What I’m Thankful For: He Cooks Too!

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.

Butter chicken, raita, tomatoes, cashews, golden raisins and coconut served with naan bread.

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?

25 thoughts on “What I’m Thankful For: He Cooks Too!

  1. I’m coming over right now! I think lasagna (and meatloaf) are an act of love! And clearly this cooking was curative as well. There is love in the book, in the pot, and clearly – in your life.


  2. Love this post! I am happy that you are being well taken care of, Tracey. The food looks amazing. Yes, old cookbooks/recipes are often the best. And everything old eventually becomes new again, so there’s that! 😁



  3. So sorry to hear you’ve been on the C journey. Even best case scenario and good health care providers don’t make it easier. Glad you are in remission and that you feel like blogging. As to lasagna love it – it’s work but so worth it and hopefully leftovers. The butter chicken recipe seems quite different than the one my east Indian friend taught me but it’s not surprising as I am sure there are many variations. Oh and kudos for tying in both challenges into one!


  4. Hi Tracey, isn’t it wonderful that cookbooks that survived the merge/purge edit are such a source of love, comfort and inspiration now! Thanks for sharing your great news about cancer now in remission. I am just starting my own health challenge, but, like you, the support of loved ones near and far provides faith that all things are possible. Much love, Lori


  5. Lucky you to have a man who likes to cook! I love lasagna and love having lots of leftovers almost as well. That Tandoori-style chicken looks yummy too! I am slowly getting rid of my cookbooks (I often find new recipes on the googles) but I still have my (1975 edition) of The Joy of Cooking also.

    I’m so, so happy to know that you are now in remission and that you feel inspired enough to get back to blogging. Lots to be grateful for!


  6. Pingback: What’s On Your Plate – November: Win-Win Eating! – Retirement Reflections

  7. I can’t think of any specific recipes but I often reach for the “Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.” I also like the “Southern Living Cookbook”


  8. Tracey, thanks for sharing your good news and these two delicious-looking recipes. I’d be inclined to make them both. Most of our cookbooks are packed away in storage (the few that survived the purge back in July). One of my all-time favorite recipes is from Martha Stewart – it’s a rolled chicken breast stuffed with feta and spinach. We once made it for a group of 32 as part of a progressive dinner. Gosh, I haven’t thought of that in years (the dinner party, not the chicken). Thanks for inspiring me to travel back in time this morning. I used to own the Joy of Cooking book. I do hope I had the good sense to pack it.


  9. I am so thrilled that you are officially on remission! And… I have versions of both these cookbooks and have not made either recipe ao thanks for the great suggestions and fabulous photos of all! See you very soon!


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