That’s Not a Real Book!

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“But that’s not a real book. It’s just a cookbook.”

Excuse me? Have you looked closely at the cookbooks that spill from shelves and display tables in your favourite bookstore? Not long ago I went hunting for one with recipes for my bread-making machine and was stunned at the selection.  The one I chose has just under 500 pages, three hundred recipes, each adapted for up to three different sized loaves, plus glossy pictures, and on every page, extensive adaptations and tips.

Cookbooks are part of our heritage. The first ones I remember were compilations of family-tested recipes. One in my mother’s drawer was a black three-ring binder with recipes handwritten for her by my aunt, on lined paper, containing additional blank pages on which my mother taped in newspaper clippings. When she ran out of pages she stuffed the clippings inside the covers and between the pages. It was well used!

Another was a more formal volume edited by my aunt, and bearing illustrations by my uncle.  The cost was subsidized by advertising, meticulously hand drawn. Each recipe was carefully typed on a stencil, and pages duplicated on a Gestetner machine. Remember those?

In 1975 the women of the church I attended concluded a year-long project to mark the 100th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada – a cookbook of recipes from three generations, appropriately titled, “Grandmother, Mother and Me: Recipes and Remedies.” I had the pleasure of providing the simple artwork.

It contained recipes bequeathed by mothers, grandmothers and their friends, old remedies and anecdotes that were like family heirlooms. It is visible proof that good recipes are like hand-me-downs… never discarded, but lovingly shared between generations.

Three generations of our family also treasure another three-ring black binder… a cookbook created by our youngest daughter who collected all her favourite recipes to give to me and her siblings, and to take with her when she left home. At the time she had no idea that they would want copies to pass on to their children years later. Each recipe was keyed into the computer with added graphics and an index, and saved, so it has been easy to add to it and reprint new copies when needed.

So no, cookbooks aren’t novels, but they can take just as much research and writing to produce, and extensive editing. In every way they are definitely real books.

Do you have a favourite recipe passed down from earlier generations? Please share it in the comment section. Here’s mine:

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Crystallized Orange and Grapefruit Peel Candy

Cut fruit peeling into strips and soak in salt water overnight. Wash thoroughly in fresh water, and boil in fresh water for five minutes. Change water and boil twice more for five minutes each. Drain off water, and to each cup of peel add a scant cup of white sugar. Cook over a slow fire until it crystallizes, stirring all the while. Separate pieces on a plate to cool. This is most successful when only two or three cups of peel are done at one time. (Makes a tasty Yuletide confection.)

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112 thoughts on “That’s Not a Real Book!

  1. Cookbooks indeed are real books. Probably every reader of books has purchased at least one cookbook. I have purchased many.

    Your collection of homemade cookbooks is inspiring. A church I attended years ago also published a cookbook full of the favorite recipes of members. There were lots of easy-to-prepare recipes that made great family fare or pot luck dishes.

    Thank you very much for the book, Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak! I am thrilled and grateful. Blessings to you, Carol…

  2. karen evans says:

    Carol, I have some grandmother recipes that have been handed down. I love them. A great treasure. That recipe looks yummy. Thanks.

    • krish says:

      ice entry! I loooooove ‘old’ stuff and have an very [as in very very] old book [passed on by my mum] with recipes. My mum used it when young and it was her grandma’s. I also have one [just a scribbling old book] from my great grandma all written in her very own handwriting.

  3. Diana Stevan says:

    What a lovely entry! Yes, the cookbook. When my mother moved into a seniors’ home recently, I took her old cookbooks home with me. Inserted amongst those well-used pages were many handwritten scraps of paper with treasured recipes.

  4. I have some treasured recipe books. My favorite is one our church ladies compiled when I was 12 or 13, and to which I contributed. I was so proud of my chocolate chip cookies, until about a year ago, when my mom called me to say I’d failed to include the flour in my recipe! I wonder how many ladies have tried that recipe and noticed there was no flour. It only took us 40 years to see it! ahahhahaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  5. My mom never used a cookbook or written recipes, and when I’d ask how she made some of my favorite foods she’d never have an exact measurement for the ingredients. I tried duplicating her vegetable soup–my favorite food–based on the list of things she included, but I could never get it to taste the same.

