Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Our creator knows just what we need. God who made food for our provision and pleasure made the table for our souls." Joanne Thompson, Table Life

  Once upon a time, I thought of the perfect gift idea . . . a cookbook journal. Treasured recipes laced with family stories. I have made one for one of my new daughters, Ashley. I'm working on more for the other kids. It does require a bit of time.They hold such entries as this . . .

"Scotty's Aunt Shirley made this wonderful frozen fruit salad. She was one of the most beautiful women I ever knew. She had a way of caring that was warm and lovely. Her kind and gentle ways made you feel loved when she was in the room. I wish you could have known her, you would have loved her." 
I didn't just fill the book with recipes, I wove tales between cup and teaspoon portions.

"This is my Aunt Dottie's Cover the Mountain Carrot Cake, it made me famous in the little town in Kansas that I still call home. She has a love for the cooking arts. I have learned a great deal from her, in the kitchen and beyond."

"This recipe originated in the kitchen of my Grandma Terry. You would have loved her to the moon and back. She always had a tune in mind and a project on the back burner. Banana pancakes with homemade syrup was her specialty. I cannot think of her home without thinking of breakfast at her tiny kitchen table. She always had orange juice in a little juice pitcher and served it in little juice glasses to match. She would read the Bible to us before breakfast and Grandpa would pray. It was my home away from home when I was growing up."

A journal of family and foodstuffs, with purpose of passing tradition. 

"This recipe belongs to my mom. It is one of the best recipes in the world. You will love! My mom and dad always tended a large vegetable garden when I was growing up. Mom would can into the wee hours of the night. I do not know how she did it all! We lived on her canning through the winter. It was some of the best food I've ever had in my life." 

"This recipe of Bread Pudding is from Grandma Bunch. She and I make a great team in the kitchen. I busy myself with the stirring and the mixing,and she comes right behind with a tea towel in hand for the cleaning up, or vice versa. We enjoy each other in our work. She knows how to find a great recipe and tweak it to perfection."

When writing the Bread Pudding recipe in Ashley's cookbook, I forgot to list an ingredient . . . the eggs. Since it is a custard style dish, it was a tragic mistake, one we've since remedied. I do recommend double checking your entries. Perhaps you are more precise than I. 

 "Both of Caleb's grandmas are really good cooks. You will find that a lot of my best recipes come from them. I learned so much from their years of experience." 


So much of our family time was spent with us seated around a table. "What was your favorite thing that happened today?" I would ask our children. "What is your favorite color?" or "Did you notice the rainbow at the edge of the garden today, so vibrant,wondrous?" Scotty would always end the meal by saying,"Good supper, momma!"  We treasure the memory of it, our family at table, and I want to help my children remember, too. Aroma, taste, and fellowship. Home.

I thought you might enjoy one of the recipes. This is Aunt Shirley Windler's amazing frozen fruit salad.  I suppose it would be better served in the heat of summer, but I love it any time. I hope you enjoy!

Frozen Waldorf Salad by Shirley Windler

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Combine above ingredients, cook stirring until thick - cool.

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 unpeeled apples - chopped

Fold in 1 cup whipped cream and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator several hours before serving.

I hear it is supposed to get really cold again. Perhaps it is not the time for this frozen fancy. Perhaps you can put it on your calendar to make for your July 4th celebration. We all need something delicious to look forward to. 

Have you ever made a cookbook journal? I would love to hear your ideas? 

Happy eating and living! With blessings! 


Danielle said...

I love this idea! I was just telling someone how I love reading cookbooks that have more to them than just recipes, and they would be even more incredible if the stories were personal! Thanks for sharing! My grandmother handed down her frozen fruit salad recipe too! I love it! One of my favorites that reminds of hot summer days playing at their farm. creating highway systems in the gravel drive way…running down and skipping rocks in the creek nearby…then snacking on those fruit cups with cousins. Sweet memories!

myletterstoemily said...

This is a precious gift that will be
cherished for a life time. I'm not
at all surprised you thought of it.