Judging a Book

The old adage is to not judge a book by its cover. I'd like to change the adage just a bit. Don't judge a cook by the number of cookbooks she owns. This girl has many cookbooks but I can't say I'd call myself a cook.  Cooks can take a bit of this, some of that, and a pinch of salt and create an awesome dish/meal. Me, I read recipes and try to recreate them, sometimes successfully other times, well let's not talk about those times.

My collection of books is not as extensive as some but I do have quite a few. I can honestly say that I've prepared at least one dish out of each one of these books with the exception of one.

And it would be this one. The dishes involve ingredients not readily available in my area and I'm too lazy to seek them out. No, not really, I just get tired of looking for them. Ms Kennedy has some awesome sounding dishes, they remind me of my mom.

My first cookbook was this one, I imagine almost everyone has either this one or the Better Homes and Garden basic cookbook. I think they were on every bride's gift list when I got married back in the dark ages.

I've filled this book with many clipped recipes, promising myself to remember them the next time I needed a special dessert, main dish, or whatever then promptly forgetting I had them until the next time I pulled out the cookbook and all the clippings spilled to the floor like a glass of milk. I really do need to go through them and organize them into some sort of order.

Are you a 'pinner'? I've become quite adept at pinning recipes to my 'I Need to Learn to Like Cooking' board. I've even cooked a few of them and they were quite tasty. I like the Pinterest concept of virtual bulletin boards, keeps clippings from cluttering the house and spilling all over the place. BUT, there's always a but isn't there, I do like the feel of a cookbook and recipe cards. I even have a recipe box, shocking, I know.  I've had this box longer than I've been married, it is one of the few things I've held onto from my single days. There's a story behind every card, some I remember some I don't, yet I can't seem to part with any of them.

Of all the recipes in this box, the one I treasure the most is not even on a card. It's on a piece of writing tablet paper in my mother's very distinct handwriting. I've used it so often it's a splotchy mess from all the tomato-chile-chocolate sauce I've splattered on it. Even though I almost have the recipe memorized, I'll still pull it out, just to make sure I've got everything just right.

Of my cookbook collection none means more to me than this one.

This book was painstakingly and lovingly compiled by a wonderful woman who has since passed on. Every time I hold this book I remember Carolyn, her wisdom, wit, creativity and desire to serve others. The recipes it contains do likewise. Some of the women who submitted recipes have also left this world but a little bit of them lives on through their beloved dishes. 

If I remember correctly, Rita was a lovely lady who at one time worked for Mother-in-law in her flower shop. She was the BEST cook, she could take anything and make it delicious. Rita died several years ago losing her valiant battle with cancer. 

Perhaps one of the many reasons I love this book and hang on to it is because it has recipes from Hank's grandmother. I loved that lady so much and love that I have these reminders of her.  I need to get over my laziness and prepare some of them because even though I don't consider my self a cook, I can read a recipe.


  1. Veronica: I love recipes books too! I have so many that I will never be able to try and cook them all. But I keep on clipping them. I also have my mother's recipe box with many old favorites in her beautiful handwriting. Looking at them brings back some many fond memories......

    1. Ronda, I think that's why I hang on to my recipe file, the memories each card brings can't be found by any other means. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Reading this brought back a lot of memories for me too! Thanks for sharing.