Monday, March 9, 2015

Cookbooks

I learned to cook at a very young age.  My Mama would let us help her in the kitchen from as long as I can remember. When I was either 13 or 14 years old, my Mama got a part time job to help supplement the family income.  I am one of four and  I am the oldest.  The responsibility for having dinner on the table was mine for the evenings that Mama worked.  As I write this, I am actually amazed that I was given such a large job.  I've always loved being in the kitchen and have always felt comfortable there.  Preparing meat and potatoes and vegetables was standard at my home as a child.  There was no fancy cooking involved.





Mama and her sisters got together every December to make fruitcakes.  I was able to help them and enjoyed these times with these amazing women.  I'm related to very strong women and am proud to have had many wonderful memories with them.  My Mama and her sisters got together monthly and when I was old enough to join in I was delighted.  My daughter joined in when she came "of age."



The Sisters-Left to Right --Aunt Ritsie, Mama, Aunt Jeannie, Aunt Lou Lou 


When I married and started a home of my own, I wanted to venture out with my cooking and baking.  I began collecting recipes from friends.  Also this is when I began buying cookbooks.  My little kitchen can hold only a few cookbooks, so they have moved around our home to a bookcase downstairs.  I cannot part with them.

This box holds a treasure of recipes from friends and family.









I keep binders of recipes in my kitchen and a few current cookbooks.  This winter, my husband and I put these recipes into 3 ring binders and catagorized them.  It has made it so easy to find what I'm searching for.  Using my Kindle for recipes on the web is better than copying all the recipes.

We all do what we love and one of my loves is being in my kitchen.  I'm always learning and love trying new recipes.





Do you have old cookbooks?  Many of mine have stains and are not exactly in pristine condition. I think it just gives them character. I have become more judicious about buying more as there is no room. Most of my favorite recipe cards are not because of the recipe but for the handwriting of friends and family.  Seeing my Mama's handwriting is like a hug from her. ♥





23 comments:

  1. I see that we have a lot of the same cookbooks and even the same recipe box! No kidding. Mine was a gift in 1980 purchased at an outlet store. My mother was a wonderful cook who did not allow me nor my sister in the kitchen while she was cooking; hence we have no chance of duplicating any of her dishes...we've tried. Oh, yes, we follow the recipe, but my mom was a sneaky gal. LOL! What fun to have been included in your mother's and aunts' fun. You will have to tell us more about it some day. I can tell right now that your Aunt Lou Lou did not get the memo about Christmas sweaters. This was a very cozy read.

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    1. Vee, I've gotten recipes from those wonderful, sneaky gals who've shared almost everything for a recipe. I don't remember where I got the recipe box. Could have been an outlet store like you.
      These aunts of mine were something else. My daughter is writing a play about them. My Aunt Lou Lou was the more "fashionable" of the aunts, but notice she is wearing a snowman necklace. ♥

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  2. Martha, you and I have almost the exact same recipe card box! Mine has a little brass pull on the top instead of the wooden knob, but they are identical otherwise.

    I have never been a cookbook kind of gal. A few select family recipes on the cards in the box, and a tattered copy of The Joy of Cooking are it. Pinterest and the 'Web have been fun to explore to try new things. Otherwise, I just wing it and see what happens.

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    1. Connie, I came late to the "check on the internet and Pinterest" for recipes. It sure could have saved some space and money. ♥

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  3. Martha Ellen, until last year I think my cookbook collection would have outnumbered yours! When we did our mini-kitchen remodel I gave away a lot of my books. What I still have too many of are clippings from magazines and newspapers. Earlier that winter I was finally going through the bankers box I'd stashed them in and filing them into an expanding folder until Spring came. I set that project aside to work in my garden and haven't gotten back to it. It was easy to throw some of the recipes away because either my tastes have changed or I eat healthier now. I don't know why I can't just throw them all away. They're still sitting in the basement waiting for me to go through them! The cookbooks I started my marriage with are the B&G New Cookbook like you have, plus The Settlement cookbook. I still use both from time to time. I saved some of my mother's recipe cards, and like you, enjoy seeing her handwriting when I pull them out to make something she used to make. Now I use the Web a great deal to look up a recipe that I might even have just because it's quicker! That same winter I found several Susan Branch recipe holder books and put a lot of my recipes in those, but now I forget which book holds which recipe. One of these days I may devise a better way to organize my recipes, hopefully.

