Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mrs. Griggs' Cookbook

I have culled my cookbooks down quite a bit lately.  One that I do treasure is "A Family Affair", subtitled,  "A Few Favorite Recipes of Mrs. Griggs" by Josephine C. Griggs and Elaine N. Smith.
Going to Griggs' Restaurant after church Sunday was a tradition my family enjoyed, as did many others in our part of the world.
Edgar and Rita Griggs were such gracious hosts to everyone who walked in the door.  All the kids were sent out the door with a Tootsie Roll.  And what great food!  It was consistant and delicious every time.  Antiques, works of art, and the Billy the Kid Museum to see.  And of course, La Posta in Old Mesilla, which was also a Griggs Family restaurant was equally delightful and had such charm.  The birds!  The piranha swimming around in the huge aquarium!  The warren of little rooms, connected with thick plastered arches. The Garden Room! 
So, the matriarch of all the wonderful Griggs family restaurants published a few favorite recipes.  One of the things that I love about these recipes is their economy.   Short and sweet and to the point with no foolishness.  Empanadas, for example, has 5 ingredients and two short paragraphs of instructions.  Refried Beans has 2 ingredients, beans and lard.  She also is crystal clear about what's good.  "The taste of reheated beans is enhanced by adding lard." And that's that.  (It does crack me up that Mrs. Griggs used "Velvetta" (sic) and "Fritos".)
So I'm going to cook up a few of my favorite recipes from this treasure and see how they stand up to my memory and aging taste buds.  Starting with...(drum roll)...The Salsa.


Stephen said...

I grew up eating at Grigg's with my family. I was really sad to see it had closed down when I went back home recently. Do you know where I could get a copy of this recipe book?

I'm especially curious about obtaining the salsa recipe. It was always soooo good!

Jan said...

Stephen, if you are talking about the table salsa, I have a post on that. If not, let me know which salsa and I will try to find it.
The cookbook is sometimes available on from resellers.
Good luck!

Gasious1 said...

my husband was in the army at Fort BLISS in the 1980s and we always ate at Griggs. The food was amazing. I bought the recipe book A Family Affair at the restaurant in El Paso. I still have it and beautiful memories at Griggs.

Jan said...

We all miss the old Griggs terribly. However, if you get back to El Paso, Pepe's Mexican Food in Canutillo is owned by a former employee and features Griggs' recipes and is very good, so it lives on...

Courtney Brown said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks for posting your recipes from the Griggs family! Does the book include a chile con queso recipe or their famous rolled tacos recipe? I've been trying to find a copy of this cookbook and am hoping some more treasures are in there!

Jan said...

Hello, Courtney, sister of one of my favorite neighborhood kids! I appreciate your kind words, and here is Mrs. Griggs Queso recipe. Word for word. Complete with "chii" and "Velvetta"!
1 tablespoon lard or bacon drippings
2 tablespoons minced onion
6-8 chilis, roasted, peeled, deseeded, chopped
1 large garlic clove
1/2 lb. Velvetta and
1/4 lb. Longhorn cheese grated or cubed
1/3 cup thin cream or canned milk
Saute onions in lard until clarified, add chili, garlic and cheese. When cheese is melted, add 1/3 cup of thin cream or canned milk. Stir until well mixed. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL. And that is it! Please send me your email and I will send Taco recipe!

Clare's Creations said...

I have a copy of the cookbook. It's signed by Elaine Smith and Josephine C Griggs. My father, George Paz owned Bronson Printing Company who published the cookbook in 1968. It's a family heirloom as a result. I love the recipes and it brings me back to my roots of Las Cruces. Panza LLena, Corazon Contento.

Jan said...

Thanks for your comment! I really think there is a need for a re-issue of this book, don't you?

Aunt Lo said...

Is the queso recipe in the comment above the same as the queso from La Posta? I long ago misplaced my La Posta cookbook.

Jan said...

No, the Queso is similar but not from the cookbook. Send me your email and I will send it to you.

JKHomes said...

Thank you for this website. I was looking for the La Posta chile con queso recipe when I found you on Google. From Las Cruces sometimes we would go down the back road to Griggs Restaurant. La Posta still has good food, but too bad the other nephews messed up El Pinto in Albuquerque.

Jan said...

Glad you found it. In El Paso, Griggs food can still be had at Pepe's Restautant in Canutillo, owned by former Griggs manager Pepe. Excellent food and great service. My only complaint is the tostadas are not homemade, and I love freshly fried and warm tostadas!