Cookbook shelf 1 (Photo credit: chotda)
- Recipes (Photo credit: pirate johnny)
I read about a woman who compiled a cookbook based on her lifetime collection of recipes, and began sorting through the collection of recipes I have assembled over the years. However, mostly my recipes are for desserts and most of the desserts are cakes and cookies. Yes, I have a sweet tooth and two dozen recipes for sugar cookies. But having a sweet tooth is not what made me fat. Having friends who could cook (or wives of friends) led me down the slippery slope. I am a victim of Christmas hall parties and showers.
Several of my recipes come from my life long friend Sherry who loved to cook. She also loves cats. Her cats loved to climb on the kitchen counter and monitor her while she was cooking. I loved to watch her cook, even if it meant consuming the odd cat hair. (She probably won’t be a friend anymore if she reads this.)
In addition to Sherry, have collected recipes from the following sources:
1/ Historic homes and churches here in Virginia, such as ginger cake from Strafford Hall (home of Robert E. Lee), ginger cake from Gunston Hall (home of George Mason) where I worked a docent back in the 1970s, ginger cake from Pohick Church where I also worked as a docent. I have about 49 recipes for ginger cake made with real molasses, big at historic Virginia homes dating from the Colonial era;
- Gunston Hall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2/ office mates, wives of office mates (I attribute at least 20 pounds to office parties);
3/ my kid’s friend’s mothers (everybody raise your hand if you have a recipe book assembled by the PTA or room mothers) I even have a recipe for “play dough;”
4/ Mom and aunts (particularly Marge and Audrey);
5/ Mexican-American dishes (friend Gloria’s Mom showed me how to make tacos from scratch);
6/ Italian-American (Gina showed me how to make lasagna, pizza, and other dishes from scratch),
7/ Portuguese-American (sweet bread and malasadas; my friend Loretta taught me when I lived in Hawaii);
8/ Greek (Baklava and Spanakopita, and other dishes with Feta cheese and phyllo from several friends).
7/ From my MILs: Southern (Rachel could cook like Paula Dean), German (Mom liked lots of beer, wurst and kraut), Russian (David knows how to get juice out of a lemon);
8/ The Ex-wife of an Ex-lover sent me a recipe or two for Korean dishes along with his collection of shot glasses (he was a lying, cheating, smoking, drinking Army Colonel but she was very nice).
My recipes tell the story of my life. I became a good cook but it took years and years to develop my eclectic talents. I stopped cooking at different times along the way, and then resumed again when I was inspired by some new happening.
These days I am working on converting my more caloric recipes into less fattening versions via Weight Watchers software.
I spent about an hour this morning installing a rack to hold some of my baking pans. In June, my granddaughter Amelia is going to help me clean, and rearrange kitchen shelves. Later, I will make arrangements to have the kitchen repainted.
Although I still use my antique Revere Ware pans for making soups, omelets or frittatas, I am a fan of Chicago Metallic bakeware for cookies, cheesecakes and muffins and Emile Henry cookware for roasts and souffles. I have been down-sizing or right sizing my cookware to fit the needs of two (we do not entertain, family occasions take place elsewhere).
Cooking for one or two people you don’t need family sized pots, pans, and processors. Chicago Metallic and Emile Henry sell small pans to fit Toaster ovens, although I will still make Cheesecake and perhaps Quiché in the big oven.
Yesterday, I located a 7-cup Cuisinart food processor (June kitchen budget) which I can use to prepare ingredients for our reduced portion dishes.
David likes to eat as much as I do, but Doc told him to lose 8 pounds. He is in a snit about it, but I wish all I had to lose was 8 pounds. Eight pounds won’t even reduce my ring size.