Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hockey Pucks

We eat a lot of "hockey pucks" in my family. And by "hockey pucks", I'm referring to packaged biscuits-- The semi-cooked "brown 'n serve" kind that you warm and toast in the oven. For some reason, my family thinks they are the greatest invention since Cool Whip and they were, and continue to be, a "treat" reserved for holidays, birthdays and special occasions.

Growing up, homemade biscuits were served for supper in our house almost every night. If the meal didn't include biscuits and gravy, it wasn't considered a "proper meal". Mom would roll out the biscuit dough and us kids would cut them with an upside down juice jar. But when "brown 'n serve biscuits" first graced our table, around the time Mom surrendered and started using pumpkin from a can to make pies, that's all our family wanted. Of course if the hockey puck biscuits were smeared with butter and homemade jam, all the better.

My kid brother, who's nine years younger than me, named them "hockey pucks" back when the only foods he'd eat were Oreo Cookies, Cheerios and Mom's Hockey Pucks. He was a fussy eater until he was in his 20s and missed out on some of the other family recipes the rest of us enjoyed back in the day.

A few years ago, I decided to capture Mom's special recipes, and those of all the cooks in our clan, and gathered about 5 dozen recipe faves from my siblings, aunt and my grandmother's recipe cards, and organized them into one file for each of us. It includes foods like Crazy Beans, Beef with Tator Tots, Chicken Crunch, Nude Apple Pie, Potato Chip Cookies and numerous Jello recipes to name a few. They may not be gourmet, but they are my comfort foods and I flip through the recipe cards on a fairly regular basis.

Mom, who is a really great cook, submitted only one recipe to the family collection. It was, of course, titled "Mom's Hockey Pucks". Here's her recipe:

Step 1: While putting side dishes in serving bowls for family dinner, remember the rolls are still in icebox.
Step 2: Turn oven up to at least 50 degrees above the package directions.
Step 3: Put rolls on anything that won't melt. Put in oven.
Step 4: Go to table to say Grace.
Step 5: Wait for smoke alarm to go off.
Step 6: Serve.... enjoy laughs.

Yep, the name "Hockey Pucks" is well earned because I can't remember a single time the brown 'n serve biscuits weren't burnt black on the bottoms. Oddly enough, the tops were never scorched so we cut them in half. The tops were delicious and the bottoms were-- hockey pucks-- stacked up in front of each place setting to see who'd eaten the most. It's still a family tradition to this day.

Dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday is October 2nd and Mom's Hockey Pucks will definitely be on the menu. I won't be there to eat my share, but I'm sure my brother will have the biggest stack of hockey pucks in front of his plate.

Do you have a family food tradition?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna


  1. Love Hockey Pucks story-cute!
    On our birthday we get to pick our favorite meal- some of these birthday menus were a hoot growing up! xoxo

    PS early Happy Birthday to your brother!

  2. I'm curious about Naked Apple crust?

    cute story about the biscuits; love family traditions like this :)

    happy early birthday to your brother


  3. please publish them... (as a cookbook)... please...

  4. Whenever my husband was away the kids and I always had pancakes. I'm not sure how it started - my husband quite liked pancakes too - but it just became a tradition. I don't recall any traditions as such when I was growing up. My mother didn't enjoy cooking, but she was great at baking biscuits (cookies?) and I still love home baking. :-)

  5. I love this story!!! And I know exactly what you are talking about; MY "store bought biscuits" are usually black on the bottom too!! Aptly named!!

  6. First, let me echo Jane above: please publish them. I promise I'd buy one of the cookbooks because it's something I do for Chef Stu. In turn, he cooks for me! It's a great deal!!

    Some of our family food traditions from the 1960's: home made bread, home made apple sauce, canning peaches, spinning honey from dad's bee hives, pancakes on Saturday mornings, and everyone had to be home for could bring guests whenever you wanted, but you had to eat supper at home.

  7. Those kinds of fun traditions are the best. I can tell you have a lot of fun around the table. Now I'm wondering about things lie Crazy beans and naked Apple pie!

  8. We have a similar background with the brown and serve rolls. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving unless the oven catches on fire. My Mom insists on heating up the rolls IN the paper tray they come in. Ding Ding Ding! So funny....

  9. My dad swears by the Brown n' Serve roll and they are his contribution every Thanksgiving. lol Happy early birthday to your brother!

  10. Hockey Pucks! When we married 23 years ago, I preferred my biscuits thin and crispy. He liked fat, fluffy 'cathead' biscuits, and called mine hockey pucks!

    In my family, there is this noxious tradition (which my brother and I do NOT follow) called Leftover Soup. All the leftovers, all of them from the dab of fruit cocktail, the inch of ketchup and the half a calf liver,go into a pot with a can of tomatoes and a can of kidney beans, to make Leftover Soup. We would eat it until it was gone, before Mom would cook a normal meal again. Scott and I would sneak a dipperful into the trash a couple of times a day, eliciting comments of "I am SURE there was more than this left!"

