Ninety-something Ruth Taube is an institution on New York City's historic Lower East Side. She teaches Mo Rocca many things, including how to make a mean Matzo ball soup and farfel, as well as how to sew. Ruth and Mo also hit some classic Manhattan specialty stores to buy pickles and black and white cookies before they head to dinner with her daughter and grandkids.
Meena, 70, and Amar Giri were born in Nepal (land of Mount Everest) but they currently reside in Amish country, Lancaster, Pa. This charming couple takes Mo Rocca to new culinary heights by showing him how to make the dumplings known (coincidentally) as momos. They also visit a local goat farm and later make the traditional dish goat curry.
Mo meets the very dramatic former actress Julia Garay, an 87-year-old Hungarian grandmother living near Philadelphia. Julia shows Mo Rocca how to make the classic entrees of her homeland made with that very Hungarian spice, paprika -- Goulash and Chicken Paprikash. She also teaches Mo how to make a very refreshing soup made with sour cherries. Plus, a few surprise guests stop by while Julia and Mo are cooking.
Grandpa Bill "BK" Nuzum, 77, of El Reno, Okla., recreates what life and food were like on America's plains in the 19th century. His unique and fascinating hobby is to build chuck wagons -- he and his friends dress like a ranchers/cowboys of yesteryear and cook some hearty grub outdoors. They cook up some chicken fried steak, biscuits, beans, fried pies and a whole lot more using large Dutch ovens. It's living history at its best and most delicious.
Grandma Nona Flye, 75, of Dallas, and Mo Rocca go hunting in the woods of Quanah, Texas, and cook up their bounty in her recreational vehicle. Whatever they shoot will be on the dinner menu, whether it's raccoon or boar. Everything is bigger in Texas and Nona is a larger-than-life character worthy of this great state.
Grandpa Louis McMillan, 69 of Fannin, Texas, is a master at the art of barbecue. He knows what temperature to cook the meat, how to apply dry rub, how long to smoke it and cook it. His eatery was a former post office -- and the food there always delivers. It was deemed one of Texas' top barbecue joints many years running. If you like brisket, ribs and the South, you will not want to miss this episode.
Hong Kong-born Grandfather Kam Wah Chui, 77, used to manage a bustling Chinese restaurant in New York City's Chinatown. Now retired, he spends a lot of time shopping, prepping and cooking for his wife, kids and grandchildren (15 people in all) every day! He teaches Mo Rocca how to make some Chinese delicacies, including stuffed whole fish, roast pork, and tofu with vegetables. He'll also give Mo a primer on the ancient art of Tai Chi.
Sister Marie Pappas, 62, is a kind and energetic nun who lives in a convent in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. She has dedicated her life to her faith and to teaching young people about religion. It's a Hawaiian-themed dinner at the convent, and Sr. Marie and her fellow nuns teach Mo Rocca how to prepare grilled chicken with pineapple and a pineapple cake that could be described as heavenly. Sr. Marie also has Mo as a guest on her weekly radio show.
Guelda Barker, 93, is a charming grandmother from the small town of Mount Ayr, Iowa, population 1689. Guelda is a retired lunch lady who wowed the kids with all her many specialties, from hot beef sandwiches, to chocolate cake and her beloved cinnamon rolls. Mo Rocca visits Guelda during Mount Ayr's annual town festival, "Ayr Days", which has a parade and lots of good cheer.
Edna Mae Phillips, 78, is a native of Ida Grove, Iowa. She is a smart, spunky, hilarious lady who is very versatile in the kitchen: She makes a mean fried chicken and bakes a juicy apple pie. And being in Iowa, corn is also on her menu. She has fourteen kids and forty-three grandkids, so when she and her husband, Tom, celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, the number of family members attending could approach triple digits.
If you like jelly and jam, you'll love Pittsburgh native Kathleen "Kitty" Kleber, who grows just about every kind of fruit in her backyard and that fruit ends up in an airtight jar. The varieties of jellies, jams and spreads are astounding -- elderberry, candy apple, tomato, inferno, raspberry hot pepper, boysenberry and caramel apple just to name a few. Kitty picks and preserves fruit with Mo Rocca and they go on a shopping excursion to Pittsburgh for baked goods.
Part of the success of NBA superstar LeBron James is his giant fan club based in Akron, Ohio, whose members are spirited grannies rooting him on during every game. Mo Rocca spends quality time with Alder Chapman, the president of the club, and Pat Idley, who edited the group's cookbook. Together they create a meal that's a slam dunk -- jambalaya, beer batter chitterlings, corn bread salad, lemon meringue pie and more.
Mustachioed grandpa Vincent Pesiri of Clementon, N.J., 55, loves watching football almost as much as he loves cooking. Vin and Mo Rocca whip up some spicy crabs for the guys to eat while watching TV in the Man Cave. Later, Vin and Mo cross the Jersey/Philly border to shop for dinner (and punch a few slabs of meat). Back home, Vin and Mo cook up some hearty paella and bananas foster for everyone's sweet tooth.
Thursdays at 9pm ET