The picture above is a view of my kitchen counter. To the left of my kitchen sink I have a whole row of cookbooks which contain a lot of the recipes I use for my daily cooking and special holiday treats. I would be the world's worst cook if it were not for these recipes!
Recently, I picked up one of the books to find my recipe for biscuits and was shocked to discover the bottom half of it all wet. Closer examination revealed that all of my cookbooks were wet! I was so upset I began crying and blubbering about how everything was ruined and what was I going to do without them. My husband, who was making his morning coffee, just looked at me like I was crazy and commented, "They are only cookbooks." This made me cry even louder and I began to wail as I took each one in hand and told him why they were so special. As I paused to catch my breath and wipe my nose he sheepishly said, "Well, I'm the one who got them wet. I got some water on the cabinet and thought I wiped it all up." This statement caused another round of tears and accusations of "How could you have done that to my books and not told me?", followed by his promise to this crazed woman that he could fix the damage.
As I looked on with alot of doubt and skepticism, he proceeded to dry the pages of each book with my blowdryer and then very carefully iron each page while standing at my ironing board. I don't think I've ever loved that man as much as I did at that moment! When everything was dry, including my eyes, he took a board, painted it to match my cabinets and replaced all my books on the raised shelf to prevent a repeat of this disasterous occurence.
That morning I realized how much of my life was tied up in those well-worn, grease stained cookbooks. Pictured below is my very first cookbook. It was given to me at our wedding shower and fortunately for my husband, it included how-to pictures along with a lot of the recipes! My favorite recipe for chicken and dumplings is in this book.
The first one I purchased for myself was this cookbook of recipes from what was then Oklahoma Christian College. (If you attended there in the seventies, don't worry, I don't mean the recipes from the cafeteria, but instead from those in the campus community!) After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, Mickey and I both worked there for three years. Many of these recipes and the pictures included in this book hold special memories of college days and our life as newlyweds. I've used it so much in the past 38 years that the cover fell off and got misplaced many years ago!
This recipe book is from the church we attended in Arnold, Missouri. It was compiled in conjunction with a ladies retreat and distributed a few months after we moved away to Texas. It is so very precious to me because many of the ladies wrote sweet little notes next to their recipes and I received it in the mail after I moved away.
All of these ladies hold a special place in my heart!
The next one was given to me by my mom in 1989. It contains some of her recipes along with her sister's, my Aunt Pallie. Both Mom and her sister have since passed away so it means so much.
My mom's handwritten recipe for her Thanksgiving dressing is on the back page. Next month I'll pull this one out, gingerly run my fingers over her writing, cry a few tears and make her delicious dressing for my family.
This one was published by my neighborhood subdivision in San Antonio. I loved that beautiful neighborhood with its many live oak trees. Mickey and I enjoyed many evening walks there.
This one I won on the plane as our family flew with all the other Southwestern Bell employees to get our first glimpse of San Antonio. What a day that was! They literally rolled out a red carpet, complete with a mariachi band, as we got off our buses in downtown San Antonio!
This cookbook is a compilation of recipes from the great cooks of the Katy church of Christ congregation. These women can really cook and oh how I miss them all!
This one I picked up in the Old Country Store restaurant in Jackson, Tennessee. It reminds me of the six years we spent making that Texas to Tennessee trip while our girls were in school at Freed-Hardeman University.
The book below is a reminder of the great trip I took to New Orleans with three of my Katy, Texas friends. What a fun trip !
And this book is all about home. It contains many of the great Oklahoma recipes I grew up eating, including wild onions and eggs. Yum!