Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Vintage Cookbooks, Tips, and Recipes

I'm not sure if my Mother loves to cook, or if she just loves to feed people. Growing up, Sundays were always a busy day, filled with cooking and baking and a family dinner that always included friends as well as family. My mother taught me the value of following a recipe, but also how to add a little something to make it your own. I can't say I love to cook, but luckily for my kids, I paid attention when my mother was in the kitchen, and I can roast just about anything.
Available on Etsy

Baking is another matter...I LOVE to bake. I grew up with my cousin (2 years my senior), and baking cookies was a competitive sport. I remember convincing her that everyone loved butterscotch, so she should make the Butterscotch cookies and to let me make the Chocolate Chip, knowing full well my brothers would eat up all the chocolate chip cookies first (making me the undeclared I also would add just a teensy bit extra salt to my batter, because then my brothers (the Judges, even though they had no idea) would drink more milk and need more cookies to go with the milk.

I have every slip of paper my mother and grandmother ever wrote a recipe on. I bought a little hard cover notebook, just a little cheap one at the Dollar Store, and recopied all the recipes, but for some reason things taste better when you can see their writing, smudges and all.
Available on Etsy

Another thing I love are SUBSTITUTIONS. My husband used to put empty eggshells back in the carton, so at any given time, I would think I had at least half a dozen eggs left, but when the recipe called for eggs, I actually had 5 eggshells and 1 egg. If you have any innovative substitutions, please feel free to leave a comment : )

Here's a very old French Canadian recipe. There are TONS of variations, depending on the area, but this is the one my Mother used, and the one my kids grew up with (my apologies, I have an English keyboard, so I am missing my accents). There are 3 parts to this recipe, all VERY easy.

Pate du Chomeur - Poor Man's Cake

1 cup maple syrup
1 cup water

Pour onto bottom of pan (I tend to use different pans, depending on if I've doubled the recipe, if I'm sending my daughter home with one, etc., but my standard pan is a 1 quart glass Pyrex)

Beat all 3 ingredients together:
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heat 1/2 cup milk with 1 tablespoon butter; add to dry mix

Combine second and third steps, then pour on top of the syrup mixture.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Vintage Grace and Retro Charm

My love of vintage items comes from my childhood, in particularly from my Mother. When I was growing up in the 70's, she (ironically) didn't particularly like "vintage" items, but loved "new" and "modern" things...which are basically the same items I look for now. She is the absolute epitome of Grace...A cancer survivor herself, I've seen her hold her Father's hand as he sat through chemotherapy...only to have to repeat this painful part of loving someone 30 years later with her own son...she's buried a grand-daughter...watched over her Mother those last few days...stayed by my Father's side when he had his bypass..the list goes on...but to meet my Mother you would think she has only known happiness...she's the one you call when you need help...she's the one you call when you just need someone to talk to...she's the one you call when you need someone strong beside you.
On Bonanza
Chalet Glass on Bonanza
Growing up, she loved to have pretty things around, and collected everything from Canadian Chalet glass to Napco collectables. I guess as I get older, I'm always trying to capture pieces of my childhood :)

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