Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting Ready for the Big Change

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There's a few things I want to write about before I begin this ambitious project of posting recipes for the next 365 days (starting February 1st, since I didn't begin January 1st).

Many of the recipes I'm going to share are my own concoctions. Sometimes they're based on a recipe I got from a cookbook or the Internet or watching TV but very rarely do I stick to the directions. Once in a while I find a recipe I can't improve upon and prepare it exactly the same and in those instances I'll give credit where credit is due by citing the source (if I can remember it!).

I am a cookbook fanatic! I absolutely adore old cookbooks, not just for their old-fashioned recipes but for the illustrations. I have saved nearly every cookbook my mother used when she was alive and many of them are filled with photographed diorama scenes, illustrations that deftly portray the era in which it was published, and photos of women with bouffant hairdos in frilly dresses and men wearing suits and skinny ties. My mother was avid about clipping recipes out of women's magazines from the 1950s and 1960s and it's fun to see how much each was costed at (usually a few pennies per serving). The most beloved recipes, however, are those written on scraps of paper in her own hand. One of my favorite books belonged to my grandmother, titled A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband, which includes recipes made with a "fireless cooker". Grandma Roemer wrote notes in the margins and even pasted in a few recipes of her own. Back in those days, a fireless cooker was quite the innovation and an icebox really was an icebox full of chunks of ice that needed to be replenished as they melted. Cookbooks can function as time capsules - they showcase the foods, trends, fashions, and advice of particular periods in our history.

I've also saved all the books I've gotten since I was a teen. I've still got two volumes written by Vidal and Beverly Sassoon on beauty advice and exercise, as well as a slim little paperback published in the 1970s that has some terrific recipes for natural beauty products. My old books on Christmas, including homemade decorations, and how-to books on everything from plumbing to sewing curtains are also treasured parts of my collection.

So when it comes to recipes for food and more, I've got lots of sources.

I am excited to share my passions with you. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I love sharing them.

Buon app├ętit!

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