I look forward to taking you on my interesting and fun kitchen adventures! We will explore things like making kefir water, sourdough starter. Kitchen product reviews. Interviews with some of the areas talented cooks and bakers. Plus I will demystify cooking and baking techniques and terms. All delivered to you in an easy to read, light-hearted manner.
On my recent trip to Wisconsin, I spent a good portion of my six and a half hour drive time thinking of topics to write to you about. I finally settled on the topic of cookbooks. Cookbooks evoke many fond memories for me. I can open up my pie safe and pull each one out and tell you about their history. History of how I got the cookbook, who may have given it to me, what I liked about the content of the cookbook and what recipes I liked or didn’t like.
Oldies but Goodies
I love to look at other people’s cookbooks too! I enjoy pulling out the ones that look haggard. You know the kind that has the front cover half hanging off, pages “dog-eared”( which in the cooking/baking world is completely legal), splattered with various cooking and baking matter. Some pages are even glued together by some former bits of food… All the wonderful signs of a beloved cookbook who has seen many an adventure.
As I page through the books, the best books not only have the wear and tear but the recipes contain notes from the cook. I recently entertained guests from Wisconsin and part of our “girl time” was spent looking at the cookbooks. My friend Audrey said she too likes notes left alongside a recipe. She laughed upon finding a note I left. It was next to a casserole recipe and it said “YUCK!”. You can be sure that recipe will never grace the Bruxvoort table again.
A Few of my Favorite Cookbooks
I have a few favorite cookbooks. They are Family Favorites of Sheldon Christian School and Randolph Christian School Cook Book. Both were given to me as wedding shower gifts and have seen their fair share of abuse. I have some very old cookbooks as well, some even written in Dutch. Just recently I borrowed my mothers The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Revised Edition. Let me just say, that this is a VERY NICE cookbook. Wonderfully suited as a gift for any person embarking on beginning cooking and baking adventures as well as seasoned cooks and bakers. I will give a review of this cookbook in a later article.
Additionally, each recipe becomes nostalgic the older I get. Sometimes evoking tears from people who are no longer alive and occasional laughs as I remember blunders along with warm thoughts of delicious dinners and desserts with friends.
One of my favorite ways to wind down is to read through a cookbook. I enjoy the feelings the recipes evoke. Food has its own history and some of what was eaten and the process it undertook is amazing. For example Head Cheese, Pickled Pigs Feet, Sauerkraut, and Blood Pudding.
I especially enjoy reading out loud unique recipes for Brad. He indulges me by listening to most of the recipes and at the close of the recitation giving his thoughts. On occasion, when I feel as though he is drifting away in thought from my reading, I will ad-lib crazy ingredients and silly directions. To which he snaps in attention and says “Say that again?” or “Someone put that in a recipe?”. However, there have been a few instances where his attention lay in a magazine article or the Packer Report and all his response is “Oh… mmm hmm.” and “Interesting.” At this juncture, I inform him of his obvious inattention and with great gusto, slam the cookbook shut. That generally redirects his thoughts in the right direction.
Stirring the Pot
I hope this article has inspired you to go grab a cookbook and page through it. Re-read, reminisce and try something new. It’s always good for the heart and mind to keep living life to the best of our abilities. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.
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Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 26 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.