Readers put a modern twist--with Western flair--on their mothers' favorite old-world dishes
The Finnish original: Jayne Bohannon's great-great-grandmother made a poofy pancake called suomalainen pannukakku, like a cross between a Dutch baby and a French clafoutis.
The Rockies remake: Jayne adds a berry swirl and fresh fruit on top. "My great-great-grandmother started a Finnish sauna and spa in Berkeley. Family members gathered there for her wonderful meals, which included this pancake," said Jayne.
Recipe: Custardy Oven Pancake with Mixed Berries
The South India original: Kavita Aiyar's mother made the region's traditional lemon rice scattered with channa dal (a yellow, lentil-like legume).
The Silicon Valley remake: Kavita cooks quinoa instead of rice (she likes the color of red quinoa especially) and adds spinach and other greens, "basically California-izing it," she says. She suggests split peas because they're easier to find than channa dal.
Recipe: Spiced Lemon Quinoa
The Azores original: When Rachelle Maciel's mother came to the United States from Portugal's Azores islands, she brought her own mother's recipe
for torresmos, pork marinated with vinegar and fiery Scotch bonnet chiles. Both women fried the meat in lard.
The O.C. remake: Rachelle's mom ditched the chiles, and now Rachelle bakes the meat carnitas-style instead of frying it.
Recipe: Marinated Roast Pork with Cilantro Potatoes
The Mexican original: Cristina Gonzalez's grandmother from Jalisco made this gently seasoned soup, called sopa de albondigas, with beef.
The SoCal remake: Cristina, who grew up in L.A., substitues ground turkey for the beef and adds fresh oregano. "When I serve this soup to my 7-year-old, we talk about how his Mexican abuelito (grandfather) and I ate it growing up, and how he's eating it now." she said.
Recipe: Meatball Vegetable Soup