WHEN I was growing up, I loved to watch my mom cook. She made fixing a hearty mouth-watering meal from scratch appear so effortless—though it was sometimes at a moment's notice.

My mom, LaVaun McMahon, made healthy, delicious dinners every night for my dad, younger brother, two older sisters and me. She served well-balanced meals…with something from every food group on the table.

Now when we visit my parents in Truckee, California, Mom asks what we'd like to eat…and that's a difficult decision! Her breakfasts, especially her waffles, are out of this world. But no visit is complete without Cheeseburger Buns, Dill Pickle Potato Salad, Cauliflower Olive Salad and Custard Meringue Pie.

On a "Roll"

Mom came up with the Cheeseburger Buns recipe after my dad, Ray, told her about the great meal they'd served in the school cafeteria (he's a teacher). So she made her yummy yeast rolls and stuffed them with meat and cheese.

Her Dill Pickle Potato Salad is legendary in our family, which now totals 24, with all the husbands, wives, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mom flavors the salad with her homemade pickles, and because she doesn't care for sweet dressings, she coats it with a mixture of mayonnaise, mustard and dill pickle juice.

Cauliflower Olive Salad, full of fresh veggies and tossed with a tangy dressing, is a recipe a neighbor shared with my mother. This salad just gets better the longer it sits!

Mom's Aunt Emily used to make Custard Meringue Pie, which she called Zuider Zee, at Christmastime. It's so scrumptious that we enjoy it year-round.

In this Story

  1. Meals from Scratch
  2. Joys of Cooking