    My daughter gave me a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for Christmas last year, so I guess our future generations will grow up with those recipes!

  6. You can learn so much about people when you read a cookbook. When I was doing the research for my British Raj novel, I read cookbooks to see what English women had their cooks make for their families when they lived in India. It was there I learned a favorite of English children growing up in India was a chappati spread with marmalade.

  7. I’m enjoying all your comments. One thing our homes have in common is that every kitchen probably has at least one cookbook, maybe more.

    Your story is hilarious, Jeanette! Those women were likely good enough cooks that they could figure out how much flour to add. But how funny that no one mentioned it through forty years.

    I agree, Christine, that our favourite foods say a lot about us. I wonder what it says about me when I occasionally decide to substitute a bowl of popcorn for dinner. :)

    • Carla Altland says:

      I eat popcorn as well sometimes for dinner and did so tonight! I enjoyed the recipes and all the information on cook books. I just cleared my mom’s house [ she passed into heaven last year a the age of 90 !] and she has some of the older cook books with the best recipes handed down over the years! keep on writing and I will write too… thanks, sincerely, Carla J. Altland

  8. In a way, I think they are even more real than those “real books” we find in books stores. Our history, love, and experiences go into making a book real or not.

  9. I agree family recipes and old cookbooks are to be treasured. We have a few that are hopelessly out of date and I still wouldn’t think to toss them. I won’t ever make a gelatin mold, well never say never, but I still like to have them on the shelf.

  10. Leah says:

    I love old cookbooks and there’s nothing I enjoy more than going through my binder of recipes and my mother’s binder since it has all our family recipes. Many of the cards are hand-written by my grandmothers who have passed on. Family recipe books are such a treasure of family history. Thanks for your post, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  11. Brooke says:

    This is my first visit to you page….lovely post. I love cookbooks…yes, they are real books:) Thanks, I’ll be checking back.

  12. mb says:

    That is unreal of course cookbooks are books, but many times they are so much more. Cookbooks in my family tell many stories with notations in the sidebars, clippings tucked inside and one even has some original artwork by daughter when she was very young. The scribbling’s artist and date are noted something that at the moment wasn’t so funny has now become a treasure. Family recipes mean so much to me that I use them as a backgrounds on my blog.

    I really enjoyed your post, congrats on being freshly pressed!

  13. Another excellent post thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading your blog very much. Spending time with my family is something I love to do.

    Easy Lifestyles:
    Fun Family Activities

  14. A special hello to those of you coming here via WordPress’s ‘Freshly Pressed’. Thanks for visiting. It’s always wonderful to encounter new cyberfriends. I’ll be making a return visit to check out your blogs as soon as I can.

  15. joehoover76 says:

    Nice post, you can bet this would get more use than a celebrity chef’s cookbook who you may make one recipe and then forever be on display.
    My mother had an old Mrs Beeton cookbook which had plenty of recipes jotted down on scrap paper, yellowed over time and stuffed in it’s leaves. I am sometimes phoning up to retrieve the recipe for spotted dick I used to love so much amongst others. When I left my hometown to move to London, my imposed mentor at the time gave me a blank cookbook and have since filled it with recipes from housemates I have shared with over the years, a lasting reminder of my time with them, it’s a hassle trying to decipher their handwriting though!

    I made one up for my sister as she was setting up home with her now husband, all typed and printed up and presented in a binder with clear pockets for the recipies, maybe too organised so loses some of that romance, but the thought is still there.

  16. fireandair says:

    I wish I could write down some of the recipes my mom showed me, like the gnocchi. But I have no idea how much of everything needed. You use … well, about this much semolina. A couple eggs, some cheese, just moosh it up until it looks right, some potatoes — red or sweet, not too dry, maybe some squash …

    You see the problem.

