I haven’t felt much like blogging, but I’m feeling overdue. I’m thankful for blogger challenges such as “What’s on Your Plate?” and “What’s on Your Book Shelf?” I’m going to slip under the November deadline with a belated Thanksgiving post right now! I’m also grateful for my talented and attentive husband, whose been doing more than his share of the cooking this year. What’s on my book shelf? My husband’s collection of old cook books. What’s on my plate? Meals cooked by my husband using those old cook books.
These are the cook books I assumed would be donated when we first got married – merging and purging. These are also the books that got a real workout during the pandemic and my concurrent scuffle with cancer. We are private. It’s one thing to write essays about things that inspire me, like travel and art. It’s another to write about something that causes anxiety and uncertainty. Fortunately, I’ve been under the best medical care, husband care, and enjoying some very good meals!
This blog features two of my favorite recipes from my husband’s collection. I would have been sorry had these books ended up at the charity shop. Both are two-part recipes and messy, but make good leftover portions and are very “repeatable” (as my husband says.)
The first is lasagna, which comes from Joy of Cooking, by Irma Bombauer, originally published in 1931. We have the 1975 edition updated by her daughter Marion. My husband uses the “Italian Meat Sauce for Pasta” recipe combined with the “Lasagna” recipe. These 2 recipes are 137 pages apart, which baffles me. My lasagna recipe is fully integrated, but I can’t argue with the success achieved by his. I’m happy to have him be the king of lasagna in our household. My only role is to separate the noodles and, in this case, take photos. He always doubles the recipe, serves up the first of it hot from the oven, then freezes future meals into zip-lock bags. It’s as delicious reheated from frozen and makes dinner easy for weeks to come.
The second recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, published in 1982. It’s another two part recipe, for butter chicken. You start with the “Tandoori-style Chicken” recipe, then complete it with the “Chicken in a Butter Sauce recipe” (which follows logically behind the Tandoori in the cook book.)
Once again, I have only a minor role…filling the condiment dishes and pouring drinks. It makes a nice table with all of the colors.
And yes, I had wine instead of beer with my cancer (I mean Indian meal.) I say “had” because today I am officially in remission! Happy Thanksgiving to us! I should now dust off some of my old cook books and help out in the kitchen for a change! What are some of your favorite recipes from old cook books?