Summer Reruns

10 Aug

I’m back from vaycay, having spent a week with my rear firmly planted on the most beautiful beach I’ve ever laid eyes on – Good Harbour Beach, Gloucester, Mass. White sand, fat seagulls flying overhead, salty breeze, sparkling clear water … ahhhh. No jelly fish, no mosquitoes, very little seaweed. Heaven on earth.

I devoured two fabulous books – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Summer doesn’t get much better than this.

My head is still at that beach, so I’m taking a break from blogging and doing what a lot of television networks fall back on at this time of year: recycling my previous blogs.

From April, here is:

My Recipe Collection Will Outlive Me

Or put another way, I’ll die before I ever make all of the recipes I’ve collected over the years.

That’s a frightening thought, but the more recipes I collect and the longer I live, the more it’s true. I seem to like the collection process, but not so much the actual making process. For one thing, I don’t have time to cook much anymore. It’s easier to pick up a frozen meal and heat it up. The pies you buy at the grocery store taste better than any pie I’ll ever make. And when are the members of my family (those that aren’t married off or away at college) home at the same time, to actually sit around a table to eat a meal?

I own diet recipe books that are gathering dust on my kitchen bookshelf. The latest one, The 17-day Diet, really worked. It lasted exactly 17 days, until my husband and I decided we couldn’t live without bread anymore.

I inherited stained, tattered, handwritten recipes from my grandmother for dishes like Blueberry Grunt (don’t ask) and Money Cake. Most of her recipes are for dessert — squares, puddings, cake, pie, cookies — since that’s mostly what they eat in Cape Breton, the island where she’s from. I don’t pull out her recipes to make stuff. It’s not that I don’t love dessert, I just want to look at her handwriting again, and look at the stains, and wonder what she was thinking about when she last made the dish. Those bits of paper are all I have left of her.

My grandmother like to share her recipes, but they aren’t easy to follow. Women in those days knew how to bake, so they assumed anyone reading the recipe knew too. They didn’t tell you that you need to add water to dates to cook them or they turn into cement. They didn’t think they needed to mention the order to add ingredients to a cake. Sometimes they even left out ‘tsp’ or ‘cup’, assuming a person would know that you don’t put a cup of baking soda in anything unless you’re making a homemade bomb.

Some of her recipes are hopelessly outdated. If I don’t think I could get away with making a cake filled with hidden quarters. Today’s mom’s would be outraged at the potential choking hazard. Plus stuff was made with tons of salt and butter. There was no such thing as lean hamburger.

I miss the old days …

Does anybody have a favorite recipe they inherited from a family member they’d care to share? I could always use another recipe for my collection.

2 Responses to “Summer Reruns”

  1. Denise Hansen August 11, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Hi Nance – Really enjoyed this blog entry. My recipes are in a similar state – and what does one do with all those Internet recipe print-outs? My cookbooks are also incredibly dusty these days.

    Your old college pal Denise

    • nancyelizabethlauzon August 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

      Thanks, Denise! Yeah, I guess recipe books are now obselete. You can simply google whatever recipe you want. Times certainly have changed!

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