  17. KristenSays says:

    great post! i put together a cookbook for my husband [the chef in our household] on tastebook.com, added my own images, memories of when he made the recipes, comments on ones i wanted him to make, and he loved it! and it was a real book! :)

  18. The best cookbooks are those that have been stained in the effort of cooking. I always spill no matter how careful I try to be. Now, I do not even bother.

  19. What a lovely post!!!! I have a bag full of them labeled “Ancestor cookbooks”. They are the discards from beloved grandmas, aunts and mothers that are tattered torn and in some cases hardly readable. But I keep them all the same, because the love and energy of those memories is carried with them and I go back and make things from them for old times sake. Great job on Freshly Pressed…perfect choice!!!

  20. I LOVE cookbooks, if for no other reason than to read about meals I might not ever make! Thank you for sharing pictures of some of the books in your life.

    ~ Ashley

  21. beingjulz says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I love cookbooks and can never seem to pass them up without stopping to look and sometimes buy when I see them for sale, whether a bookstore, garage sale, or some fundraiser. Used ones are the best though.

  22. writerdood says:

    I’ve got so many trashed cook books lying around it’s not even funny. The unfortunate fact is that the recipes in them (for the most part) aren’t even close to healthy, and as a diabetic, I can’t use most of them anymore. Still, it’s fun to look through them and every once in a while I’ll “modify” one to suit my needs. The ones with writing in them from parents or grandparents are the best. Gives some insight into what they were thinking and/or dealing with.

  23. Leilani says:

    I view cookbooks as diaries since I can identify my life and moods throughout them. My first cookbook contained recipes I was constantly calling my mom for when I was in college: pancakes, biscuits, etc. Now my books contain gads of Thai recipes since I am always in the mood for Thai lately. And when we first moved into our house I accumulated a lot of crockpot recipes since we didn’t (and still don’t) own a stove.

  24. Laura Best says:

    Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed” Carol!!

  25. Horray for cookbooks!!!!!! And horray for you for being freshly pressed! Hang on for the ride—————
    Kathy

  26. Cookbooks are awesome! I particularly like ones that have recipies that contain easy to find ingredients from your local grocery store. Also useful are cookbooks that suggest “alternative” ingredients you can substitute into the recipe when you don’t have the actual ingredient!

    I also like some online recipe sites. In particular, joyofbaking.com is a really good website that provides you with recipies from scratch (you make a cake WITHOUT using cake mix) :-). At the same time, you get a history lesson on the dessert you are making!

  27. pltprincess says:

    Not being a cook, I have often been guilty of thinking cooks books as only a bound set of recipe cards and not real books. Thanks for sharing a completely different view of cookbooks with one who owns not one single pot or pan.

  28. I agree that they are real books. A cookbook is a journey into another culture. Some people will never share their recipes because they are so sacred to their family! Sharing a recipe is sharing a part of what makes us who we are.

    At our library, our cookbook section is HUGE! It is one of the most popular areas of the library, too.

    Susan @ Richard Burges Branch Library

  29. Lakia Gordon says:

    Old family cookbooks are the best!! Thanks for sharing.

  30. banbamama says:

    I am constantly running after my parents to right down their recipes, many of which they got from their mothers. My father has just as many as my mother. I think my worst fear is for them to leave and I still not having written down their vast recipes! My own recipe book consists of lots of loose sheets of paper and newspaper cuttings covered in flour, butter etc. I love the weathered look lol.
    My kids cook a lot with me and I only hope they are as enthusiastic so I can pass on my “book” to them one day. Archives in the making :)
    Lovely post.

  31. ournote2self says:

    The recipes that have been passed down for generations are usually the best. :)

  32. Great post, and cookbooks are indeed real books.

  33. evajoy says:

    I own many cookbooks now, but my all time fav is the Betty Crocker children’s cookbook I recieved when I was 8. It has a delicous recipe for hot chocolete! :)

  34. My two favorite cookbooks are ones put together by one of my hometown’s local churches, with the recipes contributed by the churchgoers. Especially since I’m no longer living in Cajun country. Lately I’ve found some pretty good recipes online too. Definitely agree – cookbooks are real books. I even have a few recipes that I created on my own.

