Monthly Archives: February 2013
I have gone in search of vintage recipes. The problem is that all I find are cookbooks printed by magazine companies, churches, etc. What I have learned in the process is that most of us (me included) cook meals that our family looks forward to, but we do it without a recipe. We just DO IT. This is what I want you to do…I want you to have someone in your family sit and document what you are doing. Yes, this may feel a little odd for you. You will actually pull our those measuring cups that you never use–not to be sure you use enough of something, but instead to tell your recorder how much of it you are using. Have them document your steps, being careful to include the time for prepping, the time for cooking, how thick you cut your items (roughly), and any small details that may mean the difference between success and failure. Don’t worry about documenting brand of ingredients unless the brand really has a lot to do with the outcome of the dish.
When you finish your recipe card, share it. Maybe even have someone in your family cook it for you by following your recipe to see if you forgot to add anything. This will be the first of your personal collection–your family heritage collection. Something that follows us throughout our lives (the memories from the foods we eat) is being missed. How many times have you heard, “I wish I had a slice of grandma’s carrot cake.” Well you could if grandma had written it down. Think about the future generations of your family. WRITE IT DOWN.
In an attempt to encourage you to pass along your recipes to those you love, I am going to be creating a number of different printable items for you. I am calling this project the “Family Heritage Project.” This first printable is a recipe card. It is my first, so give me your feedback.
Flipping through the pages of one of my newest vintage cookbook finds, I ran across a couple of recipes written on index cards. The age of the recipes most likely date in the 80’s because this cookbook was printed in 1979. I thought I would share them with you. Why not give them a shot? The baked beans sound really good.
Along with my new found love for baking, I have a near obsession with recipes. Especially, vintage recipes. I will go pre-teen crazy over a vintage cookbook. One day, I decided to take advantage of having a little time to myself and checked out a local consignment shop (a perfect place to find such treasures). This particular consignment shop (an antique consignment shop at that) The Corner Market has a large selection (for this type of store) of books. Many of the books are more contemporary, but they did have a few vintage finds. I was truly in heaven.
I even think that the drawing for the cover really tells a lot about the time in which the book was created. This particular cookbook (as many are) was created by a local church. The page show extreme signs of use, wear, and age. I find myself with a dilemma. My respect for the history makes me want to not touch its pages and protect it to be able to share with future generations, but then again, that same respect for history makes me want to consume the recipes, language, and technique of the time. So what to do…what to do…
Take a look at the language used back in this day. It is a far, far change from today’s abbreviated LOL, OMG, text, Twitter society. The last paragraph really shows how they spoke in that time (which wasn’t all that long ago)…”To the business people who, by their generous subscriptions to the advertising pages have assured the success of this enterprise. We commend them to your good will and their products and service to your patronage.” Wow, I personally think that is beautiful and shows great respect.
So why don’t you take a little time off and find yourself an antique consignment shop or thrift store, and see what type of cooking history you can find. What you may find among the pages of those books could really surprise you. Be sure to share with me!!
…ok, so maybe not, but I really don’t have any other excuse for not posting other than I HAVE BEEN SOOOOO BUSY. Let me update you on all of the excitement.
If you follow my blog, you know that I was applying for my “cottage foods” license. I got it! I finished my food safety training, applied, and had my inspection. Now, I am a legal producer of cottage foods. It’s nice to be on the right side of the law. 🙂 If I can say I was abducted by something, it would be my kitchen. Since I got my license, I have been in my kitchen baking nearly every day. When I am not baking, I am researching all kinds of things about baking. This is just my personality. A friend of mine once said that it didn’t matter what I decided to do, that I would always become a professional at doing it. She’s right. I just educate myself and strive to provide high quality outcomes. When you make that your goal, then everything does seem to turn out to be “professional.” Although, I’m striving for more of a casual, country outcome (with professional results 😉 ).
I think my favorite part of what I do is research. I LOVE searching for recipes. It’s amazing how you can become educated to which recipes will likely work and not work. Sometimes, I can see a problem in a recipe. Other times, I don’t see it and the result shows there was a problem. Either way, I learn from the experience. Whether it’s too much flour or too many eggs, or perhaps not enough egg whites and too many egg yolks–all of that comes into question when deciding why it didn’t work out. Have you ever asked yourself, “what is a large egg?” When you buy eggs from the grocery store, that is pretty much defined for you; however, if you get your eggs from a farm, that definition may vary according to the breed of hen. It does matter.
This week I will be testing some recipes. One recipe isn’t written down. Yeah, fun. It is my grandmother’s recipe for buttermilk biscuits. She says she’s been making them since she was 12 (she’s 85 now), so she doesn’t use a recipe. She just knows when it feels right. I have a pan of them getting ready to go into the oven. Actually, the first 9 felt too dry to me. I had room for 3 more biscuits, so I threw together the ingredients working solely from what I felt, and the last 3 felt “right.” How I know what “right” feels like, I have no idea. haha. I’ve never made a truly successful pan of biscuits before. There has always been something off about them. Well, we’re going to see how they work out. I’ll post about it when they are finished baking.
As you see from my photo, I was successful in baking nice, big biscuits. They even tasted good. These would be perfect for a breakfast sandwich because they are firmer, but yummy! Can’t wait til the morning. I’m gonna have a sausage biscuit.