You might remember a few weeks ago, I made the declaration that I would tame the beast that was my cookbook collection. Today we continue our journey into the mouth of the dragon. (I need to stop reading so many fantasy novels.)
I dug into the pile and chose this one: Taste and See, published in 1996. It’s a church cookbook of Mother’s, from a church they only attended for a few years. I was about to toss it in the donate pile – it’s not like it meant anything to me — when I thought, no, better check it over. I might get a post out of it.
Surprisingly, there were several decent recipes in it. Not your usual church potluck fare. In fact, I was finding several recipes of interest.
Then… what to my wondering eyes should appear? I see Mother’s name!
Whoa! Mother contributed a recipe? I carefully scanned the entire book — there were three recipes total! A spinach dip, a strange sort of cookie with dried fruit and dates (ew!) and something called “Hash Brown Hot Dish” which was layered frozen hash browns, ground beef and canned soup. (Let’s not think about that one, okay?)
Okay, so here’s the startling thing about my discovery:
- Mother didn’t like to cook. It’s fair to say she dreaded it. She only did it out of necessity, and anytime she got out of it was a good day by her reckoning. Come to think of it, it’s probably why she encouraged all her kids to cook at a young age. (Mother was a sly one.)
- I have no memory of any of these recipes, except possibly the spinach dip, which was something my sister made.
- My parents only attended this church for a few years, evidently hitting it during their cookbook era.
- I’m picturing Mother being stopped on her way out of service, possibly by a woman named Marion Tipton (from her massive number of recipes in the book, I’m guessing she was in charge), and given a kind, yet firm reproach of, “We still don’t have a recipes of yours! Oh, please do submit something. We’d love to have you included!”
- I see Mother protesting, “I don’t really…” and Marion insisting, “Oh, but you must!” and Mother relenting, “Well, I suppose I could find one…” and Marion saying,
“Make it three, okay? Must go now! Bye!”
- Mother sighs.
Now, I’d like to think ill of Marion Tipton, I really would. But the fact is… well, her recipes look amazing! I mean honestly, this woman could cook! She’s got this pork roast number with an apricot glaze — oh my gosh, does that sound good! And her recipe for Fresh Apple Cake looks positively inspired!
Besides, Mother had a strong personality. Red hair was not wasted on her. If she didn’t want to submit recipes, she darn well wouldn’t have.
All this is to say, despite my pledge to take my collection to the bare minimum, this cookbook I’m keeping. Mostly for Mother’s name, but also for Marion Tipton’s recipes. As well as a few others — turns out there are several gems in here.
Yesterday would have been Mother’s 83rd birthday. She passed away nine years ago, just a few years after Father. In honor of her birthday, I’m going to share with you something she would have liked.
Mom’s favorite pie was Lemon Meringue, and it just so happens that – yes – Marion Tipton has a recipe for “Prize Winning Lemon Meringue Pie.” No idea what the prize was, but the pie sounds darn fine. It also sounds like a lot of work. Lemon meringue is like the prima donna of the pie world.
But wait! What’s that right below it? We have a challenger! Bunny Dykes (Seriously, that’s her name!) has a recipe called “Quick N Easy Lemon Pie” and the filling has 4 ingredients!
I had to try this recipe because it seemed too easy to be possible. Four ingredients, popped into a blender? Really?
Well, I’m here to tell you it worked. What’s more, I’m certain Mother would have loved it.
Happy Birthday, Mom! ❤
Bunny's Quick N Easy Lemon Pie
This has to be the easiest pie I’ve ever made, outside of using canned pie filling. The flavor reminds me of those yummy little lemon bars. You know the ones? With powdered sugar on top? Mmmm.
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
- one 9″ unbaked pie shell
Wash and cut the whole lemon in eighths (don’t peel). Add lemon, sugar, eggs and butter into your blender and puree until completely smooth. Pour into pie shell. (If your blender isn’t very powerful, you may need to cut the lemon in smaller pieces.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until set (insert knife in middle, if it comes out clean, you’re good to go). Let cool on a rack and serve with whipped cream and maybe a few berries on top.