  35. urbannight says:

    Cookbooks surpass the ordinary book. Especially the Family Cookbook. All those favorites we collect, pass on to the next generation, and they add more. Cook books are a form of living history through the medium of food. Remember the 1950’s cook books that did things to Jello that we really don’t want to think about anymore? Or depression era collections that show how people were scaping together to make a meal go farther? In many ways, cookbooks are a reflection of the time and a multi-generational book is a wonderous thing to behold.

  36. Such treasures you have! What a lovely family tradition. Love your blog by the way! Congrtulations on being selected for FP!

  37. J Roycroft says:

    Cook books are not only real, but are full of history. Congrats on FP

  38. CrookedPage says:

    I agree that cookbooks are definitely real books. Especially as I see more and more cookbooks that contain stories and experiences from the writer, such as Pioneer Woman Cooks.

    Your candy sounds super yummy, although I can just see myself burning down my kitchen in the attempt. My favorite recipe is for pear tart with a gingerbread crust, but I don’t have the recipe to hand so I’ll come back and share it. :)

  39. Thanks for the well written blog today Carol. You are right, cook books are real books…. I want to add just in the same way a man who cooks is still a real man.

    Congrats on being Freshly Cooked, I mean Pressed!

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

  40. Susan says:

    Great post. I’ve always been a fan of cookbooks, ever since I figured out my way around the kitchen as a younster.

    I too have more cookbooks than I’ll ever be able to use. Everything from old Weight Watchers cookbooks to the Cake Bible (both of which are difficult to reconcile with my current low carb lifestyle). But one of my favorite cookbooks is the one my mother put together many years ago in anticipation of a family reunion. She gathered recipes from far-flung relatives, typed the recipes up on her old typewriter, took her book to the printer and had it all printed and collated. She took the books to the reunion, where of course, it was a huge hit.

    Mom has since passed away, but in her honor, I put her cookbook online at http://cominghomecookery.wordpress.com/

  41. mariellahunt says:

    I want a cookbook now, one like those in the pictures. They look like someone put so much heart and soul into making them, like something very familiar… Thanks for sharing! :)

  42. My friend’s daughter found her grandmother’s recipes one afternoon and started her own cookie business (Bubbie’s Kitchen) from what she found.

    History, heritage, love and the true passion of the taste buds pour out their hearts to us in cookbooks.

    Great post and wonderful memories and examples :)

  43. QRI says:

    Lovely post! So agree with you; a good book requires much effort regardless of the genre. I totally love reading cookbooks!

    And congrats on fp! :)

  44. Victoria says:

    An old, worn out, complicated cookbook can tell lots of stories, I think! I like annotated ones- who ate what, what was substituted when and why. If those pages could talk. :)

  45. Harold says:

    I agree cookbooks are books! They make great reading, feeding the mind and the body. Giving reality to the dreams of possible results. Makes me want to put together my own family cookbook, thanks! Congrats on being FP!

  46. Cookbooks ROCK! I look forward to visiting and reading more.

  47. This is amazing commentary; it’s so great to see knowledge passed down through the generations. And yes, no one appreciates cookbooks as much as they should! They are definitely real books, with a lot of time and effort spent on them

  48. I really love your post, and totally agree. Books (cookbooks especially) are so much more special when you know they have passed through the hands of your family. I have about half a dozen of my mum’s Heidi books, which I believe were passed down to her. The spines are decaying, the pages yellowed, and they look like they might disintegrate if you flick through the pages too roughly, but I love them!

  49. What a rich history and legacy you have in these cookbooks! Sharing cookbooks between generations is almost a lost art today. This is a terrific post. : ) I look forward to reading more!

  50. genuszero says:

    Whoever said cookbooks aren’t real books should be sternly reproved.
    And no cookie for them!

  51. charlywalker says:

    I wish I could cook….I tried a book, it doesn’t help.

