In November we talked about Gratitude and Thankfulness. We turned over every stone and looked in places we sometimes didn’t want to go, but we found it! The turkey carcass hasn’t even been stripped clean and we are in the midst of the Christmas season. Shopping, “Bring a Dish to Pass”, Cookies, Decorations, Family Dysfunction & More Shopping. This month, we’re looking at Comfort & Joy. LIFE Comfort and Joy! What brings you comfort and joy? We’ll share ours and we hope you’ll share yours.
For your listening pleasure…Barenaked Ladies “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
It’s cold out today, for Atlanta anyway. It’s a good day to hunker down inside, prop my feet up on the footstool, turn the TV on (purely for background noise), and make myself a pot of tea as I flip through a new cookbook.
This has been a regular source of comfort and joy since I was a kid.
Ever since I was a latch key kid letting myself in the house after school, I found myself gravitating towards cookbooks. Being alone in the house, I loved imagining what new recipes actually tasted like! As I read down the list of ingredients of each recipe, I could imagine the taste of each finished version. My mother wasn’t much of a cook, or perhaps she just didn’t find any joy in cooking, but she only had the obligatory Better Homes & Gardens cookbook in the familiar red and white plaid notebook and one set of cookbooks that divided recipes into 5 different books….and with no pictures! There was the appetizers/soup/salad book, the meat book, poultry book, side dish book & dessert book. I always drifted towards the dessert book, meat was too intimidating, besides all the meat in our house was wrapped in white paper and frozen. For immediate results I had to stay with desserts.
Before I found the cookbooks….
When I was a very young girl, home alone and left to my own devices I was curious about making an Angel Food Cake, (I had never tasted one, but I had heard of them. It must be amazing tasting otherwise why would it have such a heavenly name?) There was a listing in the front part of the phone book back then for “information”…there was a number to call…for information. I had a burning question; How many eggs in an Angel Food Cake? There wasn’t anybody around I could ask so I did the only thing I could think of…I called “information”. The kindly operator (my hunch tells me now that she was probably a mom) told me politely the number I called was for “INFORMATION”. I knew that! Even at my young age I knew what I needed was “information”! How many eggs in an Angel Food Cake? I like to think I was responsible for having that number changed to “Directory Assistance” years later.
That was at least 50 years ago, but my passion for new cookbooks has grown and evolved over the years. In the last 8 years my husband and I have downsized considerably. We live in a smaller place now…it’s perfect for us, but not for a collection of cookbooks. When we moved out of our home in Michigan I had to make a decision of which cookbooks were the most important to me and save only a dozen or so books. It was a little like Sophie’s Choice, but I did it.
Now, I buy all of my cookbooks digitally to be read on my iPad. In addition to my bookshelf, I have an app called Recipe Box that holds all the recipes I deem worthy from online sources. All my magazines, Southern Living, Real Simple, Taste of Home, etc are on my iPad and I can find the recipes online after
flipping swiping through the each one of them. Instead of passing recipes to neighbors, friends & family our community of recipe gatherers have their own blogs and Pinterest.
One of our new favorites in our dinner rotation is from a blog. The ingredients are simple, but the writer was so passionate about this being the most awesome sauce ever, seduced me into trying it. I’ve since subscribed to her blog just because of this recipe. Check it out: Table for Two
So now that I’ve finished telling you of just one of my comforts…and my joys, I’m off to brew a pot of tea, swipe through a new cookbook and enjoy my quiet life. Today I’m brewing a great White Pear Tea (from Revolution). If I find anything exciting I’ll let you low.
My top 3 favorite hardcover cookbooks
I couldn’t dream of putting this list together without this cookbook. It was a real game changer, not only in the way I cook, but the way I eat…and I even think the way I live. Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be spectacular. With only three ingredients Rozanne Gold delivers gourmet recipes (and you won’t find a can of soup in any of these recipes). This book continues to offer the greatest joy because so many of the recipes are also like a science project….I have to make them because I’m not convinced it’ll work! Read More
I like this one so much I even have it digitally…don’t leave home without it!
I used to love watching Nigella on TV before there was Food Network. My son called it food porn before “Food Porn” was an acceptable term. Read More
There’s the recipe for the “cloud cake” that’s one of our favorites!
I love anything that offers “The Best Of”…This book holds the recipe for my pie crust. For this alone, it is a keeper for me. Read More
Tell me what you’re doing today to bring a little comfort & joy to your life.