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Leftovers: Downsizing Mom’s old cookbooks


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Recently, my mom moved from a roomy condo with a garage to a nice little apartment in the Inn at Lathrop Communities. She will get good meals and easier access to things she needs at this point in her life. But guess what that meant? We had help her downsize to a much smaller place. Wow, even after downsizing from the family home to the condo, she still had a lot of stuff!

She won’t have to cook much in the new place, so she doesn’t have use for the many cookbooks she has accumulated in her 88 years. Looking through them, I decided some could not be parted with. I found favorite recipes that she cooked time and time again that my siblings and I will always remember fondly.

I need more cookbooks like I need a hole in the head, but emotional attachment took over and I took about six or seven cookbooks. Three hold particular meaning, including the Fannie Farmer cookbook that my brother had to put a new cover on. He used a scrap of wallpaper from the kitchen of our since-gone family home. I remember the recipe for corn oysters — a sort of corn fritter we would make with the leftover corn on the cob we would end up with in the summer months. After it’s cooked, it resembles the shape of an oyster; thus the name. We had them for breakfast, served with warm maple syrup. And there was the recipe for apple dumplings with vanilla sauce. A labor of love I will never forget.

Then the Duncan Hines cookbook. Hines would travel around the country and write up recipes form various restaurants. One I remember was the barbecue sauce my mother always used, very simple with the most basic ingredients. The comment on the recipe was, “This is a proper sauce for any Barbecued meat,” and that was true because we used it for all our barbecued meats.

And I had to hang on to the Cordon Bleu cookbook signed by the author, Dione Lucas. One recipe that stood out was Sole Au Four Maison, a classy dish made with filet of sole with a carrot-mushroom cream sauce and grated gruyère cheese.

At this point, the books are safe with me, but hopefully, when it’s time to for me to downsize, someone in the family will take interest in these treasures and use them.

If not, oh well, we certainly have gotten good use out of them.

— LUCY

 

ALERT: Please send all unwanted cookbooks to me ASAP! Am building cookbook annex!

— LOU