    Nice Post!

    spread the humor:charlywalker.wordpress.com

  52. Anon says:

    I would love to buy one. :)

  53. jule1 says:

    I remember church cookbooks. Everyone seemed to make them. As I recall they were used as fundraisers. Also, women’s groups did cookbooks. I used to have a 3″ x 5″ card file of all the recipes my mother used, meticulously hand-copied by her and given to me around age 18. I LOST it if you can imagine! So sad. Remember those 3″ x 5″ recipe cards? That’s what we used. My mother always noted on the card who gave her the recipe. She also had a Betty Crocker cookbook with the red plaid cover. I remember a girlfriend of mine in High School used to buy/collect cookbooks, which I thought was quite exotic (back then it was!). Now it’s normal. I buy them for fun, and probably have at least 20. But it’s the ones with the recipes I use over and over that I tend to go back to. I have some I’ve just looked at but never have bothered to cook from.

    The internet has really changed my cooking habits, too, as it’s possible to look up any type of recipe and get multiple versions, copy and print them all, then decide which ones to use (or which ingredients to combine). I have a growing file of internet recipes that looked interesting but have so far not used! Still, I copy the ones that seem promising when I run across them, because I can never remember where they live when they come back up in my mind.

    Thanks for the interesting post. Sure brought up some memories. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  54. MCG ESQ says:

    So true…our family is the same way. Especially when it comes to holiday desserts. Looking forward to have our special Easter egg breads and lamb cake soon!

  55. LeftyFromBrooklyn says:

    May I ask a BIG favor of everyone out there? Especially you ladies who are mothers, grandmothers, or will soon be moms —

    PLEASE teach your sons to cook.

    PLEASE!!!

    I’m a bachelor who never married and had to teach myself how to cook many moons ago. Well, I learned quite well and have been complemented on my cooking and my recipes. In fact, I often make my married buddies jelous because I eat far better than they do. Indeed, cooking is one of life’s greatest pleasures and I am very glad to have taken it up so many years ago. This is something that should never be denied to anyone. Everyone should have some knowledge of cooking as it makes like far more rewarding.

    Believe me, if you teach your sons how to cook, they will always be grateful. Its rewards are endless!
    :)

  56. Gimlett says:

    Brings back nice memories of Mom’s cookbook. It was in public view a lot more during the holidays.

  57. Soupwhistle says:

    Of course cookbooks are books. They must be if you can find them in a Harvard library. http://bit.ly/dLnXQq

  58. Lovely collection of recipies and memories.

  59. My son was standing in the kitchen and staring at the shelf with the cookbooks (not as cool as yours!) and suddenly, he started shouting in a mock disgust and fear , “What is this THING doing in our house?”

    It was a VEGETARIAN cookbook. He is a meat-eater…

    Great post, I like it!

  60. Goodness! “Freshly Pressed” has certainly widened my readership today. I’m delighted to welcome so many new visitors. While I may not get to respond to everyone individually, you can be sure I’m reading and enjoying every single comment.

  61. Steph says:

    This post is beautiful! Have you read “Like Water for Chocolate” for Laura Esquivel? I highly recommend it. It’s a novel centered around love, food, fantasy and recipes. You’d love it if you believe cookbooks represent culture and history :)

  62. sketchjay says:

    Cookbooks are treasures – my cookbooks represent so much life and so many happy memories! I also agree with Lefty From Brooklyn, Boys need to learn how to cook! If not taught they are cheated of a great deal of pleasure as well as self sufficience…Great blog!

  63. leadinglight says:

    Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers have passed on cooking knowledge to my Mum and Dad. I come from a family where Dad enjoys the cooking process more than Mum so his Mum’s recipes are more frequently prepared. But as some commenters have pointed out, these home made recipes never have the exact amount of ingredients or detail how long something should be fried or the length of time something should be stirred. So it’s tricky to emulate without those minute but useful details.

    We just wrote the recipes on the back of old cookbooks.

    As for my recipe, I will be listing how to prepare a traditional sweetmeat prepared during the Sinhalese & Tamil New Year. It’ll get published online tomorrow since it’s a long one.

