Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Life in Cookbooks

I was straightening my pantry shelves yesterday when I started browsing through my cookbooks. Most of my recipes are from my head, magazines or the internet but I do have a few cookbooks that I've had for years.  It occurred to me that each of these books represent some part of my life.

So for something different and fun today, I'd thought I'd share that on my blog.

This one, More with Less, was written by a Mennonite community and was one that reminds me of my teen years.  For a time, my single mother and we three children lived with our pastor and family.  They ran a Christian training center and camp that my brother-in-law is actually the director of at this point.  This was one of the mainstays of the center. 

There are so many wonderful recipes in it, using inexpensive ingredients.  The premise of this book is that we in the west use up so much of the world's resources even though we are fairly small in population compared to the rest of the world.  I love it because not only does it have great recipes but is very informational on how to make do, use it up and do without! 

When we first got married, my mother-in-law pulled a number of items from her own kitchen to give us, including pots, pans and this gem.  I used this book for years until it literally fell apart.  I was so sad to see it go but the pages were ripped, the binding cracked in half and it was a mess.  However, one day at a library book sale I saw a copy that looked brand new for $2.  So I snatched it up!

One of the jobs I had when we were engaged and first married was administrative assistant for Federal Paper Board.  It was a large international paper company that has since been merged with another company.  This company hosted The Masters golf tournament each year. 

My bosses actually flew me to their headquarters in Augusta, Georgia to tour the plant and do some "errands" for them and while there, I received a copy of this cookbook.  I use quite a few of the recipes in there too.

As I've mentioned before, Dan & I worked for an inner city ministry for 10 years.  Dan was the vice president and I was the director of an adult literacy program, English as a Second Language, as well as the assistant director of an early learning center of 80 children.  I was putting in 14 hour days between the school and the adult programs, starting at about 7 in the morning and getting home around 9 p.m. some days.  Our children attended the preschool so I was with them every day and then they would play and toddle around our feet at night while we taught English or literacy.

This book was my best friend in those days.  Often I would bring the crockpot with us and plug it in at the school so we could eat dinner before starting in with the adult programs.  The Lord got ahold of me about our crazy life but this certainly helped during that time and I still use it quite often.

When I began homeschooling my children, I joined a message board and even though I no longer homeschool, am still part of that website, serving as a moderator.  I made wonderful friendships there and have connected with some "in real life" too. :-) 

One year, a group of ladies decided to put together a cookbook and I love it!  In fact, I have about 20 recipes of my own in the book.  I turn to it quite frequently when I want to try something new.

Finally, I stumbled across this book in a bookstore and decided to purchase it.  When I started my bread baking adventure, I used many of the recipes in here and some are still my favorites.  There is an apple cake recipe in here that is wonderful!

I don't use it as much anymore but it's still there when I want something different.

So there you have it!  My adult life in cookbooks.  Do you have a favorite few you use?