Over the winter, recently retired, I found myself looking through the old cookbooks from my collection and my mom’s handwritten journals or scrapbook recipes. My collection is from the 1970’s to the present. These are mainly supermarket type glossy magazines and a respectable selection of recently published cookbooks. My mom’s are mostly clippings ( 1930 to the recent past) from the newspaper pasted into several old notebooks and from her mother’s cooking diary and date from before 1900. When my aunts passed away I also was glad to have their cookbook collections as well. So as these all are now in my possession I can source out something tasty that has Victorian guidelines or inspiration from Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Paula Deen. Thrown into the mix are many local church cookbooks and Women’s Institute groups. I have an entire bookcase of cookbooks and will probably continue to buy them at garage sales and my favourite bookstore. I may even collect some recipes from a food blog or two.
Inspiration from these books makes me hungry enough to think about what I have in the cupboard that I can use to rustle up something good for supper. Living in a rural area I don’t jump in the car and go to town to get groceries in a snow storm. Often instead of finding the exact ingredients required I have had to improvise so there are some interesting outcomes. Almost everything has been edible but sometimes the dog gets the benefit of the odd disaster. Now that it is spring and the roads are good to travel on for last minute ingredients it is easier to keep the pantry stocked and ready for action. However it is interesting that I’m not cooking anything from the new books even though I like the writers and enjoy collecting their books. No sushi, no liquid nitrogen cooking techniques or throwdowns. It seems to be that my cooking seems to be the old school favourites of simple salads, vegetable casseroles, roasts, potatoes, muffins, tea biscuits and cookies . It is like shadowing my mentors and cooking from memory. I hope Jamie, Nigella and Paula don’t mind too much.