  64. fox loves angel says:

    Your title is so interesting!Great post~~~

  65. I am always amazed at the ways people find to create “us” and “them” – this time to them-ify cookbooks! Of course they are books. There are the lovely home-created kinds passed down over generations, the published general books that Granny made notes in back in 1942 when she couldn’t round up enough eggs and had to improvise, and the cultural icons like those by Fanny Farmer and Julia Child.

    No less a literary lion than Frank Conroy, in his book Body & Soul, had his character Claude, a young pianist, reach for a cookbook at a time of stress: “His helplessness irritated him, and he bought a copy of The Joy of Cooking and read it cover to cover. It was a fascinating book, much more than a list of recipes…. Claude found it oddly cheering, and read late into the night…. The book was full of surprises, and seemed addressed directly to him.”

    People who don’t consider cookbooks to be books have not looked at good, or even middling, cookbooks. A historical treasure, these, to show a society’s transition from French to down-home to space-age to new-age (with a little detour at fondue and the like) in an easily understood package.

  66. rtcrita says:

    I really like this post. Because recipes that are handed down are some of the most precious things one generation can give to the next. My daughter is constantly telling me, “Mom, you’re going to have to write that one down for me so I can make it for my family some day.” That makes me feel so special when she says that, and I know she wants to always keep the feelings of family in her life that she had growing up and sharing meals.

    Great post!

  67. What a great post, Carol. It’s exactly the kind of post, cookbooks and recipes I am trying to preserve for generations to come via my Vintage Recipe Thursday. You’re invited to link this post and join our group each Thursday.

  68. Louretta says:

    thanks a lot, your post motivate me to continue collecting mine at home so my daughter could cook well for her family…hmmm..lovely ha

  69. Great post- and yeah, cookbooks are most definitely real books. Especially that family variety in the ringbinder with all the love.

    The best selling book here in New Zealand, ever, is the “Edmonds “Sure to Rise” Cookbook”, which started life over a century ago as a promotional gimmick for a baking powder factory. It has been in print ever since and sold over 3.5 million copies. This in a country with a population of less than 800,000 when it was first published, and which has only since grown to a modest 4.1 million.

    The recipes defined New Zealand’s home baking for a century. The factory was a Christchurch icon – but demolished before that sad earthquake knocked down the rest of the central city. It’s been picked up since by one of our leading publishers. Most households have one or two. Or more. We have three in my household…somewhere.

    Matthew Wright

    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com

    http://www.matthewwright.net

  70. Thanks again for your many kind comments. What a delight to hear from you. I hope you’ll stop in again. Be sure to remind me where we met. :)

  71. Great post. I love cookbooks (even if I’m not a great cook!). I love looking through my Mom’s cookbooks, some of which she was given by other family members. It’s always intriguing to read the little notes written in margins or (as you talk about) the bits of paper stuck in here and there. They sometimes read like novels when you put your imagination into it. :)

  72. I love this post, Carol :) These kinds of cookbooks are definitely books – I daresay, more than some ‘books’ I see out there! These kinds of cookbooks should be labelled as family/local/national treasures :)

    I’m on a year off work, and one of my projects is to record my Mum’s recipes. Unfortunately, my Grandma is getting on and she can’t remember any of the many delicious things she used to cook. Asian recipes can be tricky since quite a number involve unusual ingredients and we don’t always have the English-translated names for them… I’ve just started recording Mum’s recipes, using them as content to try out some graphic design ideas as well. Pop by if you’ve time :)

    http://seventhirtyjourney.wordpress.com/mums-recipes/

  73. techfacto says:

    wow.. really nice books.. really antique

  74. Bindu says:

    Great collections! I remember my mother’s hand written cookbook and the notes of my aunt from her homescience classes. The most used pages still have the stains of spices and batter on them..

  75. maxgames.me says:

    I LOVE cookbooks, if for no other reason than to read about meals I might not ever make!

