When I was a child, one of my mom’s best dishes were part of our camping experiences: red kidney beans and ground beef. My mother used to concoct this on a “primus” camping stov. And I loved it.
As an adult I had tried to copy this dish, but had never succeeded. First I blamed the fact that I had used ground turkey. So I bought the more expensive ground beef instead. But the dish was still lacking. Finally, last summer, visiting my mom, I mentioned this. So then she informed me of her “secret” ingredient: bacon.
Well, my Mom can use bacon, but since I keep kosher, I can not. I laughed and told my mother: “Well, I don’t think I can copy the taste of that recipe, can I?”
But I did. Almost. I took some chicken skins (which I saved and froze last week just for this), and fried them to a crisp. Then I fried the onions and ground beef in that. An added bit of garlic and black pepper, and some salt, and the whole lot got thrown in with the cooked and drained red beans.
The result: a less-than-healthy dish, but a deliciously kosher food and wonderful memories of years gone by.