Sunday, July 20, 2008

Those Wonderful Sentimental Gifts

Due to everyone having crazy schedules, it will take more than a week to celebrate my birthday with my parents. I won't see Dad till this coming Friday and Mom invited me over to her place for a pizza/pool party this past Friday.

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


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I think it's kind of fun when you can spread your birthday out for a week or two. Of course, now that I've reached...ahem...a "certain age", I'm not so keen on acknowledging it al all! ;)

What a thoughtful and meaningful gift! Not only are those old cookbooks retro and fun, but they hold so many great memories too. My mom has the same cookbook, but she won't part with any of hers. :(

Heather said...

What a wonderful, special gift! I always wanted my mom's cookbooks, but after she died I decided my sister-in-law (who can't cook her way out of a paper bag) should have them. Maybe I should steal them back.

Adam said...

Wow, who's mom doesn't have that picnic table plaid cook book? That's an instant classic. I wonder if I'll get my mothers? I should arm wrestle my sister

Maheswari said...

My mom didn't kept any cookbooks, so now calling everytime i cook her recipe and noting it down.This is indeed a very special gift..

Emiline said...

This is a wonderful gift! I love how she signed it. This has been a classic cookbook in our family, as well.
Dad gave me his mom's Joy of Cooking - which I treasure.

Srivalli said...

how wonderful to get such a cookbook!..great..waiting to see what and all you cook up from that!

Nikki said...

That is so super cool, Rachel! My grandma passed last year and that meant her cookbooks were bequeathed to me (well, there's no documentation on that, but I'm the only family member who cooks, so I just took them). I love looking at the books, mostly worn and torn from eons of use in the kitchen.