  76. Roda says:

    Ah books..that I love books is a given..I have so many of them and since cooking is also something I am good at ….I have tons of recipe books. I am a parsee and therefore books on our cuisine are few in number and I remember one book given to me by my mother-in-law which was over a hundred years old then and quite moth eaten…but I kept it all the same and I distinctly remember keeping it out for packing when we moved cities but the mystery still remains as to why it never reached my new home. Possibly the packer taking one look at it decided to consign it ….thinking he was doing me a favour perhaps. Who knows where it went but I wish I had it still.
    By the way I have been baking my own bread at home for years and you would be surprised as to what all I have put in the dough from time to time. We don’t get bread making machines here so it is the old fashioned way of kneading by hand but I’ve never kneaded my dough too much anyway or left the dough to prove for more than 5 minutes (very disconcerting for my son who likes to follow a recipe whereas I am the just throw things together type). Here’s my recipe blog : http://rodas-recipes.blogspot.com.

  77. Nikita says:

    Nice entry! I loooooove ‘old’ stuff and have an very [as in very very] old book [passed on by my mum] with recipes. My mum used it when young and it was her grandma’s. I also have one [just a scribbling old book] from my great grandma all written in her very own handwriting. I do treasure such books and prefer them above any new book. I think I need to add some pics on my recipe-pages, now that I’ve been inspired by yours. :)

  78. wittybizgal says:

    I posted something along these lines a few days ago: http://wittybizgal.com/2011/04/04/remembering-with-recipes/ There are several family recipes included. Even my little homemade cookbook from my grandparents is a real book! It’s both a cookbook and a history book. :-) Thanks for your blog, and congrats on your Freshly Pressed!

  79. AnastasiaVS says:

    I am slowly collecting family recipes… though my family is spread around the world and at the moment it is not an easy task! Great post!

  80. Great article, I feel for the loss of my grandmother’s rolls recipe, I will go and spend time with my older sister to learn how to make them. Thank you and yes congrats on your Freshly Pressed.

  81. tah1447 says:

    some of cookbooks are complex

  82. I am still using a cookbook given to me in the 1980s by my then best friend (still in touch) from college…the pages are stained and torn and the spine taped with duct tape. She now lives in Kamloops (you’ll know there that is) and I am in suburban NYC, but every time I make the leek and tomato quiche (The book is the Vegetarian Epicure Part II) I think of her.

    I have made home-made cookbooks with my favorite recipes (plus drawings or photos) for a younger brother and for my Mom. I love sharing recipes, as clearly many of us do.

    Congrats on being FPed!

  83. I’ve always liked looking through the old cookbooks my mom has in store. There’s something about those recipes, isn’t there?
    Cookbooks ARE books! Come on now. :P
    Nice post! Congratz on getting FP!

  84. Emily Jane says:

    Old family cookbooks are a real treasure! I remember going through my grandma’s collection as a child and making Welsh cakes with her that HER mother taught her how to make. My husband also has a collection of recipes his mum passed down, which is a real delight.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  85. I was looking through my late grandmother’s cookbook last summer, passed down to my aunt and now in my cousin’s kitchen. Oh my gosh…I couldn’t believe how hard everything was. EVERYTHING was from scratch, even the sticky rolls. Those books are definitely a little piece of history! And to see the little comments in her handwriting was a true gift.

    • wittybizgal says:

      I’m so glad that my grandmother loved to make easy dishes! If everything was from scratch like that, I would probably still treasure it, but definitely wouldn’t be making them myself quite as often.

  86. Adam Crump says:

    You know I found a great cookbook in a Civil War Museum in Georgia, had some stories and info that I found amazing. But I loved half the recipes required squirrel, possum or what ever meat you had handy. They are some real original recipes! But our family spends our time trying to keep the tradition of baking, from pies to cakes. Problem is no one wrote them down!

    Adam

  87. tech says:

    i enjoy to read your comments .. keep it up

  88. I’ve enjoyed ‘meeting’ so many of you, and reading your comments. Thanks for visiting here.

  89. Great post! These cookbooks are a special part of History! Enjoyed reading about them.

  90. leadinglight says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. The recipe is up today.

