Growing Up In Working Class Youngstown — Mama’s Kitchen

mamas kitchen gang

Part of the Recipes of Youngstown Committee. From left to right: John Heasley, Bobbi Ennett Allen, Keith Evans, Ernie DiRenzo, JoAnn Donahue, Patty Gahagan Ruby, and Bobbie Snyder Chalky. Photo courtesy Cheryl Staib-Lewis.

One of the most wonderful memories of growing up was to walk into the house at dinner time and to smell those wonderful smells emerging from the kitchen. It could be the herbs and special ingredients in mom’s spaghetti sauce, or the fried onions and garlic in the dish with sausage and peppers, or the delicious smell of that roast that has been simmering for hours and is so tender it melts in your mouth. For many of us in working class Youngstown, the kitchen was our favorite room of the house.

Then there are all those special occasions–holiday baking or the week-long frenzy that goes into the perfect cookie table. There are all those big family gatherings–the perfect turkey, or ham or New Year’s Eve calamari. Some of us have inherited those favorite recipes and others of us wish we had.

There is a chance to bring back all those memories, and all those delicious smells and tastes. Bobbi Ennett Allen and her Recipes of Youngstown crew are hosting “Memories of Mama’s Kitchen” on May 7 from noon to 4 pm at the Tyler History Center, in conjunction with Mother’s Day weekend. Bobbi and her team will wear old-fashioned aprons, offering tastings of 30 recipes from Recipes of Youngstown. You will have a chance to see the 1948 Youngstown Kitchen exhibit at the Tyler. There will be a basket raffle, a 50/50 drawing and a grand prize raffle. All this is being done with the hope of reaching the $50,000 goal for the Recipes of Youngstown Kitchen that will be dedicated at 2 pm. Cookbook sales, previous tastings, and pierogi and Brier Hill pizza sales have them oh-so close.

Of course both the first and second Recipes of Youngstown  will be available for sale. We have both and have bought a number for friends and family from Youngstown. They make great gifts. Your Youngstown friends will love you!

So, if you are anywhere near Youngstown on May 7, make sure to take in this event, the culmination of efforts that began when a group of friends created a Facebook group and began sharing recipes. And if not, you can always buy  Recipes 2 here and support the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Recipes of Youngstown kitchen..