Friday, April 9, 2010

My First Cook Book

Good evening. Ya'll come on in and have a cup of coffee with us. It's a little cool today and quite different from yesterday when I was sweating. I put on my shorts, tank top and flip flops this morning and was fine until I went outside to hang up clothes. Whoa, that wind is a little cool. In the sun and out of the wind it is great but the wind is really cool.

I have 6 big tomato plants to put out but now I have to wait until it warms up. They do not like cool weather and will just sit there so I think they will be happier on the patio in the sun. The patio is sheltered and the cement reflects the heat and they will be quite happy until later next week. Tomatoes are a necessity for me for I love tomato sandwiches, sliced tomatoes, diced or just eaten like an apple. They are best right out of the garden, still warm and juice running down your arm while you are eating it. These store-bought ones are used only when absolutely necessary.

The picture at the top of the page is my first cookbook and was a gift from a dear, family, friend, Miss Tess Newell. We spent many hours in her home where she lived with her mother, sister (Miss Leacy), and brother (Mr. Mac). Their home was way down in Coy, the lower part of Wilcox County, AL and Mr. Mac was a master farmer and close friend of our daddy. Miss Tess was the "bestest" cook in the county and she always had a cake, pies, cookies, and candy ready when we visited. When she cooked a meal it meant meat, bread, vegetables and dessert and lots of it. There would be homemade pickles, relishes and jelly to go with the hot biscuits. This sweet lady knew how to put out a spread. She knew I loved to cook and gave me this book to begin my own collection of recipes and many are hers.

We ate lots of good meals at the Newell's home down in Coy and it was interesting that the kitchen and dining room was connected to the back of the house by a porch. It stemmed from early years when cooking was done on a wood stove and if a fire broke out the whole house would not burn. They had an electric stove by the time we began visiting but the house was still basically like it was when built. We loved to visit this family and always had a wonderful time. That porch would be cool in the summer but you ran in the winter to get out of the cold for the wind would whistle right through there.

The book is a notebook with heavy card stock pages and the dividers have pockets where you can store clipped recipes until you try them out and decide if the are a "keeper." I began to write down mama's special recipes, some of Miss Tess' and Miss Leacy's and clipped new ones from Better Homes and Garden, Farm Journal, Progressive Farmer and McCall's. These were the ones mama always subscribed to and I still have some of the clipped recipes in the pockets.

I began with some of my favorite recipes from mama and I thought you might enjoy them also so I will share with you. These are still some of our favorite recipes and are really good.

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP (mama's handwritten recipe)

1/stick oleo - old fashioned name for margarine but I like to use butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. soda (my grandmother Polk always said "sody")
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups tomato juice (Mama used a pint of her juice she canned or a pint of tomatoes she would chop finely plus the juice from the jar)
1/4 cup catsup
1/cup cream or whole milk (ours would have been milk from our cow)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt oleo and blend in the flour until smooth, add tomato juice, continue stirring. Add salt, sugar and soda and cook until it almost boils then add catsup and cream and simmer until thoroughly hot.
Serves 4
She usually served this with toasted cheese sandwiches or hot biscuits, and lots of good, cold milk. Use medium heat and stir to keep the milk from scorching.

I made this one time for our children when they were about 10 and 6 for they loved the canned soup from A&P and Robby asked if I could open him a can of "real" soup. Deflated my ego for I was so proud I had made it from scratch. So from then on I just opened a can.

A pie recipe that mama made most every week was "Egg Custard" pie. We had lots of eggs and milk from our own chickens and cow and they had to be used in some way. Mama would make a pie crust and put this custard in it or bake it without the crust. It just depended on how busy she was. Sometimes she would put coconut in it for daddy loved coconut but we also liked it just plain. With all 5 of us at home that pie lasted 1 meal so she usually doubled the recipe so we would have one for snacking later or for supper.

EGG CUSTARD PIE

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
can add coconut if you like before pouring into pie shell and I have no idea how much but guessing about 3/4 cup.
(These are mama's instructions just like she gave them to me)
Put milk and butter on, let come to a boil. Beat eggs and sugar together. Mix all the ingredients and pour into pie shell. Sift nutmeg on top of pie. Bake at 325 degrees until done.
I am including these instructions so you won't have to interpret for I know exactly what she meant.
Beat the eggs and sugar together in small bowl. Put milk and butter in saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring gently to keep milk from scorching until it reaches a slow boil. Remove from heat, pour a little into the egg mixture to temper the eggs, add remainder of the eggs and sugar to milk mixture, mix well and pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake until set and slightly brown on top.

If you need a pie crust recipe I have one in one of my older posts and it is so easy to make so why buy a pie shell unless you are in a tearing hurry.

This cookbook has lots of history in it and along with mama's and Miss Tess' recipes I have some from Miss Leacy Newell who was my Home Ec teacher" and Miss Tess' sister. "Miss Leacy" taught me home ec, was our FFA sponsor, and was a dear friend.

Every now and then I get it out and use some of the old recipe that mama, grandmother and I used to cook and they are still good, simple, delicious recipes. I hope you will enjoy the 2 I have shared and I will share others later on. Mama baked 2 really good pound cakes and I will include those soon.

Now ya'll come back to see us soon and I will try to have a pound cake to go with the coffee next time. It was great talking to ya'll and be careful going home and hurry back.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

No comments: