Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Well Used Cookbook . . . and a bit more

Now there's a cook book that's seen some use! It was given to me by my in-laws for Christmas in 1978 and I've made many a fine dish from it. Note the classy duct tape holding it together.
It's a compilation of the best recipes from  the many cookbooks put out by Junior League groups in the South -- home of some very good cooking, indeed.
I made a chocolate pound cake yesterday -- the condition of the page should hint that this is a favorite recipe. It's also Ethan's traditional birthday cake and he was up from Atlanta for a small early celebration.

Yes, I write in my books and make adjustments to the recipes now and then.

And on the blank pages at the back, I have a rough guide to my usual barbecue sauce . . . 






. . . as well as directions from the archives of a 13th century monastery for making a monk's robe.
Yeah, I don't know either. I haven't a clue why I wrote this esoteric information down -- nor why in the cookbook.  I don't know where the directions came from -- certainly not the original archives: I'd remember that.

But it's kind of cool -- as one who in the past struggled with those exasperating and tedious tissue paper patterns to construct a garment,  I find the economy of these directions charming.  
 
"Of stout black woolen cloth take 4 equal pieces,  each as long as the height of the Brother from nape to heel and as wide as will stretch across his shoulders from elbow to elbow. Let the first cover his right front and the second his left and the third shall cover him behind. Then let the fourth piece be folded into three & of these the first shall be for his left arm, the second for his right, and the last for his hood.  So shall he be covered and two ells of common rope encase his middle."


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22 comments:

Bernie said...

What a great post Vicki, my favorite cookbook was given to me in 1968 and some pages are hardly readable any more due to all the flour, baking powder, sugar and other stains but oh how I still love it.....:-)Hugs

Pat in east TN said...

I also have a favorite cookbook like that, and it sits in its place of honor. All pages are discolored from age and some from assorted goodies that landed on the pages over the years during mixing. No recipe that I have tried in that book has ever failed me, and like you, I have notes scattered here/there.

Brian Miller said...

that is so cool...i bet there will be those fighting for that cook book one day...thanks for the tips on the robe as well...lol.

Mr. Stupid said...

That's a huge cook book. I am sure its filled with lots and lots of recipes. BTW, I agree with Brian. There will be people fighting for that book one day.
Smiles...

gayle said...

I think I have that same cookbook but mine is in better condition. Hmm what does that say about me!! I think you have used your way more!!

jennyfreckles said...

What a great thing to have written in your cook book! You have such an eclectic mind, that's probably why you can write novels.

Jean Baardsen said...

Cute! You never know when you might need a monk's robe....

Kaye Barley said...

What a great post! My favorite cookbook is the Farm Journal's Country Cookbook (new & enlarged edition - 1972). But, sadly, there's nothing quite as cool as your monk's robe hidden in there.

Vicki Lane said...

Bernie -- I'm on my second copy of one of my very favorite cookbooks -- THE GASPARILLA COOKBOOK from the Tampa Jr. League. The first was given to me in '62 and it finally fell apart due to hard use.

Pat -- these cookbooks are real artifacts, aren't they?

Brian -- I hoped someone might find that robe pattern useful... I think I'd go for terry cloth rather than black wool just now.

Mr. Stupid -- can't see my boys fighting over this cookbook. More likely it will self-destruct in a few years.

Gayle-- It may say you're a more careful cook -- I tend to fling things about a bit when I cook.

Eclectic is a kind word for my magpie mind, jennyfreckles. But it does help with the writing.

True enough, Jean.

KarenB said...

All the best cookbooks look like that! I have a few unfortunate recipes that use lemon and the juice that has sprayed has faded the words on the recipe! My Joy of Cooking is now in 3 parts. Do you find you have some recipes that you just need to have out, but don't actually need to read?

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- your cookbook looks like my telephone/address book -- worn and used persistently. An old friend gave me my T&A book and I just can't give it up -- duct tape and all. -- barbara

tori said...

I too write adjustments of recipes (to my families tastes) in my cookbooks. Maybe someday my children or grandchildren will find these and smile.

Miss_Yves said...

A very original use for a cookbook!

You were interested in " esoteric informations "and especially in the "making of a monk's robe"....
Are you sure that the author of "Ill nome della rosa" is really Umberto Eco ? (lol)

Miss_Yves said...

An answer for you on my blog

Friko said...

Enquire within!

Make it not just a cookbook but a book for life's threads.
I too am the prod owner of such a cookbook, as well as a whole box file full of cuttings, my own handwritten recipes and other people's favourite recipes.
No kitchen is complete without this kind of collection.

Star said...

Love the cook book and the instructions for the habit.
Sometimes, when I am struggling into my tights or a dress or whatever, I wish I could just wear a sack with a rope round the middle of it.
Blessings, Star

Vicki Lane said...

Exactly, Karen! I have a bernaise recipe given me by a friend and the black ink is almost entirely gone due to the lemon juice.

Where would we be without duct tape, Barbara?

Tori -I have my grandmother's cookbooks and treasure the notes she made and the newspaper clippings hidden between the pages.

Miss Yves -- alas, my bank account says it wasn't me!

Friko -- I enjoy looking through recipes I clipped 49 years ago and wondering why I ever thought I'd want to make THAT!

Amen, Star!

Deanna said...

My favorite cookbook is a wedding present from 1972. The cover is separated from the book. I need to do something about that! Loved this post because it made me realize we are the antiques our kids are going to cherish... well, at least our things are!

Mel said...

I love your well used cookbook. I love my Joy of Cooking that I bought new a quarter century ago. You can tell what I make often by the stains on the pages. I write in mine too, but nothing as interesting as your robe design!

I love what I call church lady cookbooks, and I buy them at rummage sales, especially if someone wrote comments inside. They're lovely bits of history.
I think there is some chocolate pound cake in my future....

Vagabonde said...

I like your old cookbook. I have some old ones like this. The first one I bought was in 1967, a paperback called The Bride’s cookbook or something like that, it is in a pitiful condition. When I go to estate sales I like to buy old cookbooks – I have some from the 20s and 30s – I would not make the recipes but I enjoy looking at them. I have too many cookbooks – but then I’ll read the same recipe in 4 or 5 cookbooks then come up with the best additions to make my own. The problem is that sometime I forget what I had added. Yesterday I made a very good black eye pea salad with baby spinach – I need to write it down before I forget it.

Vicki Lane said...

I have a few great church lady (or Daughters of the Confederacy) cookbooks from 1920s Alabama, Mel. They were really big on desserts and had never heard of garlic.

The black-eyed pea salad sounds intriguing, Vagabonde.Maybe you'll put the recipe on your blog . . .

evalinn said...

I love the look of that cookbook! :-)