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06 March 2010 @ 12:53 am
what might be cooking.  
Sitting where I am sitting, at the computer at my dining-room-table-desk, I can see one and one-half bookshelves of cookbooks. Not a lot, by foodie standards, but it's a happy little collection. A sampling:

Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas five years ago. Whatever you think of Rachael Ray (I like her fine), it was this beginner cookbook that started me down a path of focused cooking, more than pasta dishes, which is all I ever really cooked before.

The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook: I bought this the year I got a summer CSA vegetable share that turned out to be little more than bok choy and the occasional strawberry-sized green pepper. It's a lovely cookbook, though, and actually non-vegetarian.

An Improvisational Cook: At Powells.com, they have a Daily Dose book recommendation made by their readers. If your book is selected, you win a $20 gift certificate, unless the person who won the day before didn't claim theirs, in which case it is $40. I recommended a book (I forget which one now) and won $40, and this is the book I ordered with it.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: My mother picked this up for me at the charity shop on Hilton Head, where she volunteers. It was last year, before the movie came out and everyone started buying it again. I don't imagine they get many copies there these days. (I also found a copy of Larousse Gastronomique there last year. It weighed too much for me to take home in my suitcase.)

The Dysfunctional Gourmet: A spiral-bound novelty cookbook full of recipes with names like "The Salad Louise Made Right Before Her Husband Left Her For A Guy" and "My Mind Controller's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies". (This was a gift.)

I also went through a phase a couple of years ago where I collected cookbooks from the 1930's through the 1960's, mostly through Bookmooch. My oldest is the Women's Council of Grace M. E. Church Cook Book, Kokomo, Indiana, 1936. It has ads in it for Jenkins Motor Sales and Victory Cleaners and Dyers, with four-digit phone numbers.

I'm not cooking my way through any one book, but during this indefinite employment hiatus, I decided I am going to make at least one thing out of each of them. I've never cooked anything out of the old ones, and the only modern one I use regularly is The New Best Recipe.

The old ones may be a challenge, because they often say things like "Bake in a quick oven until done." Also... well, for example, here's a recipe for "Sandwich Spread" from the Grace Church cookbook:

2 quarts green tomatoes, 12 red pimentos, 2 cups sweet pickles, ground, 1/2 pound cream cheese, 1/2 pound butter, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 2-1/2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon salt. Cook 15 minutes. Thicken with 1 cup flour, 1 cup water mixed. Set aside. Stir in mixture and boil 20 minutes. -- Mrs. Frank Brasket

I probably won't be making that.
eelizaloula on March 9th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
That sounds real gross! But I love the idea of making one thing out of each. Let us know how it goes! OOXX.