Monday, December 18, 2006

A tummy bug found Aubry this weekend so a few plans were cancelled leaving me with some free time to rummage through my multitude of cookbooks. I found an old Farm Journal Country Cookbook given to me by my grandma, her name signed on the inside cover dated 1958.

My grandma was a wonderful cook, German food being her speciality. Pork ribs with cabbage and sour cream, sauerkraut, and thin, crispy pancakes with boysenberry jam are all familiar in my imagination. The thing I remember most about spending time with her is preparing food and eating it. Afternoons in her kitchen, rolling out cookie dough on her turquoise counter-top were frequent. Most often, a memory of my grandma pops up when I taste or smell food similar to what she used to fix.

Unfortunately, by the time I became interested in cooking my hubby and I had moved far away from where my grandma lived so I have almost none of her cooking knowledge unless it comes from her cookbook. Browsing through it this weekend, I have bookmarked a number of recipes that remind me of her. I passed over such gems as Jellied Beef Mold (boiled ground beef and green olives suspended in gelatin) and Prune Pinwheels, and I marked the good ones like Blueberry Buckle and Orange Cookies. My grandma was not a success in any worldly sense, but she made a huge impression on my life. She never voiced it in words, but it was her way of serving and loving the people around her to fill their stomachs with wonderful food, it was what she did best.
"...Cookies encourage milk drinking, for cookies and milk are like peaches and cream--great friends. Farm Journal readers tell us their husbands and youngsters are the lovable incentives that turn them into cookie-baking women.

...Part of the joy of baking comes from trying different recipes to find out which ones your family and friends most enjoy. Such an adventure is the best way to build a collection of your own."
Farm Journal Country Cookbook--1958

I think I need to go bake something...