Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Let-Down

Because I anticipated a bit of "Thanksgiving Let-Down," I took a couple extra pictures over the weekend, to give me blog fodder until exciting things started happening again. (Okay, so not much exciting ever happens here. It is Nebraska, after all.)

My pecan pie recipe came from my Betty Crocker cookbook. Oh, but not some new, slick, fancy-schmancy Betty Crocker cookbook. It came from this one:

And just in case you can't quite tell how old it is:

(See those notes paperclipped in? One of them is a recipe for Cattails. Apparently, they taste practically identical to mashed potatoes.)

I do have a new, slick re-print of the same book, and in fact, it sat basically unused for a couple of years. When I found this beauty (at a rummage sale, for $7), though, things suddenly changed. For me, there's nothing like an old cookbook, complete with torn and stained pages, and the original owner's scribblings. For reasons that make sense only to me*, this original cookbook is much more enticing than the clean, slick reprint.

Whereas the new one sat unused, this one was put to use almost immediately. I've added my own scribblings, and certainly my own stains. And the new one? My mom was thrilled to recieve it.

I wish I could remember where I read or heard it, but thinking about this cookbook, made me think of a story I read/heard recently. The woman's mom had an old cookbook (I'm assuming it was a Betty Crocker book, but it was never actually mentioned by name) which she alwasy coveted. She loved the stuck-together-pages, the tears, the stains, the "used-ness" of the book. When she got married, she hoped/prayed/assumed that her mom would bestow upon her this cookbook. Much to her dismay, her mom gave her the new edition of this cookbook. She deplored the slick pages and used it only because it was all she had. Of course, over the years, her cookbook lost its new sheen. Her cookbook, too, became stained and torn. In fact, she had to call her mom for a specific recipe because that page was stuck to another in her cookbook. In essense, her cookbook became her mom's.

Of course, I should be taking this story to heart and using my new cookbooks more and my old cookbooks less.

I should. But I won't :)

*For the record, my "official" reason for liking the old copy more is the index. While the new one is an exact reprint in every way--well, it's supposed to be--the index is different. I suppose "they" thought they were making it better, but I think they did a horrible disservice to the book. The original index is much more intuitive. For instance, "substitutions" is listed under "substitutions." I can't remember what it was listed under in the new one, but it was something ridiculous.