Tag Archives: cookbooks

Doncha’ Hate It…

20 Nov

…when something goes missing right out of your hands?

Almost my entire married life, payday has been every two weeks, and to avoid extra trips to the grocery store or hit-and-miss meals, I have always picked one cookbook for each week, selected all of my recipes from that book, and put the recipe and the page number on one side of my little steno pad, with the ingredients/shopping list on the other side of the page. I even made a note of which book it was. After I “retired” from the health insurance company in 1983, I registered with a temp agency, and this method has made it easy for The Squire to put dinner together when I am suddenly off working.

Last week, I made up my list, did the shopping, put the page from the steno pad on the fridge, and made one of the meals – a red and white cabbage stir fry with tofu and walnuts. The Squire didn’t care for the walnuts, and I made some notes in the cookbook, and then – I thought – put the book on the shelf. Except that today, I wanted to put together the ingredients for a quiche, so I could slide it into the oven when I got home from a meeting – and the cookbook  is gone.

I have checked page 187 of every book on the shelf. I even looked through some of the books I’ve put aside for a yard sale. Nada.

It’ll turn up next week, I suppose, sitting on the shelf, looking smug, and acting as if it had been there all along.

In the meantime, if anybody has a good recipe for stuffed Chinese cabbage with mushrooms, let me know. I have the ingredients right here.


12 Nov

The kitchen, she is finished!

The Squire and I hung the last of the wallpaper after church on Sunday, and yesterday I sorted through the dozens – literally – of cookbooks, trying to decide which to keep, to donate, or to toss. It seems you always turn to maybe three or four recipes in a cookbook, and never use the rest. I copied the recipes I really wanted from several books, and put them aside to donate. Most of the rest went back on the shelf.

The real problem is that I have accumulated about fifty or so paper booklets from the 20s, 30s and 40s. I can’t bring myself to part with them, and there are some I honestly do use, but they are too fragile to take the pulling out and putting away of daily life in the Rice Paddy kitchen.  I think I am going to get a clear, flat plastic box, and stow them in that.

My favorite is a handwritten collection, written by my great-grandmother. One of the recipes is for Hasenpfeffer.  It starts off, “First, get your rabbit”.  This has become a family line, and good advice in any situation.

Somebody will go on about planning for this, that or the other, building castles in the sky, and be asked, “do you have your rabbit?”