me and you always get hungrier in the wintertime. Maybe you’re always hungry! Either way, both mama and grandma’s home cooking is always able to give us a sense of home wherever we are. Here are some Kansas homemade favorites that probably made it to your table more than a few times. How many have you had?
1. Biscuits and Gravy
This beloved classic has been a staple in many a Kansas home, as it's simple to make for breakfast or dinner.
Also known as "chipped beef on toast" by restaurants who can't publish it's slightly more vulgar name, this meal was for when biscuits and gravy was a little too much work, and you probably had leftover gravy anyways, right?
3. The Tomato Sandwich
Your mother might have gotten fancy and added lettuce, bacon, or something else, but when you grow your own tomatoes, all you need is miracle whip and white bread. I still eat this anytime I have leftover tomatoes from BLTs! The taste feels like summer every time.
4. Sloppy Joes
Whether it's mama's recipe or a manwich can, this easy favorite has slid its way into Kansas stomachs for years. Our recipe has apple cider vinegar, what's yours?
5. Pickled Watermelon Rind
This one isn't as common, but the families that do this love the results every year. Instead of wasting all that rind, you can chop it up and pickle it in spices to make a one-of-a-kind snack!
6. Ham Bean Soup
A common meal in more modest homes, ham bean soup is a Kansas favorite dating back when covered wagons made their way west.
7. Chicken Pot Pie
With a thick, flaky crust and whatever vegetables or potatoes mama thought you would eat, chicken pot pie was always one of my favorites in the winter.
We may not be the most famous state for chili, but that doesn't mean every home didn't have a different recipe! Where I grew up, we most certainly swapped and tested chili recipes until we found the perfect one.
9. Chicken and Dumplings
An easier twist on the pot pie, chicken and dumplings only required the broth, fillings, and drop dough. I remember begging my mother to make this more often!
10. Fried Catfish (or whatever else you caught!)
Though we aren't technically part of the South, fried catfish, or just fish in general, is a staple at home. Fresh caught fish makes the best meal after a long day's fishing.
11. Chicken Noodle Soup
Hand-rolled egg noodles and pulled-apart chicken easily serve a hundred when mama makes it! With enough soup for a week or so, you'd better love it!
12. Goulash (or American Chop Suey)
Though some of my non-Kansas friends think I'm nuts, this is what Kansans call goulash. Hamburger, tomatoes, and noodles together create a meal that's both easy and delicious.
I remember when it was 'bierock day' at my house, making batches of bread and leaving them in pans to rise. The whole process was an event for any who wanted to help. The payoff was well worth it, though!
14. Barbecue Everything
"KC barbecue" means anything you can put it on, you should. Barbecue is an important staple of Kansas diets, no matter how you like it.
15. Skillet Fried Chicken
Fried chicken here is basically a food group, it's so popular. Nothing beats how mama made it, though. Mashed potatoes and corn or coleslaw on the side, please!
16. The Casserole
What started as leftovers was often thrown in a pan, covered with cheese, and baked for dinner another day. We live in a state where casseroles are half of the potluck for church, super bowl, or family gathering.
17. German Pfeffernuesse (a.k.a. peppernuts)
These holiday traditional cookies were a production line to spite a factory. Dough is rolled into snakes, then cut into bites and placed on trays for a never ending supply of tiny spiced cookies. Ours never looked as neat as these, either!
18. Monkey Bread
Monkey bread, oh how I love you. Eating this for breakfast sometimes with leftover biscuit dough gives me fond memories of your sweet stickiness.
19. Vanilla Ice Cream
If you owned a churn, that's great, but half the time our homemade ice cream was made in coffee tins or plastic bags. If it was a special event, sometimes mama could be bribed to add in crushed candy bars.