Thursday, April 09, 2009

My Mother's Cookbooks

Yesterday I was looking for something else in a cupboard I don't often use and I came across two books that I brought back here after my mother died. They were cookbooks that she used a lot. I know that because they are stained, battered and have recipes stuck in them and written on the end papers. One was a cookbook that I actually bought when I was in high school. The title, Food That Really Schmecks, tickled my mother because she knew that word from growing up in a Bavarian/German family. She said it meant “tastes” or “tasty”. She said her grandfather would often push his chair back from the dinner table and announce, “Das schmeckt gut.”

The other is a cookbook that was published by her Sodality society at Queen of the World church where she was a member from the time it was built until she died and was buried from there. There are several of her recipes and also a couple of her mother's in the book. I took that one and went out to Good Harbor Beach and spent an hour reading. The best thing about it was reading the names of the people who contributed the recipes --- neighbors, friends, my 4-H leader, my third grade teacher, mothers whose kids I babysat. Genuine nostalgia.

I came across my grandmother's recipe for Lulu Paste and it made me laugh because I have though about Lulu Paste on and off over the years and have even gone looking for it on the internet. There are a lot of variations. Gram loved Lulu Paste and apparently Mom did too because I remember her calling my mother and saying she had batch of it if Mom wanted to come by and pick it up. Mom loved it on saltines. Gram always served it on little thin rye bread slices. This is her recipe:

Lulu Paste
In a double boiler combine 2 egg yolks, a piece of butter the size of an egg,
2 T. sugar and 3 T vinegar. Cook stirring steadily until thick.
Remove from heat and blend in 8 oz. Cream cheese.
Add 1 medium onion chopped fine, 1 green pepper, chopped fine,
and one jar red pimento, drained and chopped.
Stir well.
Store in refrigerator.

It's really a simple little recipe but it has so many memories attached to it for me. Whenever I get around to working on the cookbook blog again I will have to add it along with some other recipes I keep saving.

So, it was a nice escape to sit and read that book. So many memories are held in those old recipes. They need to be preserved.

Thanks for reading.

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