The Week In Books, No. 19

This week we are staying with my parents in Virginia, and I’ve been having fun hanging out with Amy L, Laura B, and Heidi, seeing my family, and so on. I brought a book, but it’s a detailed economic history of the Great Depression, and it’s difficult for me to focus on it with so much else going on. The two books I did complete are old cookbooks, and I don’t have pictures of them.

I think it’s so interesting how different decades have different favorite ingredients for recipes. The first cookbook I read was an old Southern Living cookbook my mom has had since the 1970s. About 2/3 of the recipes contain pimentos. The other 1/3 contain gelatin. Jello salad was a very big thing in the 70s apparently. I don’t mind the occasional gelatin dish, but some of them are just downright weird.

My mom recently visited my grandfather’s cousin Jane (I’m not sure what relation that makes Jane to me, my third cousin?) and Jane gave Mom a cookbook to pass on to me. It’s one of those cookbooks that ladies submit recipes to and sell for a fundraiser. At least, that is what ladies do in the South, I’m not sure if it happens in the rest of the country. This particular book was done by the Charlotte (NC) Latin School, and many of the recipes seem promising, although again jello figures prominently in several sections.

As I was looking in my mom’s cookbook, I saw that she had cleverly made notes in the back with menu plans suitable for a company dinner, a luncheon, taking a meal to a sick friend, etc. That would be a handy reference. I tend to neglect my cookbooks in favor of the internet, but maybe I should go through and make up a few menus from each one to have on hand.

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