Monday, July 14, 2008
Yum! Yum! Yum!
I started my love affair with food and cooking through the Reading is Fundamental program, when I picked up a copy of The Lucky Cookbook for Boys and Girls. My first recipe? Why my German orientation led me to cook the first thing first - cinnamon toast. I've published photos of the recipe JUST IN CASE you need a refresher on the complex recipe for sugary and spicy toast.
Other complex recipes in the cookbook included "Stuffed celery" and "Party Punch". I've got the recipe for "Party Punch" memorized. Mix 2 cups of orange juice with 2 cups of cranberry juice and voila! "Party Punch!" ("Add 2 cups of vodka," says my grown-up self, "And NOW you have "Party Punch!")
I remember combing through this and my Little Witch's First Cookbook and plotting out the menus and thinking about parties I could have with the suggested menus in the back of the book (stuffed celery, baked potatoes and hamburgers - doesn't that sound perfect!), imagining how impressed people would be with my cooking skill and imagination.
I don't have recollection of ever having a dinner party with my friends or family. And I cannot remember if I ever asked to cook a recipe that I would have needed either help with or special ingredients. Was I too afraid to ask? Too afraid to try? I don't know. It doesn't matter. I still love looking at cookbooks and planning dinner parties which may or may not ever happen. I've moved on to Rick Bayliss, Marcella Hazan, and Madhur Jaffrey. I'm a member of epicurious.com, and reading the Cooking section of the weekly Boston Globe Magazine is a delight.
I don't plan to be a mom. So there is no reason for me to hang on to these cookbooks. Rather than selling them for a nickel at my garage sale this Fall, I think I'll take them with me to Wellfleet tomorrow. There I will visit two of my nieces who are visiting with their mom and my mother. The older folks among us will reminisce and I hope the younger ones will be inspired to sit with Aunt Clownface and learn to make Ants on a Log.