That conversation percolated in the back of my mind for a year or so, before I started The Cookbook. I put out the word to all family members that I was going to make a family cookbook of all our favorite family recipes. I did give a deadline, not that any one paid any attention -- and I was editing in "late" recipes as I was printing the book. (All copy, pictures, printing, and collating was done in my office on my computer and printer --- collated was stacks of pages on every flat surface of the house.) Here are a few sample pages:
My delightful daughter-in-law, otherwise known as
the tall daughter, helped me with the design and set
up. I had no idea what I was doing, just an image
in my mind. We used what we knew how to use;
she knew how to use Power Point and get images
off of the WEB; Back in those days I was not very WEB friendly, but was a determined learner.
my father's family. When I told my cousins about how
my dad loved his Oyster Stew for special occasions, and his bedtime snack of bread and milk, they laughed because they remembered their dad ( my dad's brother) liked the very
same foods. Nancy and Marilyn added their dad's favorite
Milk Toast recipe, which was rather close to my dad's
Bread and Milk recipe.
I also posted the Oyster Stew recipe on my McPherson blog
(Ancestry.com fiasco version), and distant family members wrote to tell me that Oyster Stew was a favorite
holiday treat for their families. That was so cool!
The page to the left is one of the pages of my Mom's recipes. She always loved soups. I think my grandmother made soups, probably because they were rather poor, and it was a necessity to stretch the food budget. Some of my fondest memories were coming home after ice skating, football games, Christmas-tree-hunting, and Mom would make up a big pot of soup. She really loved tomato soup, and when money was short, a can of tomatoes and milk (sometimes powdered milk) made a big pot of soup that could feed a whole bunch of hungry kids, teenagers, and adults.
As Mom grew older, and was cooking only for herself, the microwave became her friend -- a quick and easy tomato soup.
One of the greatest lessons that I learned from my Mom was that no matter how many unexpected guest showed up, the soup pot could feed the multitude. She didn't take much to set invitations, but rather her table and doors were always open to all who showed up. No one was every turned away, either overtly or by innuendo. Until I was writing this post, I hadn't thought about what a great lesson of life that she imparted to me -- and without making a big fuss. A lesson for which I am grateful.
I find that I love this cook book more with the passing years -- mother, father, husband, daughters, son and daughter-in-law, sister, brothers and their wives, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are all represented. Recipes with a walk down memory lane.
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© Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications