Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm Not The Only Cookbook Collector Around Here

Someone donated 1,000 cookbooks to the Friends Of The Library in Wahoo, Nebraska. That explains why there are always a slew of new cookbooks for sale every time we visit. The librarian wasn't sure where they were storing them or she'd have let me rummage thorugh. Probably just as well, I have no self-control and probably would have brought home the entire lot.

I'm curious who donated them. Some of these books are very old, so I sort of wonder if it was an elderly person that died, or moved to a nursing home. If he or she is still among the living I'd like to write a thank you note or better, bring over some baked goods and preserves. I'll have to find out. I really would like to return the favour.

I bought the book pictured here (Better Homes And Gardens Holiday Cook Book) strictly for the photographs, though I've admittedly had excellent results with books in the Better Homes And Gardens series. This particular one is from 1959. This was my mother's newly-married era...why the heck didn't she make stuff like this for us? Seriously, I know my sister would have eaten that strawberry parfait thing, and I could have really enjoyed a banana split. You know why she wasn't making fancy ice-cream treats for us? I know we only lived three blocks from a drugstore that sold ice cream, but still.

Just look at those ice-cream creations!

Speaking of my sister-you see the bangs on these girls? That was how my mother cut my sister's hair except much more uneven. Thank goodness that look was out of vogue by the time I was old enough to be subjected to the "School Photo Day Haircut" which was usually on an unseasonably warm Fall day where we'd be decked out in our best Fall clothes(complete with itchy crinolines) dying from the heat. I don't think either of us ever had a photo taken where our hair wasn't plastered to our foreheads. Obviously, the girls in the cookbook photo had professional stylists-and Spring clothing. My sister was blonde like that, with blue eyes too. We think it was the milkman. Probably not the postman, as he was black. Anyway, we never got cakes like that either. We'd have been too fat to squeeze into our lovely tafeta and tulle dresses. Actually, I never had to dress that way (thank God for the 60's) but I still wouldn't have been allowed cake.

Look at the gentleman in a suit and tie enjoying the luau. "I want to go back to my little grass shack..." Oh look, "The Mrs. made a Pu Pu Platter!"

And the lovely hostess setting out an international spread of Indian/Mexican fusion cooking. Mmmm, nothing goes with curried lamb like Spanish rice! It's all so exotic, no one will know the difference. I like her hair, maybe I ought to start getting roller sets. I already have an apron like that. I don't play bridge-maybe I should learn?

Finally, the "light touch" of salads. Yes, I know that nothing "lightens-up" a salad like adding a cup of heavy whipping cream to a cup of mayonaisse! Sure, that'll lighten up the meal. What's for dessert, something "light" like cheesecake?"

I don't expect to be preparing too many items from this book, but one never knows when they'll need to take some stuffed Spanish olives and wrap them in strips of bacon. These things come up once in a while, you know. Better lay in a supply of frilled toothpicks now-before the summer entertaining season is in full swing.

Happy Cooking.

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