Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guest Post: The Cookbook

Surrrrpriiiiiise! It's a guest blog post today! I normally do a lot of advertisement as I wait to for the production of a post from a guest blogger, but this time I had an insta-post from my momma! When reading this it gives me warm fuzzy feelings because it gives me a sense of my own history and family background. Its like reading a history book but the characters that make up the story are my family members, and even though I am not the one writing this, it is like sharing a part of myself with you.

The Cookbook
By Trish Coleman

My mother was a collector of recipes. She clipped them from magazines and newspapers, sometimes to my father’s dismay. I can picture him now, sitting in his Naugahyde easy chair holding up the newspaper, peering out through a four by six inch hole where the rest of his article used to be.

I have several hand written recipes, Mom would jot them down as she watched cooking shows such as The Frugal Gourmet, Julia Childs or the Galloping Gourmet. They are all tucked away in one of my prized possessions, my mother’s old cookbook. To anyone else, her cookbook wouldn’t be much of a treasure, its missing its cover, its pages are tattered, and half of the index is missing, essentially, its falling apart. But if my mom was cooking her cookbook was open. The years of her love for us are evident in the pages of this well-worn book.

Not wanting to destroy what’s left of my mom’s cookbook, I tracked down a copy of the Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, which I use in my own kitchen. It was originally published in 1942. In its pages, the little homemaker can find things such as proper table settings, dinner party planning, measurements and their equivalent, how to boil an egg, cuts of meat, bread baking, and the list goes on and on. While I have around fifty cookbooks, not one of them can compare to the likes of this wonderful book.

My mother instilled a love for cooking deep within me, and in the process, a love for family. Perhaps it is all of the sentiment that it evokes. One whiff of raw apple cake baking sends me instantly back in time to my childhood.  Memories of my mother and grandmother busy about the kitchen in their aprons, working in unison like a well-oiled machine, preparing breakfast with eggs I helped my grandmother collect, Sunday dinner, a holiday meal. I remember sitting on a step stool in the corner of my grandma’s primitive kitchen. Primitive in that it had no running water, only a pump at the big farm sink and a stove powered by burning wood.  There were no electric appliances, only things like a hand turned butter churn and an old Ice box. With mouthwatering smells, some of the most awesome meals came out of that kitchen and from my grandparent’s garden.  Meals that not only nourished our physical bodies but our souls too; the comfort of home and family.

At home in our modern kitchen I cooked side by side with my mother. We made delicious food which drew the compliments of my father, brother and those who would gather from time to time.  My dad would say to my mom at almost every meal, “You keep this up and I might just have to keep you on steady!”

I continue to use my cookbook with all of its time tested recipes and tips, using the expertise found within its pages to teach my children the art of cooking.  Eventually I plan to track down more copies and give them to my daughters as they leave the nest and have their own families. After all, we are not just creating food we are creating memories and traditions to be held for generations to come.

1 comment:

Jori said...

I wish your mom blogged... or wrote a book. I would absolutely read more of her work. Such a good storyteller. I also love the idea of objects as a springboard for portraits. Thank you so much (and thank your mom) for sharing this.