Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Perfect Day

Today is a holiday (Poland's Independence Day) so Greg and the kids stayed home. Here's what it was like for me:

warm house full of happy children
gray and drizzly all day
leftover chocolate cake

I can't imagine better conditions for curling up with a good book. So that's what I did. Except for the curling up part. Because you can't really curl up with a binder (especially not with an enormous belly), and what I was reading was a binder full of recipes. Recipes that suggest that you "thoroly blend" ingredients together, or that tell you to drop the dough on a "cooky sheet", or that require you to drain or reserve "sirop" from a can of fruit and give you the option to use either a chopped bar of chocolate or "packaged chocolate pieces", and where 90% of the cakes and cookies call for shortening instead of butter. There's also a separate section entitled "Leftovers" and one for "Canning and Freezing".

I'm so completely charmed by this 1949 Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book that belonged to my stepmother's great aunt (how's that for a cool connection?). It's just fascinating reading for me. And the book's stuffed full of old newspaper clippings of recipes and ideas for entertaining (with the fantastic advertisements here and there). I've been completely transported back in time, and I LOVE it. I feel that if I can just stick with this book, plus another favorite of mine that my mom gave me, The Art of Homemaking (1969), and also develop the fashion sense of this lady, I'll be my perfect self.

I just received it in the mail yesterday and the fact that I've already found two recipes (identical recipes!) that I already make regularly and love dearly (brownie pudding and borscht) makes me really excited to start trying out some of the other recipes.

Thanks so much to Pam for the cook book!

17 comments:

Barbaloot said...

Sounds lovely! It's a holiday over here, too. But the kind of holiday that only banks and post offices celebrate:)

What the Hecklinger?! said...

As long as you're not cooking with ingredients from 1949, then have a great time!

Erin said...

I have Nathan's grandma's old BH&G cookbook too. It has some of her notes on recipes. I will have to check the year. Let me know if you find some good recipes. I will check out the brownie pudding and borscht for sure!

Joy For Your Journey said...

So I just saw a comment you wrote on Heidi's blog and it reminded me that I wanted to tell you, I now have a niece going to Poland on her mission. She goes into the MTC the middle of January. Before my nephew was there (husband's side of the family) and now my brother's daughter is headed there as well. Hopefully you will get a chance to meet her at some point. Her name is Sister Smith. (easy:-)

Good luck with your pregnancy. I haven't been by your blog in a while and forgot you were expecting.

And how fun about the cook book!! I really like borscht (is that how you spell it?) I had it for the first time this past summer in St. Petersburg and loved it.

Lara said...

What a cool find!

Normally I don't get very excited about cookbooks and recipes, but I found one my great grandmother had written down for a salad that is a must have in our Thanksgiving celebrations, and I thought it was so cool that it went so far back.

Thora said...

So I haven't commented in like, forever, but I still like you a lot. I'm excited you dreampt about me - well my husband. It makes me feel cool and international.

I think it's interesting that Poland's independence day is the same day as Veteran's Day (which of course is International) - could they be related at all?

Oh, and since I'm just commenting now, I don't think you did a lazy mom's halloween at all. In America many moms (well, me at least, and I hope more than just me, so I'm not the lamest mom in this country) just find some random costumes and go trick or treating and that's it.

Sue Q said...

I think there should be a holiday dedicated to cooking -- wait, that's coming up in just a few weeks, isn't it? At least, that's what my primary kids think: I asked them what Thanksgiving was about, and they said it's the food holiday! I better get some cookbooks out, myself! Be sure to share more -- I'm always on the lookout for a good cooky!

L.T. Elliot said...

I had an experience kind of like this. My grandmother and I were sorting through her old recipes and found such delightful clippings and hand written notes. It was so fun! (and you're right, those advertisements are hilarious good fun!)

Carolyn V. said...

I love recipe books (old and new). I finally had to get rid of some of them. My mom is a collector of old recipe books, maybe she will let me have some of them when she doesn't use them anymore. Maybe not. =)

Kazzy said...

Reading cook books is really fun, especially when there are cool photos! And you make borscht? Wow! And if you tell me your kids eat it I will get really depressed, because my youngest two won't even eat regular ole potatoes.

MelancholySmile said...

That DOES sound like the perfect day. I love old advertisements! I know some people get all cynical about the past, but I like that aspiring to a happy home life was a SELLING POINT back then! Have fun making all kinds of goodies. Personally, sirop sounds pretty yummy right now. :)

Heather of the EO said...

That really sounds like the best kind of day!

Heather said...

Now I want to make borscht. Too bad my kitchen is torn apart.

Laura S. said...

I don't know if you remember me, I was a missionary in Poland --Sister Zierenberg. I was only in Krakow about a month, but I remember you and your darling kids (at least the first two which are so big now!). Funny thing is that when I got back, I married into a family that knows you. In fact, I saw your comment on my sister-in-law's thankfulness blog. Brings back a lot of memories to hear of things in Poland. Thanks!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Sounds like a lovely day!

Kimberly said...

I'm on a recipe gathering streak right now, dreaming of having the energy to spend hours upon hours experimenting in the kitchen. All the magazines I was given while in hospital have been thoroughly gone over and had all the best recipes (in my opinion) ripped from them. I now have a neat little stack of possibilities and can't wait to turn them into actualities.

And suddenly I am STARVING hungry...

Susan said...

I think my family needs me to try curling up with a cookbook ANY cookbook, to make something besides the few tired recipes I have memorized that I keep making over and over!!