It’s the time of year when I need an extra special escape moment or two so I do my old handy escape — fall back into a book. I feel a bit sad because my mother is not longer here, my “old” home in Pennsylvania belongs to Amish families and I feel separated from my roots. It’s a time of reflection on the good old days, or as my son states, “anything in the pass was golden.” That is not true naturally but it does seem sad that I’ll no longer be able to wistfully pine on not being able to go east to the snow and see family. Of course, I had not been able to do that in about 20 years anyway but the point I can not do it ever again makes it all the more poignant.
So to return to present day, it’s also the time to be happy for what I do have. First and foremost I have memories and the cookbooks to create some good times for my family today. We practice making the cookies from the MENNONITE COOKBOOK, my grandmother and mother’s only “cookbook.” I mean, if it wasn’t in the MENNONITE COOKBOOK you didn’t need a recipe! Okay, I learned to supplement with a composition book with notes of interest: don’t be afraid of lard, just need to find good quality in a speciality store; butter is not evil; stone-ground flour is better; and best of all what a pinch, thimble, palm measure out to be. Poor kids they’ve never seen a thimble much less have a clue what it would hold!
My edition of the MENNONITE COOKBOOK is the original 1950 version but I know there is a “newer” edition with “modernized” measuring but I find it comforting to read the old directions, try to figure out the differences between “sweet” milk and “sour milk” and not to be confused with buttermilk, and to read about gone-by-times. Seriously, are you going to be participating in a barn-raising this weekend? Think of it as food with history, so it’s educational!
So I’m curious, do you have special traditions with “food?” If so, what are they? If not, then what would be your perfect tradition?
Until next time…
Get out there and READ a book…
Join us at Readers ‘n ‘ritas November 12-14, 2010!