  11. Gosh, for a minute when you said "Crazy Beans," I thought you were talking about me. My bad.

    Happy happy birthday wishes to dear baby b
    rother. May his stack rise in a congratulatory salute.

    PS: I love family traditions! Thanks for the HP biscuit recipe!

  12. I remember homemade biscuits with gravy too. Even put the gravy on mashed potatoes.

  13. My kids always liked brown "n serve rolls and yep we would forget them and the bottoms would get done a wee too much. This is a great sentimental memory you shared here. I would like to know about the beef and tater tots.

  14. Your brother only ate foods that were round?

    We have a few. My favorite was a thick cornstarch custard that we would pop out of the ramekin into our hand before returning it to the ramekin to eat it. My mother was mortified when she learned that I had made this for my college roommates and that all of us popped it into our hands first...

    I may need to make that today...

  15. What a cute story and such great memories you've made with your family. Cool idea in putting recipes together with your family.

  16. I love hockey pucks - wish I had one now!

  17. I still make the old fashioned biscuits but we do have hockey pucks once in a while. My 3 children all have favorite recipes they ask for and I usually make on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are a very tradition oriented family here. I could eat a hockey puck right now, too, with sorghum molasses!

  18. i love hockey pucks! my wife makes the most amazing biscuits as well with a little butter and cheese. phenomenal!

  19. I was the youngest of 7 kids and I remember Mom always made a special meal Sunday noon time; it might be a turkey dinner, roast beef, or roast pork with all the fixings, including her homemade yeast rolls. Then for supper we would have ice cream and toast. That was always a treat, and I remember it fondly all these years later!

  20. I was the youngest of 7 kids and I remember Mom always made a special meal Sunday noon time; it might be a turkey dinner, roast beef, or roast pork with all the fixings, including her homemade yeast rolls. Then for supper we would have ice cream and toast. That was always a treat, and I remember it fondly all these years later!

  21. Such a sweet post .... My hubby makes omelets to order on Christmas morning. I stock up on all the fixins' and fillings and after the presents are opened he makes the most delicious omelets and then we are full!

  22. Oh and one more memory.... back in the day when the original Star Trek was on TV we would be "allowed" to eat dry Cheerios in front of the TV..... wow that was something huge because my dad was such an obsessive clean freak.... we did not dare spill a Cheerio (but if we did, the white poodle, Pepi was there to rescue us)

  23. I think food is the one thing that can bring back such great memories. In your mind they get better and better with the years.... :)
    But I´m sure they are good.
    It´s like when I visit Canada. I HAVE to have Dairy Queen ice cream as much as possible, because it has such fond memories for me. Other people wonder why I like it so much, there are much better ice creams out there, but the memories are what makes it so good! :)

  24. I've never had them, great story too!

  25. I would say that our big family food thing was Taco Salad. We loved making if for dinner.

  26. What great memories! Not quite sure if the 'hockey pucks' are like bread rolls? For us in England, biscuits are sweet and dipped in tea...

  27. Great description of the hard little buns. My family was big on whapim canned biscuits and brown and serve rolls as I was growing up. Mom never baked a homemade biscuit or hot roll.

    This farm chick broke that tradition when I married and moved to the Ponderosa. Our family dinners always consist of my now famous hot rolls. I always bake biscuits when the occasion calls for.

    Soon I will be making the 1145 mile trip to see the parents and I will be greeted once again with 'hockey pucks'!!!

    God bless and have a marvelous day.

  28. My husband loves Hockey Pucks too! I'll have to have him call them by their proper name from now on.

  29. Making & eating Hamantaschen at Purim!

  30. I love this post!! Celebrating family traditions is the best!! Every Thanksgiving we have ALL of our family over for a bonfire. We roast marshmallows, laugh and have the best time!!

  31. What a great family food tradition! Ours was bacon and eggs on Christmas morning!

  32. that's a recipe even a non-cooking guy like me could follow.
    " Put rolls on anything that won't melt. Put in oven." great directions

    well now I need to go eat a hockey puck derivative - egg mcmuffin


  33. It's through gathering around at the dinner table that memories are made. Mom was such a great cook and collected binders and binders of recipes. I have done the same and like you, Joanna, I have many recipes that will always be on my things to cook for certain traditions list. I would make "hockey pucks" only when I didn't feel like making homemade yeast rolls.

    Love the story and especially the part of stacking the bottoms to see who at the most.

    So cute!

  34. Great story! My mom is a good cook, but she doesn't enjoy it so she loves convenience foods. I didn't know there was such thing as home made biscuits until I was a teenager!

    I hope you do decide to share some of the other family recipes! The Nude Apple Pie is killing me!

