July 5th - Cookbooks

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"I know that young children 
will wander away from the table,
and that family life is never smooth,
and that life itself is full,
not only of charm and warmth and comfort 
but of sorrow and tears.

But whether we are happy or sad,
we must be fed."

Sarah loves cookbooks. 
"Cookbooks aren't so much about what's for dinner
as they are about a world of abundant and creative choices.
With cookbooks our options are always open..."

Her favorite authors are Mary Cantwell and Laurie Colwin.

From Mary she learned "about the glories of macaroni and cheese and the personal triumphs of Christmas puddings.

I also learned about her various homes and two daughters, 
her delights, and her disappointments, 
all of which were seamlessly connected 
to good food and good eating."

She loved Mary, but Laurie was her best friend. 
They were both "dedicated homebodies 
who did not have to wander 
farther than our own four walls 
for adventure and fulfillment. 

Both our days were structured around pages, 
after-school pickups, pot roasts, 
and the shared belief that cooking is a high art...

The day was always richer when I had Laurie to read 
and a new recipe to try."

My all time favorite kitchen is my Grandma's. 
It's white, with glass cabinets and china and silver, 
and two (or three, I can't remember) wonderful rows
of cook books (and gardening books). 

Again, I would have taken a picture 
if I had known that I needed one. 

The cook books are ancient, well used and worn, 
but I've never opened them. 

But I know there is some good stuff in there 
because boy can my grandma cook. 

I have a funny thing about cookbooks. 
I don't like to keep them if there's only 
one or two good recipes in them. 

Over the past few years I've gotten really good at guessing 
if a recipe is going to be good or not. 

There are a lot that aren't even worth trying. 

I look at the ingredients 
and if there's one or two that I can't find at Winco 
then I am not going to waste my time 
chasing my tail trying to find them.
Also, a lot of recipes use the same ingredients, 
and yet they still can taste so different
when they are prepared a different way. 
Also, the price of ingredients is a big factor too.

I look at the time and the amount of effort it takes. 
At this point in my life I don't have more than an hour to make dinner, and I need to be able during that hour to drop what I'm doing to go break up a fight or something. So if it's more intensive than that, I'm not going to try it...
at least not right now. 

I look to see if it sounds appealing.
If it doesn't sound good, it's not even worth a second glance.

There are so many different ways to obtain recipes now.
The internet has opened up an even larger world 
than Sarah could have even imagined.

But I don't like having all of my recipes in different places, 
I also hate how different recipes can be laid out. 

So I type up every recipe that I try and love, 
that way they are all uniform and just the way I like it.
And of course all of my notes and changes.
I want to add a picture, but that hasn't happened yet.
I type it up, print it up, 
and then put them in protective sheets in a binder.

Courtney's Cook Book.

Recipes from cook books that I've donated because I hated having an entire book just for a couple recipes, recipes from my mom and family, recipes from pintrest and online etc etc.

Everything that I know tastes amazing.

For example, my mom's spaghetti sauce, with my notes. 

Spaghetti Sauce
My mom’s recipe
1 pkg                Mild Italian Sausage
1                      Chopped Onion
6                      Cloves Minced Garlic
48 oz                Canned Diced Tomatoes, Pureed
12 oz                Tomato Paste
2 cups              Water
6 tsp                 Brown Sugar
1 tsp                 Salt
1 tsp                 Basil
2 tsp                 Thyme
3 tsp                 Oregano

Brown sausage, onion and garlic. Drain grease if necessary.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Stir and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Gratitude Journal

1) Productive days. I got a crap load of laundry done, shampooed the entire downstairs carpet that Indy pooped and peed on, and cuddled with the kids. Lots of cuddling, lots of singing and dancing.

2) I forgot that it was Wednesday. Robbie told me he had class, and I was like, that's not till Wednesday...it is Wednesday. I'm so grateful that it is Wednesday. The week is almost over already.

3) I'm grateful for leftovers. 

4) I'm grateful for carpet cleaners. 

5) Cookbooks. Let's be honest, a good one is pretty awesome.