When I was about 10 years old (in the 1950s), I put on a radio cooking show. I was reading and talking about recipes that were in a drawer where my mom kept her cookbooks. One of them I just found is “The Art of Making Bread,” c 1935. My official first name Joland is handwritten on the front of the 5 inch x 8 inch booklet. There is a delicious loaf of bread on the cover. On the back is a picture of MAGIC YEAST, 5 large cakes, and you read The Yeast that Keeps for Weeks.
Maybe I read the recipe for Raisin Coffee Cake for my radio show. I wish mom would have taken a photo of me with the flashbulb camera she had, but she was probably cooking dinner (that’s what we called our noon meal). Dad would be home pretty soon from the grain elevator, wash his hands and sit down at the kitchen table for pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans, and homemade rolls. It must have been summer, because I don’t have to talk about coats and hats. Just overalls.
Someone in the Renner family took a photo that shows part of our kitchen in the background. You can see my mom cutting my hair, and I’m looking in the type of mirror we had then to see if my hair length is what I want. The radio on top of the refrigerator also takes me back to the early 1950s. I used to stand on a chair so my ears were close to the radio and listen to Lux Radio Theatre in the evening.
Are you resting now from all the cooking you did during the holiday season? Maybe you’d enjoy reading about a professional cook’s reaction to various recipes. Several years ago I bought “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen,” by Laurie Colwin, c 1988. (Did I buy it at the Bound to Read bookstore in the Mall in Marshall? That’s the bookmark in it.) Many of the chapters were published first as articles in Gourmet cooking magazine.
I’ll start with a chapter I feel describes how I cook. The title is Potato Salad. Her first sentence is “There is no such thing as really bad potato salad” (p. 33). Then she writes about when she was a child, she went with her parents and sister to lunch at a drugstore in the town of Lake Ronkonkoma in New York. They sat in a booth and sometimes ordered potato salad. Here my imagination went back to Marshalltown, Iowa, where my family went to Ford Hopkins drugstore for a lunch, usually after church. We sat in a booth too. My brother says we ordered hamburgers. All good memories.
Laurie writes that her mother made the potato salad her mother used to make. The dressing included celery and catsup. The main dish for the meal was probably fried or grilled chicken. The first choice for Laurie is what kind of potatoes to use — the new red potato is a good one. Dressing is French olive oil, salt and pepper, and a …….