Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Old Cookbooks and New Favorites

Isn't this a beautiful cookbook? 

My Grandmother has recently been going through her china, cupboards, and kitchen.  Today she had her family in and allowed each of us to choose some special items.  She had beautiful linens which she embroidered before she was married, heirloom silver from her wedding and anniversary gifts, china from her Grandfather's family; really too many special things to remember!  We all enjoyed remembering the times she would use this piece or that one at holiday gatherings.  After Mom and the Aunts all chose several pieces, we granddaughters had our turn.  And I chose the cookbook. 

Somehow old cookbooks just resonate with me.  Their worn bindings, frayed tabs, personal notes, and even the grease spots somehow bring me closer to my family.  Maybe it's because I can make the same recipes Grandma or Great-Grandma made for me; passing on the same home-heart and care that they showed me.

These are my three "favorite-est" old cookbooks.  The one in the back, the familiar 'red-check-design,' was given to me by my mother-in-law.  She took the time to find the same edition she was given at her wedding shower and then marked her favorite recipes with personal notes.  The colorful cookbook on the right front belonged to my father's grandmother.  It is the 1961 Edition, which I just love.  The illustrations are a combination of photographs and hand drawings, with the contributors so charmingly referred to as "Mrs. Edwin W. Fierke" or "Mrs. Richard Kranz, who serves this when neighbors drop in for morning coffee."  I'm simply smitten by the gracious formality.  And, of course, the red Betty Crocker is from my mother's mother.  I can't wait to sit down and find all her little jottings in it.

The recipe I have in the oven right now is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from my mother-in-law.  My husband brought home plums the other night and requested a plum dessert.  I've made this recipe several times and we all enjoy it.  If you don't have a full 3 pounds of plums, you can add in apricots 'till you reach the full weight.

Wonderful Plum Crunch

3  pounds   Plums, pitted and quartered  (use firm Plums or it will be very runny)
1/4  Cup  Brown Sugar
1  Cup  Sugar
1  Cup  Flour
1/2  Teaspoon  Salt
1/2  Teaspoon  Cinnamon
1  Beaten  Egg
1/2  Cup  Butter, melted

Toss together the Plums and Brown Sugar; place in a greased 11 x 7 baking dish and set aside.

Sift together the Sugar, Flour, Salt and Cinnamon, add in beaten Egg; toss until mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle over Plums.

Drizzle with melted Butter.  Bake at 375* for 45 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.  Serves 8.

Here it is, ready for the oven.

1 comment:

Beth said...

A lovely post! I can't wait to make that dessert. It is "right down our alley"! God bless you for being a gracious host yourself!