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    1. Those clippings you speak of Cathy, are exactly what we organized into 3 ring binders. I've always just printed out something that looks interesting whether it be a recipe or a place to visit or other info that I find unique. I'm trying to break that habit and deal with it another way, such as using the internet instead of using paper---particularly if I end up putting it somewhere that I can't find. I think my children and grandchildren will have an easier time with that issue as they grew up with the internet and the wonderful world library at their fingertips. ♥

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    2. I'm thinking along those same lines now about paper. I already have enough "reading material" stored in my attic for my children and grandchildren to find after I'm gone! But as someone who has done a lot of genealogy research on my family I love finding anything connected to my ancestors, so it's a hard habit to break (saving memorabilia and ephemera for future generations).

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    3. Mom, I don't know if you use it, but Allrecipes.com has a "recipe box" app that works for a Kindle.

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    4. I've seen that, Noel, but I don't use it. Maybe you can show me when we see you next week! Love, Mom

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  4. I share your fondness for cookbooks, Martha Ellen! I was thrilled last year when my mom and aunt were sorting through their late sister's belongings and decided that I should be the recipient of my great-grandmother's cookbooks. One of them was a handwritten collection of recipes written in her own handwriting and that of her daughter, my great-aunt. Of course, I love the modern cookbooks too. I am pretty broad in my taste for them. :)

    Several years ago, Kati helped me to put all my loose recipes (handwritten recipe cards, magazine and newspaper clippings) into binders. Doesn't that make a huge difference in the smooth operation of your kitchen?

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    1. Cheryl, I remember your post about those wonderful cookbooks you inherited. How wonderful you have them!
      Yes, those organized recipes make such a difference in the kitchen. I have some of your recipes in those binders. Thank you! ♥

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  5. Well, you have many I don't have, and a few I do! I have around 200 books and wonder how many I actually use? I have a small handful of favourites I go to time and again and the others are for reading! Yes, I love reading recipes, even though I may never try them. Recipe books are fascinating things, especially foreign ones.
    Sadly, I do not have many books from my mother or grandmother as they just didn't use them. I have one small book of a few handwritten recipes from my grandmother and that is about it.
    So lovely to see your collection ~~~Deb in Wales

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    1. Deb, I wonder about saving these cookbooks also. I don't have any cookbooks from other countries. Don't give me any ideas on that!
      The recipes from family members are mostly in that recipe box. I do have a couple of small cookbooks that came with my Mama's stove of all things. Kinda like what we get when we buy a mixer! Have a great afternoon! ♥

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  6. Hi Martha,
    Helping in the kitchen when I was growing up, like yourself, is one of my fonder of memories! And like you, I too had the good fortune to be in charge of dinner when my Mom started her part time job :-)
    I do love cook books and I am quite thrilled to find some of the oldest of old ones in thrift stores and such. I think it is so fun to find something from a lady of the past who has her own sweet notes inserted.
    Thanks for sharing and it was sweet and dear to see your Mom and Aunts!
    Many Blessings and warmth, Linnie

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    1. Linnie, it sounds like we had similar experiences growing up. I hope you were able to find a special place in your new kitchen for your cookbooks. Handwriting is so unique and tells a story about a person, doesn't it? I'm afraid mine is not looking too great as I've gotten older. Thanks for coming over. Blessings to you also! ♥

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  7. We have many recipe cards with our mother and grandmother's hand writing. No great-grand mother, but some with her sister Mary's writing. I am so glad that my mom saved them, because she liked to have the handwritten samples too.
    I have many cookbooks of my own. My sister's and I divided up our mother's cookbooks, and found a few cookbooks from the great-grandmother's generation as well as our grandmother's. One turn of the century cookbook talks about diet, and my sister pointed out that it is similar to what they are talking about now! Everything old is new again!

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    1. Margot, what wonderful treasures you and your sister have! Great-grandparents cookbooks- I'm sure you treasure those! I love how nothing is really new. ♥

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  8. I have a couple of my grandmother's cookbooks. They are full of little notes on the margins and slips of papers with recipes, most of them unreadable. She mostly cooked from memory but they are a real treasure to me.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Amalia, I think the best cooks cook from memory. I know my Grandmother and Nanny did! They were wonderful bakers. I wish I knew how to make my Grandmother's yeast rolls. They were divine! ♥

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  9. I love to cook and wish I took more time finding new recipes. I keep new ones now on my Pinterest but love my old recipe file box with special ones in my mother's handwriting, and friends as well. They have the memories. I recognize quite a few of your cookbooks!

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    1. Since I'm the one responsible for our meals, I've found it helps me to find recipes to keep it interesting. I do find if I fix the same old meals over and over, then I'm not interested in cooking. I think your curry looks wonderful that you featured the other day! Have you shared the recipe and I missed it? ♥

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  10. Great list of cookbooks. I have a lot of the same. They are like old friends!! Clarice

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    1. Clarice, I'm so glad you stopped by today. Thank You!
      My cookbooks are like old friends---I guess that's why I don't want to get rid of them! ♥

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