A quilter’s gotta eat, too

This is a post about food.  MMMMMMmmmmmm.

I like to cook.  I like to eat.  What I don’t like is figuring out what to cook.  Many Sunday mornings, I’d look at the grocery list and think, what will we eat this week?  It made me hate to make the list.  But, I’m no good at helter-skelter shopping either.  I need a list to make sure I get all the ingredients.  I think my Mom had everything to make everything, so she just needed to keep everything stocked.  Not us.

My favorite cookbook has always been this one.


I’m pretty sure that my Mom got it as a wedding gift.  At some point, I got to go through her cookbooks and this is one I took.  In fact, this isn’t really the one she got way back then.  I used the one she got so much over the last 20 years that it was wearing thin.  So, when I found another one, in better condition, in an antique shop, I snapped it up and now my Mom’s has a special place where it is protected. 

I mean, who wouldn’t want to make a luscious glazed ham, studded with cloves?


Or lasagna?


Or chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream?


Or apple pie with cheese slices?  (incidentally, best apple pie recipe ever!)


Or whatever the heck this is?


There’s even a chapter on table settings, and who doesn’t want his guests to sit down to this?


But, it was a bit dated.  I still used it for instructions to bake ham and roast turkey and bake an old fashioned cake or cookies and that apple pie that’s to die for.  But there were easier ways to make so many things and much more diversity in our diet.  So, when I found a new edition, from the 90’s, I snapped it up.  But, beware, because the one from the 90’s is not as good; all quick fix, combine a half dozen cans and call it dinner kind of food.  That one went to goodwill.  Then, I found a new one from 2003.


$2.50 in an antique shop.  And, I can tell you, it is a wonderful cookbook.  I made a few recipes out of it and then, one Sunday morning, when I was staring at that grocery list, trying to decide what we were going to be in the mood for on Thursday, I decided to pull all that week’s meals from this cookbook. 

And, that was the start of a great idea.  What it evolved into is an attempt to make all the recipes in the book, Julie and Julia style.  I’m not working from front to back like she did, but instead, I pull a recipe from the grilling section and one from the crockpot section and one from the meat section and one from the poultry section, working those sections front to back, and if I add something from one of my other cookbooks, like something Thai or Indian, I manage to make the whole family happy.

And, we’re getting some new experiences.  We’ve had different flavored roasts, and oven fried and oven barbequed chicken, Steak au Poivre, Chicken in a variety of sauces, and stir fries.  Last night, we had Stroganoff and I’ve successfully smoked my first brisket, tho it took two tries. 

I’ve only had to skip one recipe.  Gingersnap pot roast didn’t sound all that yummy, and it had sweet potatoes and Rob doesn’t do sweet potatoes.  He had an unfortunate run in with them as a child and I have to candy them secretly, for myself, at Christmas. 

Because I’m choosing from different sections, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what this book has to offer…tho I’m not sure what we’ll do when we get to the lamb section.  Around here, you’re more likely to find goat at the market than lamb.  I don’t even know if my store has a section for lamb.  So, we’ll likely skip some recipes there, too. 

Not only is the family enjoying the experience because the results are good and diverse, but I’m enjoying it, too.  It is so easy not to have to think about what we’ll eat next week.  It’s all written down for me in order.  And, I get to try a variety of techniques (I confess, I’d never used a rub and rarely a marinade other what worcestershire and italian dressing. 

Now, I can think about how to quilt the perfect feathers in the perfect stitch length in the perfect quilt top…daydreaming…

Have a great Tuesday.  If the Syglet is nervous about Friday, she’s keeping it pretty close to the chest.  We’re being very indulgent, while still reminding her where the lines are.



Andra Gayle said...

That is a fabulous cook book. My mom made the mistake of throwing her old one away and getting a new one, thinking they would be exactly the same. They aren't! She should have kept the old one.

JoAnne said...

Okay, this is totally weird, but just this morning I was watching a "news show" and they mentioned ginger snaps in a beef roast. I have never heard of that before and here you have posted about the same thing! Wooo wooo, Lol.

