Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ten For Tuesday: Cookbook Connections

cookbooks This is my cookbook shelf. Actually, this is just the main cookbook shelf (I have auxiliaries). I know this is the time of year when we’re all on a mission to declutter and pare down, but here are 10 books that have earned their spot. You’ll probably notice a trend.
10. Special Mexican Dishes: Easy & Simple to Prepare by Amalia Ruiz Clark. When I was in college in Tucson, I interned at a cooking school called The Tasting Spoon. That turned into a part-time job where I was paid in free classes and leftovers. (Steve did not complain! We were probably the only UofA students eating Beef Wellington.)  Mrs. Clark  taught me how to make tamales and even gave me an autographed copy of her book.
9. Renee’s Recipes. The blue binder was a wedding gift from a family friend in Tucson and contained many of her favorite recipes. Judy left plenty of space for me to add my own and it is now overflowing. On the first page of the section marked “Sweet Stuff” she included a picture of a precious baby along with the instructions “Don’t make one of these until you finish college.” (Sorry, Judy. I never was one to follow a recipe exactly.)
8. & 7. Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Julia Child & Company. We know who wrote these two! My mother-in-law Dorothy was a fabulous cook and I used to love poring over her cookbook collection.  Now these are on my shelf where they remind me of many happy dinners and conversations about recipes and cooking.
6. Cooking With Love – Recipes compiled by the Women’s Grow Group of Bear Creek Community Church. Our previous church home for over 15 years, BCCC closed its doors this past spring, which makes this book even more special.
5. (Unnamed – I call it the Brown Binder)– Compiled by longtime friends Holly & Diane, this is a collection of their favorites. It makes me smile because it brings back memories of when we were all up to our ears in sippy cups and diapers. And baby showers. We hosted a lot of baby showers!
4. The Taste of Texas Anniversary Cookbook. The owners used to go to church with us and I remember having dinner at their house once, back before the restaurant moved to its current location, and hearing Edd talk about how he always looked for ways to make everything better, even something simple like taking a great blue cheese salad dressing and then adding more cheese, or a filet that’s seasoned AND bacon-wrapped AND served with butter. (Is it any wonder this place now has a 2 hour wait?)
3. Royer’s Round Top Cafe. Also former church members (what was it about Bear Creek & restaurant owners?), Bud & Karen taught us to find a passion and pursue it, no matter where the Lord leads. Cooking is more than just filling hungry tummies, it’s about the relationships around the table.
2. Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cookbook. I unwrapped this one the Christmas when I was 8. Thanks Mom & Dad! The Mad Hatter Meatballs and “Ham” Loaf Hawaiian were only the beginning…
1. Home is Where the Heart Is: Memories and Family Recipes by Connie Augustine. Mom wrote her own cookbook! She and Dad filled it with family history, stories, photos, and of course recipes. They printed it, published it, and presented it to each of us this year. One day little Emmie & Jack and their cousins can read about their roots and hopefully make their own 3AM Salad or Graham Cracker Pudding and know the history behind it.
Some cookbooks are on my shelf because they are the “go-to” source for the best way to do certain things. Some are there because they are guaranteed crowd pleasers. But some are there because they hold memories of people and places-- cooking connections.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Do I feel honored to be a "1" on your cookbook shelf. I had forgotten some of the other places of honor. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I enjoyed it very much. Love, Mom

southerninspiration said...

wow, I guess I've never looked at your cookbook shelf. Of course, they are bound to contain fabulous recipes, as you are a fabulous cook. I def. need to pare mine down, and I need to organize all my "clipped" and 3x5 cards from friends. I have way too many and can't always find what I need...any suggestions? I suppose I could put them all on the computer!!! ;(


EuroMom said...

Oh I love that your mom and dad wrote a cookbook with memories. What a lovely gift!