2.20.2010

Grandma Helen's Cookbook

What a treasure! The other day Anna stopped by the Diner with a special present. There was no particular celebration or anything taking place, so I was curious when she handed me a present.

I could tell it was a book, but, could it be?! The Quest was over?! No, the book was not quite big enough. Some other book, though, and what a surprise! A book I have never seen before, but when I opened the front cover I knew immediately why it was special! The handwriting was so familiar!

Anna said it was the first cookbook Grandma Helen got when she and Grandpa Sid were married in the late 1930’s and she needed to teach herself how to cook.


Grandma Helen wrote all kinds of notes – which recipes were favorites, how many tablespoons of coffee to put in the coffee maker, “baste a Turkey with Crisco never butter,” Mary & Phil drink club soda (that’s my Great Aunt Mary and Uncle Phil), that PX (that’s Daddy) brought the Gold & White China ware on August 25, 1958 for $42 and it serves 12 (it’s in my cupboard now), and much, much more.


The Hash must have been really good, or Grandpa Sid liked it a lot, since Grandma Helen references it a few times. She noted when the dogs died, when PX went into the Navy, when appliances were purchased, and where they had bank accounts. It’s all there, including some well seasoned pages.



What a treat! Grandma Helen even had to put masking tape on the edge of the front cover to reattach it to the binding; the book was used so much.

Now THIS is a cookbook! And I even found something I had been looking for - a poundcake recipe. You know - a pound of butter, a pound of cake flour, a pound of sugar, and what must be a pound of eggs – 10 of them! (By the way, that's my modern day post-it sticking out of the side marking the "Old-Fashioned Poundcake" recipe.)

Thank you Anna. Thank you Grandma Helen. I will cherish The American Woman’s Cook Book and all the love it holds.

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