Do You Have a Favorite Cookbook?

January 18, 2011Katie

Do you have a slew of cookbooks like me?

Which one is your favorite?  Can you pick?

I would hazard a guess that it’s the one with the stained and warped pages…

You know, the one you use all the time?  And you use it so much that you’ve splattered it with the sweet potatoes you’re whipping at Thanksgiving, or flicked it with chocolate pie filling from the dessert section.  Maybe you’ve even torn a page while reaching across it for cream cheese while making that famous cheese ball you make at Christmas.

I have a favorite cook book.  I’ll show you.

This is a family cookbook I made for my family about 20 years ago.   Don’t worry, I have 4 more clean copies of it – one for me and one for each of my kids when they leave the house.

Mine is for me when I stay at the house…just clarifying.

I made 60+ copies of this cookbook shortly after I moved from Michigan to Oklahoma.  Back then cell phone long distance rates weren’t free.  In fact, we were still carrying cell phones around in 2 foot by 2 foot bags, and I wanted all my aunts recipes without having to rack up a fortune in fees every time I wanted to make something from my family archives.

So I sent out letters asking everyone to send me their favorite family recipes. 

And I was unprepared for what came next. 

Two hundred and some odd pages later, I was word processing (remember the old word processors?) these recipes two to a page, then copying front and back and using a paper cutter, cutting them in half. 

Next came hole punching them (yes, that means 60 copies), making an index, laminating the front and back cover, and hand binding them with a little machine we used in our family business.

The cover is a picture of my German Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day.

Inside is a picture of them later in life and also our family tree.

You’ll notice my Grandma’s name was Katharina, and she was called Katie, just like me.  In fact, it is a tradition that goes every generation from first name to middle name – my mom’s middle name is Catherine, my first name is Kathryn, etc.

I don’t know why we all spelled them different.  But anyway, Tori, my daughter’s middle name is also Kathryn.  She in turn is supposed to name her daughter Kathryn.

Tori, are you reading this?


But, anyway the payoff on the work was that I can now have a quick go-to on any of our German family recipes.

Recipes like this Russian cherry tea:

Recipes like my Mom’s pierogi:

And my Grandma’s recipe for Greble…and my Aunt’s recipe for Greble.

The best description I can give you for Greble is that it is like those funnel cakes at the fair…and it is scrumptious!

But why are there different recipes? Did my Aunt Mart tweak my Grandma’s or what?

Okay, and look at this recipe…this is my Grandpa’s German Sausage recipe.

Look at those ingredients…Wow!

Tomorrow on my Rise & Shine segment, I will be making a recipe out of this cookbook…it is my Aunt Jane’s Quiche recipe…I hope you’ll watch if you live in my area, or come back and get the recipe.

Tell me about your favorite cookbook…what’s it like?

Does it look this bad?

I kind of hope so…cuz that means you’re using it!


  • Greg

    January 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    If I had to choose just one, I'd probably go with the Cook's Illustrated "New Best Recipe" book, but a close second and third are Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." Most all-purpose cookbooks let you down, but those three do it all and do it all well.
  • colleen evans

    January 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    My favorite is one like yours. I adore the "church" cookbooks, and my favorite is from first united baptist church downtown okc. It is OLD and dirty!! Look forward to watchin tomororow. Also...if you read this, what store did you get the bacon *rack at??
    1. dishinanddishes

      January 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Colleen - at Marketsource see the Oklahoma page of my blog -there is info there about it..and you'll LOVE visiting them!
  • Mikki

    January 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I Love this!! What a great way to put together family history, memories, and recipes!!
  • Nanny

    January 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Loved this!
  • dishinanddishes

    January 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Mikki, Nanny thanks!

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