You have a great idea for menu planning. I wish there was a computer program where we could add all our favorites and each week, it would print out the menus and the list of things we need to get. It would also "know" what we have on hand.

My mom has a great old cookbook from when she got married. I also found a copy of it at an antique shop. This way my sister and I don't have to fight over who gets the original!

regan said...

I love this book! Mine is circa 1971, snatched from my mother's kitchen when I left in 1980. And you are going to LOVE the chicken curry recipe! It's the best I've ever made. (I nearly double the amount of curry powder and no mushrooms......it's awesome!) AND the banana nut bread.....holy cow! I think I'm going to spend the day cooking! LOL

Elizabeth said...

About Syd & her surgery; I had two c-sections (which are MAJOR surgery). The first one, I was so tired for (eight hours of labor w/no epidural and practically no sleep the night before) I didn't even care. I really just wanted a nap. The second one was planned, so I was prepared and not even nervous, knowing it would definitely be better than the first time. But when I had a bunion removed, which is a 30-minute out-patient procedure, I was really, really worried. The difference for me was that I would be under anesthesia, and things can go wrong with that. Was it really anything to be worried about? No. But that doesn't make my feelings less valid. I suppose I don't have any great advice after that long-winded story, except to tell Sydney that if she's nervous, it's perfectly OK, but she'll be in good hands at the hospital and at home.

About cooking; menu planning is the bane of my existence, especially now that I have gone dairy-free, but still have to feed the fam. I stumbled on a site that is something like $7 a month, and they give you meal plans, grocery lists and recipes for five days a week. They even have special diet menus. I was really excited about that, until I started looking at their sample menus and realized that my picky eater kids would revolt.

I usually plan my menus and shop on Saturday (like you, I have to have a plan so I can get all the ingredients), but I had a migraine and it was snowing out and we had enough cold cereal and milk to last us a few days. Plus a few meals that I'd divided and frozen, so we wouldn't starve. Last night, I sat down to plan the menu, but it just stared at me, blank and mocking. I Googled dairy-free recipes, but a lot of it was stuff I already make that doesn't have dairy to begin with. The kids are having pizza for dinner tonight and I'll scrounge something up; probaby a ham sandwich. My menu for the week is still blank. Being head cook is no fun. I'm glad you found a really great solution! Maybe I'll keep an eye out for a new cookbook for inspiration.

xo -E

Piece by Piece said...

My late MIL lived in England when she was a young women and was the cook for a Lord and his household. I still have some of the menu's she planned for him. Quite posh!!
I also have an old, and I mean OLD cookbook of her's, "Five Roses Cook Book". It is mostly baking as Five Roses is a brand of flour in Canada. It lists everything from Apple Snow to Yorkshire puddings. On one of the pages she wrote "Mrs. Vails Wedding Cake, 1935. It is a fruit cake and would take a small fortune to make it today. Other hand written pages include Cream Puffs and a Steamed Sausage Pudding!!!
A roast rack of lamb with mint sauce is yummy. It is quite expensive here as most of it is imported from Australia or New Zealand.
Making myelf hungry with all this talk of food.

Terri in BC said...

It's not hard to tell we are from the same era! I received the 80's version as a shower present from my mom, then when she passed I received her 1959 version. I treasure them both, although I don't cook much now. I live by myself now, so my mantra is "I can cook, I choose not too"

lw said...

I never even considered working my way through a cookbook for menu planning, but what a great idea! We do a lot of the same things over and over, and this would really shake things up.

I really *need* to know what's up with Rob and sweet potatoes. We all do.

We also need Patricia (piece by piece) to start a recipe blog with her MIL's recipes.

Anonymous said...

I've got my book from 1970. It is a great reference. I'll have to look for the later one you mentioned. I find myself looking online more and more for how to do something or a recipe -don't know why as I have a really good library of cook books. I have become a toss in and stir cook more and more the older I get. I probably should be using the books more.

Karilee said...

Wow, food sure makes people post! My favorite cookbook is the one I found a love note to me in, from my mom. It was hidden in her drawer, I suppose a gift for later. I found it after she died when I was 23yo. Love that note...signed "Love, Mom".