    Romantic suspense, huh? Would that be something like Jane Eyre? Good luck with it. I love all the Christie and Doyle cases because you can revisit them later like you’ve never read them before.

  91. Someone asked a musician, “Is that a real song or did you make that up?”

    I bet they didn’t undertand the art and creative process of writing, cooking or cook books either.

    Ther ain’t much better than home cooking.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

  92. Margie says:

    My great grandfather was a chef in Calgary in the early 1900’s. His book of recipes is still in the family, although I haven’t seen it yet. The branch of the family that has it live in Seattle, and it was guarded by a 95 year old lady who wouldn’t show anyone, fearing they would take it away from her. When she died, it fell into the hands of her 75 year old son, who also is suspicious of new fangled things like scanners, I think.

  93. Yor Ryeter says:

    Definitely cookbook is a real book ♥ No question! :)

  94. SandySays1 says:

    Yeah, they sure are books. My human used to travel all over the world and collected cook books for his Mrs. They are some of her most prized possessions. She has over 100 from the 80 plus countries he visited. Some are hard to read (very) but all are treasured.
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  95. Sunny says:

    Cookbooks are amazing to me! I would love to write one one day. When my grandmother got sick, I inherited her cookbooks and they are the most precious things I own. Every page that is dog eared, spilled on, or has measurements that are re-written is a special connection to her.

  96. ลดความอ้วน says:

    In a way, I think they are even more real than those “real books” we find in books stores. Our history, love, and experiences go into making a book real or not.

  97. ลดความอ้วน says:

    Nice entry! I loooooove ‘old’ stuff and have an very [as in very very] old book [passed on by my mum] with recipes. My mum used it when young and it was

  98. ลดความอ้วน says:

    I agree family recipes and old cookbooks are to be treasured. We have a few that are hopelessly out of date and I still wouldn’t think to toss them. I won’t ever make a gelatin mold, well never say never, but I still like to have them on the shelf.

  99. hunter71 says:

    My grandma loved cooking and we all loved to hang out in the kitchen with her…..when she passed away everyone in the family picked a favorite receipe that she used to make and we made a cookbook of her food…. My mom uses her book all the time.

  100. The Writer says:

    What a wonderful post you’ve written here! I too have fond memories of handwritten recipe books. Well, in my family what we have the most of are really published cookbooks with all the relevant recipes edited! My grandmother could never follow a recipe more than once, and my mother and I are the same!

  101. It’s a treat to hear how your memories have been drawn back to the family kitchens. Cookbooks represent great foods that were shared around dinner tables and at party gatherings… all good times to remember.

  102. ตั๋วเครื่องบินราคาถูก,จองตั๋วเครื่องบิน,ตั๋วเครื่องบิน says:

    My mom never used a cookbook or written recipes, and when I’d ask how she made some of my favorite foods she’d never have an exact measurement for the ingredients. I tried duplicating her vegetable soup–my favorite food–based on the list of things she included, but I could never get it to taste the same.

    My daughter gave me a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for Christmas last year, so I guess our future generations will grow up with those recipes!

  103. I’d laugh at someone who said cookbooks aren’t real books. They most definitely are! As you said, cookbooks have a huge presence in bookstores, and I’ve seen three entire bookcases dedicated to them in some of the Borders’ stores I’ve been too.

    My mother has an entire hoard of cookbooks she loves. They include books passed down straight from my great-grandmother, and the pages might be old and well worn, but the book is still as intact as it was in those days. In fact, I assure you one thing my mother would save in the event of a calamity would be her cookbooks!

    I don’t personally have a favorite recipe, though there are some common ones that I adore. My mom usually tends to add an extra little zing to them, and they taste amazing.

    I guess my favorite common recipe would be the one for blueberry muffins, which I think everyone knows!

  104. Thanks for adding your thoughts here. One of my daughters would be able to relate to the soup problem… she claims she can’t make her turkey soup taste like mine! And blueberry muffins? I love blueberry muffins… especially when they’re made with tiny, sweet, wild blueberries. :)

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