  35. fun story!!
    The potato chip cookie is something which my sons will love! please do NOT give me the recipe!!

  36. One: Aunt Holly's Caesar salad and white pizza on Christmas Eve.

    Even though I've moved, I'm asked to make the salad dressing and the pizza makings if I'm traveling home for the holidays.

    I've tried to tell them how to make it and I'm always told, "It doesn't taste like yours you left something out!!!"

    So, one day, and maybe the next time the Daughter of My Heart visits, I'm going to make her stand next to me again and watch me make it.

    Go buy some hockey pucks and eat them in your brother's honor. It won't be the same but the house will smell good and it will bring a smile to your face.

  37. I agree with everyone who said family traditions are the best. My grandmother made homemade biscuits everyday, sometimes for breakfast and dinner both. Our family has a Christmas Eve party and when I try to change the menu I get big objections from my kids.

  38. We always have my grandmothers cranberry salad for holidays. I will post the recipe one of these days - will need to get it from my daughter.

  39. We called the "black and serves" instead of brown and serves because they were always burnt on the bottom. My dad would smother his with butter and Karo syrup. Butter was good for me!

  40. Ah, my husband waxed nostalgic over that food.

  41. I can't think of any real family traditions except for the way we make spaghetti sauce. We are one of those Italian clans who simmer our sauce all day!

  42. Okay, that was hysterical.

    By the time my mom had me, any cooking skills went out the window.

    I grew up with crappy dishes like 'Glob' (yes, that was it's real name) and a cheddar cheese soup/hot dog/potato casserole. Which she either burned & shriveled up the hot dogs to ensure the potatoes were cooked, OR, hot dogs were cooked properly and potatoes raw.

    However, there were 3 French Canadian dishes mom made that I loved - 1) a special stuffing at Thanksgiving; 2) a pork pie at Christmas; and 3) Sheppard's Pie (French name) using ground beef instead of lamb and served with pickles.

  43. Happy Birthday to your brother! I hope he has a wonderful birttday!

    "biscuits/hockey pucks" are very popular around here.

    Sadly, we don't have any real traditions. I'll work on that this holiday season!

    Hugs and love,

  44. I can't focus on hockey pucks at the moment.

  45. Love your mom's Hockey Pucks recipe!

    Congratulations to your brother and too bad that you won't be able to be there to celebrate with him...

    Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my Anniversary post.

    Wishing you a fab Friday!

  46. what a great idea to collect your family bad your mom only did one.

  47. I laughed out loud with her recipe, "wait for the smoke alarm." Too funny!!!

    We don't have any real hmm traditions. It used to be going to MawMaw's house and could be eating anything under the sun from Crawfish Bisque to Turkey. Mostly, it's the idea of getting together with family.

    This year for Thanksgiving, we're traveling to visit my uncle and his family in California. :)

  48. Ha ha ha Hockey Pucks... very cute.
    Great blog. I really don't have food traditions. Well except at thanksgiving someone makes "the pink stuff" as we call it. I never made the "pink stuff" so dont' ask me what is in it.
    no idea. lol

  49. Food traditions really are the best, aren't they??

    Thanksgiving turkey is great, but it's my mom's twice-baked potatoes that make it a meal for me. :)


  50. What a fantastic blog! Please do post the other recipes! The titles alone make them worth trying!!!

  51. Joanna: I love that tradition, especially because it involves a warm "bread" product. Here's an easy butter recipe to go with:
    Put one container of heavy cream in the blender, with a little salt.
    Whip it on high until it gets firm.
    Scoop it into a bowl that has a lid.
    I guarantee that this is the best butter ever, and it couldn't be easier to make. : )

  52. Loved your post and it's perfect for this time of year. I want to start baking, and making soup as soon as the days start getting darker earlier, and cooler. I just made a meal yesterday that was an old family favorite. Pinto beans, fried potatoes and corn bread muffins. Even my kitty liked it...ummmm that's because I found one of the muffins with its top MIA. Geez I hope it was my cat and not a mouse... big sigh~

    And YES please share more recipes. I'll have to share your Mom's recipe for the pucks with my Mom. She'll get a huge kick out of it!

  53. What a nice little tradition. My mom always served salad with dinner, and now I do it too!

  54. THANK YOU! I love hearing about your family traditions. The dining table is the hub of my family's house and hearing your stories helps me feel less homesick for my Ohio family.

    Now that it's starting to cool off a little I'm looking forward to making lots of soups and pastas and a couple of hockey pucks. I'll pass on the other recipes mentioned about soon.

    Keep those cards and letters coming. I love hearing from you.

  55. Yay for hockey pucks!

    We had homemade hazelnut cake for b-days at my house. No candles though. My MIL still feels very sorry for me...
    She's a sweetheart! :D

    Wow, when are you going to share that crazy beans and nude apple pie recipe? :P


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