Digging through the cookbook collection again – Lordy people, will this ever end? – and I came upon this one.
Big oops! This should not have been in the “possibly discard” pile. If either of my sisters hear of this, they’ll be at my doorstep with pitchforks, toot sweet. So keep it under your hats, okay?
This is our family cookbook — as in, our actual family cookbook. It was the brain-child of Oldest Sister, who managed to undertake the entire project without our parents knowing about it.
I think it was a year in the making. She sought recipes from family members I didn’t even know we had, as well as old photos and remembrances. Then she assembled it, paid for the binding, and presented it to Mother and Father at their 50th wedding anniversary, in 2000. As well as copies for every family member.
She titled it “Oh Fer Dumb” the phrase our parents used whenever they heard something ridiculous, silly, or just plain stupid.
So I’m sure you can imagine why tossing this puppy out would have incurred the wrath of both sisters, and possibly my brothers too. I was going to quietly return it to the shelf, never admit my near transgression, when I happened to leaf through the book.
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!
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably pretty busy right now. Maybe you still have baking you want to do, shopping you need to take care of, oh-dear-God-you-forgot-a-gift-for-Uncle-Henry, or maybe you have guests coming over for dinner.
(Did you clean your baseboards? They’ll look you know. Better get on that.)
This time of year always makes me a little nostalgic, so I’ve been thinking about past Christmases — actually Christmas Eves, because that was always the bigger holiday for my family. That was when the entire family would gather together. There’d be a big meal, the gifts would be opened, then we’d go to the candlelight service at church.
Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving dinner where each guest is supposed to say something they’re thankful for? Don’t you just hate that?
Honestly, it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so darn lame. How many times can you hear “I’m thankful for my family,” or “I’m thankful for good friends,” without wanting to stab yourself with the olive pick?
But then I thought, hey, what if we spiced things up just a little? What if we were thankful for everything? After all, one thing I hear a lot (at least in church) is that we should be thankful in all circumstances.
Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?
Oh, and look … here is our special guest! Say hello to Betty Crocker, circa 1973. Hello Betty!
Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room. Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.
You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.
Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?
Well, never mind. Here, you can use mine. Just please don’t spill anything on it, okay? The current spills will one day be carbon dated and we don’t want to throw off their findings.
Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?
Before we go right to discussing the merits of beer, first let me tell you a little something about my heritage.
On my one side are Germans, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, Germans like beer. No surprise there, right? On my other side are Norwegians and they like beer too. Actually, Norwegians like a lot of beverages, many of them alcoholic in nature. The point is, beer is right up there.
By all logic, I should like beer. It’s in my blood.
But I don’t, and here’s why: when you are seven years old and you see a glass of what looks like apple juice and you really like apple juice so you drink the apple juice only it’s not apple juice so you spit it out and then get in trouble for spitting … well, it can cause some bitter feelings toward beverages impersonating apple juice.
This happened more than once, by the way, I was a slow learner.
Anyway, I realize I’m now a grown up and should be over this, but some childhood traumas take longer to heal from than others. And fake apple juice is huge. HUGE, I say!
So much so that if I were to hear a health report saying the secret to a long healthy life was a daily intake of beer, I would not be able to comply. I would think about it, though. Case in point: