Her first gift to me was the new R.E.M. CD (she was having trouble coming up with a gift, so I asked her for it. Not a real surprise) but then she gave me something else.
Growing up, I noticed Mom tended to refer to her oldest and most classic cookbooks when she needed a very basic recipe for something. I noticed that she used this one a lot (along with the venerable Joy of Cooking).
I'm sure everyone recognizes this. The red-checked cover has been consistent over many editions.
As I began cooking and baking, I followed Mom's lead and pulled out this book too. It's really a fun cookbook for the classic kitsch value.
Check out the 50s-era illustrations. Every chapter has one.
This photo looks like it could star in the Gallery of Regrettable Food. Food photography wasn't that great in those days, was it?
However, a photo of butterscotch rolls inspired me to make my first sticky buns. I made both these buns and classic cinnamon rolls one day. It was my first venture into yeast.
Speaking of ventures into yeast, I made my first bread from this book too. Here is the wholewheat bread recipe I used.
I also used this book for all kinds of sweet recipes. I made homemade chocolate pudding from this book. I made brownies and cupcakes from this book. This really was a go-to book for me.
Mom inscribed the book for me. She signed it right above where my grandmother signed it back in 1961.
I couldn't get a clear photo. The dark writing is Mom's inscription to me. You can see faint writing under it where my grandmother inscribed it to my mother. That would have been before she married my father and was young enough to need to learn to start cooking and meal planning one day.
Although the pages are delicate, I do think I'll probably be pulling out this book for some classic recipes. Maybe it will be sticky buns or bread or brownies. Maybe I'll cook that slab of meat from the photo. :-D