Monday, December 05, 2011


Some people will see nothing more than a battered old cookbook; but I see my mother sitting at the kitchen table, leafing through the pages to see what she’ll cook for us that day. She loved and relied on this book and I don’t think it ever let her down.

It is the Lily Wallace “New AMERICAN COOK BOOK” and the

original color was this bright blue. There’s a notation she made on pg 279 next to Deviled Salmon that reads: “good. July 20, ‘44”. That makes me think that she probably got the book brand new as a gift. I would have been 11 years old then and can actually remember how much my sister Peggy and I loved making cakes and other desserts. I’m sure the recipes came from this book.

I have no idea when Mother put a new cover on the book but it was probably sometime in the ‘50s. She was still living on her own in the early ‘80s and it was then that she passed the book on to me.

Here are a few of the recipes that I’m sure I’ll never try … and will probably never see in another cookbook: Shrimp Shriggle, Fried Tripe, Pigs’ Feet a la Russe, Fried sauerkraut and Beef & kidney pie with spaghetti. However, the recipe for Yorkshire Pudding is the best I’ve ever found and I use it often on holidays.

It’s so easy to run to the computer when I want to know how to cook something … but it can’t compare to the warm feeling that I get every time I open the pages of my very old “New American Cookbook”.


Blogger kenju said...

Shrimp shriggle? Do tell!

I have a favorite too; The Joy of Cooking was given to me by a former fiance in 1960. I had to cover it with contact paper sometime in the 80's, as it was so greasy! LOL

3:46 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

And you can pass it down too.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins, said...

Hey, I learned that fried sauerkraut recipe from my Mom. I wonder where she got it? I loved your post. Dianne

1:08 PM  
Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Ginnie,

This is a very delicate precious book passed down to you by your mother. A wonderful remembrance of her. I am amazed to read the even in those days women used to refer to cook books to make dishes. I always thought the ladies learnt their cooking from their mothers and understood how to make delicious dishes by instruction, practice and helping the mother.

Have nice day,

8:07 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

I have my mother's Joy of Cooking. It is falling apart, taped in places, but I love it. The cover has burn marks on it and there are her notes and even bits of poetry she wrote down...all scattered here and there.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Out of all the cookbooks we have, Grenville's favorite is one his mother owned. Mine is my first Betty Crocker cookbook. These old books may not have fancy dishes, but they are treasured and referred to often like your own, Ginnie.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I have my mother's cookbooks too. I didn't get interested in cooking until after I was married. I don't enjoy cooking just for me but like it when we have guests or I cook something special for my wife. I think that the old cookbooks have such charm. Thanks, Ginnie, for sharing your mother's book.

5:54 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I have my mother's cook book as well. It is a very early "Better Homes and Gardens" and I was delighted to find many yellowed handwritten recipes in my mother's handwriting. I will always treasure it and pass it on to my daughter.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I guess we all have our favourite cookbook which is stained with the cover coming off from use. Mine is the Canadian Mennonite Cookbook and it was given to me by my mother when I unexpectedly became a single father.

8:56 AM  

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