Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mom's Home Cooking is DONE!

Cover sheet and dividers for cookbook

When Dad was on the road, Mom typed up the recipes she didn't want to be without and put them in a small ring binder. This was her personal cookbook. It went with her everywhere. When I left home, I typed my own copy of that book. Over the years I've added many recipes to it. After Mom died in 2000, I realized I wanted to share those recipes with my daughter Jen.

I had inherited Mom's and Grandma Hull's recipe files, cookbooks and the ever faithful ring binder. I didn't want those recipes to be lost. In the late 70s the Bethell cousins had shared recipes with me so I could preserve Grandma Bethell's recipes. Now it was time to do it for the Hull side. 

I purchased cookbook writing software and got to work. By 2004 the first pass was printed for Jen and I, but there were lots of recipes I hadn't even started to key into the computer. Fast forward to 2014. Three or four software programs, several computer OS upgrades and computer crashes later, I have finally come to a place where I can say "Stop." Not "Done." Just stop. All the files that had been keyed in over the last 14 years had to be rekeyed this year because Windows 7 doesn't talk to that older software. I started last fall and have worked at it steadily. There are close to 450 recipes in the book now, and over 200 pages. This is a good start.

It was good that no one was coming to my house today, Christmas Day. I was still formatting the chapters and printing them. By 5:30 when I went to Jen and Steve's for Christmas Dinner, the books were finished. I printed seven copies. A master copy, a working copy for me, and presents for Jen, Lala, Lisa, Marsha and Roseanna. I will be sharing the book with cousin, in-laws, and outlaws via email as a .pdf file. The ones that want a hard copy can print it for themselves.
Juicing tomatoes to make ketchup

I am so proud of this book! Most chapters have about 30 recipes in them, even the canning chapter! We come from a long line of country cooks and gardeners. Canning is a strong family tradition. You could see a set up like the one in the picture in any cousin's kitchen during tomato season. 

A days baking
Mom would be proud of the large section on bread making. She enjoyed making bread. Grandma Hull once told Mom when she was a new wife that Grandma was proud of her. Most modern cooks had given up bread making, but Mom hadn't. Grandma would be glad to know that Jen and I are bread makers, too. The line continues. I haven't tried every recipe in the bread section of the cookbook, but I can vouch for most of them!

Lammas Bread
There is one point. The cookbook isn't final. I anticipate adding more recipes every year. I've asked the people who got copies to share their favorite recipes with me in the coming year. I'll key them in and send out "update pages" at Christmas next year. The book will keep growing and truly reflect the favorite foods of our extended family.

   Mom's gift to the family was her genealogical research. My gift may be Mom's Home Cooking. Hm... I don't think that will be a bad thing.

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