Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's My "Fake Mosaic" Monday - Favorite Cookbooks of My Life

My Favorite Cookbooks of My Life

These are the cookbooks that have actually shaped and continue to shape my life in the kitchen. They will forever be my favorites and I foresee others in the future... but for the past 50+ years I have first of all referred to the first cookbook...
Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls - page stating the publishing date is long-gone, but I know my sister and I used this little book when my youngest brother was born in 1961. Saucy Hamburger Crumble - yum!

Better Homes and Gardens - 1968 - This book was a wedding gift. Eggs Goldenrod - so very good.

Nanny's Texas Table - Texas Country Cooking at the Houghton Ranch by Larry Ross - great reading about a young bride learning to cook on the frontiers of Texas. It was inspiring enough to my mother and me that my mother then compiled a cookbook in 1988 dedicated to my grandmother, Ruby Boykin, whom we called "Mother 'B'". (The book in green velvet.) Too many great recipes to begin to list... but if you could only have tasted her "Chow-chow"!

Cooking from the Heart was also inspired by Nanny's Texas Table. My cousin and I compiled a cookbook of our family favorites in 1988. This is my mother's copy as mine is too worn and stained to be seen in public. My cousin actually stitched each person's first initial on each book! Amazing!!

Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux? (1991) by Marcelle Bienvenu is not only a fabulous cookbook, but fun to read as she recounts her growing up years in New Orleans. All I have to do is just flip through this book and I am inspired to do Cooking from the Heart II. This is the book where I got my fabulous BBQ'd Shrimp recipe that I have posted here earlier on this blog.

Bruculinu, America (1998) by the late Vincent Schiavelli is a cookbook and, again, a life story, that I absolutely had to ration out... allowing only one chapter a night. Outstanding, heart-warming, mouth-watering... and the recipe for green bean and potato salad, the recipe I failed to get from my mother, is in this book! The value has sky rocketed, making me feel so fortunate to have bought the book at a decent price - autographed too.

I hate to admit that I cannot master a mosaic on a blog. Someday!  For now my cookbooks present my best for "mosaicing".

Enjoy TRUE mosaics for Mosaic Monday at Little Red School House
Thanks, Mary!

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Rosemary, my mother

Today my mother would have been 84 years old. We didn't get to spend many birthdays together after I was married due to distance, but the ones we celebrated while I was growing up were so much fun.

One birthday that stands out in my mind took place on a weekend when my parents finally had the chance to sleep in. That was the perfect opportunity for my younger sister and I to create a "surprise" for both of my parents. We hauled in a very large box from the garage and placed our little brother in the box. He was probably about three or four. We wrapped up the box and tied a huge bow around it. (Gosh! I wonder now if my brother is afraid of the dark or small areas!) My sister and I drew several pictures, colored them, wrapped them up as gifts. We also wrapped up sticks of gum. We decided upon a few songs we knew ... my sister and I could sing all the songs from the movie South Pacific. Our favorite was I'm Going to Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair, so possibly we decided on that "number". We hauled everything into our parents' room (poor little brother... he was probably claustrophobic by then) and woke our parents to some GREAT show tunes. At the end of our songs and presentation of "gifts", we presented our parents with the biggest gift... and our brother jumped out... whether out of desire to surprise and the need to escape... big time! My parents loved it. My mother always cried just a little at how "sweet" her children were.

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y,   M O T H E R!
I miss you so much.