Saturday, November 11, 2006

Family Cookbook?

Well, I've wanted to do this for a long time and I thought that now is as good a time as any. I composed the following letter and sent it off to my family...I want to compile a family cookbook.

I love to cook. I always have. My family has conditioned me to cook, I suppose. That's why I want their recipes. I have a huge extended family: my mom's, my dad's, my stepfather's, my stepmother's, my sister's inlaws, cousins, friends, etc. I've only received one recipe so far...from my stepfather. You can read it at after you read the letter I sent:

Dear Family,

Please accept my apologies for the form-letter-feeling this letter will undoubtedly have. I hope you're all doing well and I love you all very much…and I am writing to ask a favor. Don't worry, it's nothing big. Just a recipe or two will do.

For years I have been thinking about compiling a cookbook. I have had different ideas about what kind of a cookbook to compile. I've considered collecting recipes from local actors and selling the book as a fundraiser for the theatre I work for…but actors apparently don't cook that well. I've considered collecting recipes from co-workers at D'Youville College and donating the proceeds to their scholarship fund…but apparently teachers don't have time to cook. Finally, I thought about collecting recipes from my family. These are the recipes I grew up with and love! I don't know how to make Grandma Kelley's pigachi…and I want to.

Sound like a good idea? I agree. Think this is a silly idea? Too bad…send me a recipe anyway.

This idea was born from my addiction to buying books. Books of all kinds: autobiographies, plays, fiction, non-fiction, true crime, and cookbooks. I recently started cataloging all of my books and I found that I have 3 dozen cookbooks. I do use them but not nearly as much as I had anticipated. Of each cookbook I own however, none of them tells a story. I think it would be great to have a little story to go along with each recipe. (When did you have this meal for the very first time? For what special occasions would this dish be prepared?)

So, dear family, I am asking for your help. Would you please look through your recipe boxes and send me a few of your favorite dishes? Think appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, side dishes, soups, beverages, etc. I'd like for this cookbook to be as comprehensive as possible. Could you ask your aunts & uncles, brothers & sisters, mothers & fathers, sons & daughters to contribute as well? Many of us have enjoyed Edgy's homemade Thanksgiving Stuffing; possibly he can share his secret recipe with us. I used to love his mother's cucumber salad; I could share that recipe with you. Grandma Demerly makes the best sauerkraut in the world (it was actually her mother's recipe); perhaps I can persuade her to contribute as well.

I really think that this would be a great way for our very extended family to come together and I'd hate to put this off much longer. Now is the time. As much as we'd all hate to think about it, our Grandmothers will not be around for ever. Wouldn't it be a comfort to know that their recipes for the foods we grew up with will be?

If you'd like to help me in this endeavor (and I sincerely hope you will), please e-mail or drop your complete recipes to me via snail mail (addresses below). A complete recipe should include: your name, the name of your recipe, ingredient list, preparation list (please include temperatures and duration), servings (if you know this), and a personal story to go along with your recipe. If you have some heirloom recipes (Great-Great Grandma's Vanilla Pudding, for example) please send those to me as well. The more recipes we compile the better. In addition, please don't hesitate to send me some "basic" recipes. I don't really know how to make a good macaroni salad, for example.

Oh, I really hope this works out! I'm certain it will with everyone's collaboration. And I thank you all very much in advance for taking the time.

With love,

OK, here's the recipe I told you I got:

Easy Turkey Recipe from Edgy:

Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing - imagine that. When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. Give this a try.

10-15 lb. Turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup dried stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm is good.)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S)
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven. Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and the turkey flies across the room, it's done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried Edgy's recipe and it really works!