Friday, June 3, 2011

Cookbooks—one last word!

(This was my article for the Leaf-Chronicle on Sunday, May 29th.  It seems folks are pretty passionate about their favorites!)

 

This will be the last one, I promise! I hadn’t planned to write another article about cookbooks, but after meeting with the wonderful ladies who make up the Clarksville Country Women’s Club, I decided I would be remiss if I didn’t add this addendum to last week’s article about my favorite cookbooks. I completely ignored the locally produced cookbooks; those produced by church groups, women’s clubs and military family support groups. I spoke with a few of their members and we discussed how much we enjoy locally produced cookbooks. Actually, I also received several emails and a few facebook comments regarding the some favorites I failed to mention

The first one brought to my attention was the local Junior Auxiliary’s Linen Napkins to Paper Plates. I’ve carried this one at the shop and receive calls for it constantly, but they’re no longer printing it. Let this serve as notice the ladies of the Junior Auxiliary—there is demand for your product. After that, the mentions were community specific.

What I like about those types of cookbooks is that they usually contain the best of the best. Those who submit their recipes are usually very proud of their submissions. They only offer-up those recipes that receive highest accolades at family dinners, reunions and social gatherings. The recipes in these collections have often been handed down for generations. Don’t you just love it recipe calls for “oleo;” you just know that one is a few generations old!

I really like finding these types of cookbooks from 30 or more years ago. It’s like a history book. The cooking tips are priceless! The other thing I love is that they are full-on-fat-content-be-darned recipes! Rarely do you come across a recipe in one of these books that would be considered “light.” They speak of a different time in our American lives. They speak of days of activity and very little—if any—television viewing; definitely no games to be played on tv. Kid’s activities, as well as adult activities took place outside. These recipes are from the kitchens of ladies who prepared their dinners without “googling” menu plans on the internet. They shared their recipes through bridge clubs and church groups. You’ve got to love that!

My all-time favorite compilation of recipes, however was my own notebook filled with recipes. I started it one summer while we were in limbo between Germany and Georgia. I spent a lot of time traveling to see family and friends while Darren found us a house and got settled at his new unit. While visiting, I wrote down recipes for the dishes they prepared for us. I also took the opportunity to copy a lot of my mom’s recipes in her index card file. I had recipes from my aunt, grandmother and cousins as well as those of friends. It was a treasure!

You’ll note I used the past tense.

About two years ago, I took it with me to do my grocery shopping and accidentally left it at the check-out counter. I ran immediately back to the store, but we couldn’t locate it. It made me so sad to know I’d never be able to compile such an amazing collection I’ll never know where it went, but I hope someone is using it and enjoying as much as I did. If the new owner is reading this, be sure to try my mimi’s 1-2-3-4 cake—it is amazing!

Well, that wraps-up the cookbook series . . . for now.  Thanks for your indulgence.

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3 comments:

Snap Peas said...

I missed your first cookbook post, busy week I guess. I own 150+ cookbooks - that was the count 10 years ago :-) My favorites are the Junior League Cookbooks from Pasadena and San Fran. I've lived in VA for 24 years, but am a CA native - so my subscription is to Sunset (sister to Southern Living) it's a regional thing - I LOVE my cookbooks (almost as much as shoes)Fun post - thanks!

Auntie Bliss said...

I want to cry that you lost it! Reminds me of my second child's blankie...gone too soon.
My favorite cookbook has the BandB we stayed in on our honeymoon.
here:
http://tinyurl.com/3pn4qn6

shades deville said...

My favorite cookbook is a family hand-me-down from the generation of great aunts who were household help for the local wealthy folks. It has chapters on household budgeting, meat cuts, table setting, and of course, recipes. Or "Receipts" as they titled the section. I haven't tried to cook anything from it, because all the directions reference "hot oven," "bake until done," no temperature settings, and I swear I have seen a reference to "when the coals are white hot..." ... because it's from 1921!

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