August 28, 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Comfort Food...

Welcome to Memory Lane Monday for August. It's always so much fun choosing a favorite story to share. I originally planned a "Back to School" memory for you, but I was unable to locate the specific old photo I wanted to complete the post. I'm going to save that story for next month, and will spend the time between now and then tracking down that missing image!
In it's place, I've chosen a "Homemaking/Cooking" them instead. Mum taught me how to crack eggs and prepare them when I was about eight years old, so I've been a bona fide cook ever since. Nothing makes me happier than making meals for my family and watching them enjoy the fruits of my labor as they enjoy each others company.
Handsome's mother was a consummate hostess, entertaining guests, caring for her family and filling their home with the fragrances of delicious meals. In addition to a few of her favorite cookbooks, I consider myself fortunate to have her copy of the Sunset Hostess Handbook.

By the way, if you're interested in obtaining your own copy of this handbook, I found them available at eBay, etsy and even Just do a Google search under "Sunset Hostess Handbook". 

It was written in 1936 (there's also a 1937 edition) and is full of tips, black and white images and recipes for being a good homemaker. There are helpful articles about hosting a dinner party, planning a special meal or features like The Kitchen Cabinet with recipes for delicious dishes.
I think my favorite thing about turning the pages in this book is finding a little check mark or notation in the margin where Evelyn showed which recipes she made and liked. On this particular page, she made the Cranberry Salad Mold, and left a check mark as her note.

I do the same thing with the recipes I try. I like to leave a comment in the margin to say what I did or didn't like, what I might change, and the date that I made it the first time. I always make it exactly as the recipe instructs the first time. I improvise from there, unless I'm making it with notes provided by a previous cook. In that case, I follow their recommendations.

I'd like to think that my daughters-in-law (or whoever ends up with any of my cookbooks) will enjoy turning the pages for the same reason. It seems to me to be another way to share an interest across time. I hope Evelyn is smiling down on me as I prepare the same dishes that she did, and as I aspire to create a happy home for our family.

Do you have the same rapport with your family cookbooks and guides? Perhaps some day, our grandchildren will turn the pages of Grandpa's bread cookbook and read his handwritten notes as he perfected his favorite Seven Grain Bread. Or they'll find the full dinner menu in my hardcover annual collection from Gourmet magazine that has become our Christmas meal for the past twenty plus years and want to make it for their families.

So many of us create family memories over meals. I hope that our family can continue the tradition of making those special they add their own favorites to hand down. I think that's the true meaning of "comfort food". Don't you?

Thanks for joining me for this month's memory. I hope you'll share a memory on your blog (Don't forget to link back here!) or visit the other contributors (below) to read their stories, too! Bloggers will have until September 4th to add their link to Memory Lane Monday.

5 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Marydon said...

G'morn sweet Donna ~ What a sweet memory tucked upon each page of the cookbooks. I feel the love asI fingered each recipe card that Mother or Ma (mil) touched all the time as they prepared to cook. You can feel the love of them coming thru. Recipe books not so many. Funny thing, tho. MIL usually had meals & salads ... my Mother was basically all sweets on the recipe cards ... I thought that was amusing.

I hope you have a beautiful week, sweet Donna.

Hugs & love,

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Donna honey I so enjoyed reading this the first thing this morning while having my Dr. Pepper and cookie. Yep I eat healthy for breakfast.
This post of course brought happy memories to me thinking about my collections from my mothers favorite recipes.
I had some pipes burst at my home in town so it kept me busy all day yesterday and I am meeting a plumber today but will work on getting my Memory Lane Monday Post published soon

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Wish I'd been marking my cookbooks all along! This is a wonderful idea. Food is something that draws families together and is to be celebrated. Thank you for the post! Twyla

Marydon said...

Donna, I just HAD to have this Martha Stewart pedestal bowl a few years ago. Well, I never liked it for what I wanted to use it for so it became our 'gathering spot' for our 'jingles' every day. The week past it was just too full so we took it to the bank ... amazing but it paid for a full weeks motel bills, which made vacation a little more fun. So it is now BACK on the counter starting all over.

At some points we even have let the kid-lings take money out of it to go to the amusement park & to Wal-Mart, they were tickled to pieces.

So much fun ...

Huggers, Marydon

Createology said...

Comfort food and family definitely go together. I love your family traditions and that you have Handsome's mother's cookbook with her notations. Your notes you make in your recipes are a great gift to future generations. My daughter cooks dishes she learned from her Great Grandma and they are delicious. I don't enjoy cooking so much as hours spent preparing are eaten and gone in minutes of less than grateful glutony. :o) Maybe it would be fun to share a blog hop with recipes...


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