Thursday, February 19, 2015

Better Homes and Gardens Red Checkered Cookbook

I was flipping through my Better Homes And Gardens New Cook Book today, you know, the red checkered one that all our parents had.  I have one too.  I was so excited to get it when I did.  It was expensive but I bought it anyway.  I knew I needed it.

That was back in 1992.  It was copyright dated 1989.  Back then I could just imagine me cooking or baking all the recipes.  Back then the pages were crisp and new. It wasn't like my dad's copy which was slightly yellowed on the pages and had recipe clippings all stuffed in the front and back of the book.  There were pages that had a paper clip on it and some that were dog-eared. I thought to myself. I will keep this nice and new looking.  I will make sure I didn't spill anything on it.  I will not stuff clippings in it.  It was a prize possession.

When we moved last year I packed it up in a box, just stuck the whole thing in the box.  I knew we would be living in the trailer and I just couldn't take a cookbook with me when I had my computer to use if I needed a recipe.  I didn't really miss it.  I looked up recipes on the computer when I wanted something.  It was no big deal.

While we were unpacking in our house now, I found the box with my cookbook.  It was like finding an old friend again.  I took it out of the box, stuffed to the gills with recipe clippings (the cookbook that is) and placed it in a place of honor on the counter.  I can't tell you how many times I have used that book since I unpacked it. I have to be careful when opening it because there are slips of paper stuffed in the front and back and the pages are a bit dog-eared and some of the pages have crusty stuff on it from me turning the page with yucky hands while cooking.


Today I was flipping through my copy of this old friend looking for a recipe for pork and while reading it I found that it called for "fines herbs".  I don't know what that is.  So I had to go to my computer and look it up.  (If my dad was still alive I would have called him.)

 Fines herbes is a combination of herbs that forms a mainstay of French cuisine. The ingredients of fines herbes are fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil.

Chervil is a parsley that has a bit of anise taste to it.  

This got me thinking, how old is this book?  It was copyrighted in 1989 and it was the 10th publishing of this fine cookbook.  As I read the introduction it said that the editors struggled with keeping the classic recipes we grew up with like pot roast and chicken and dumplings but added many new tastes like taco salad.  Ha ha ha.... those were new tastes and new dishes in 1989.  Now 25 years later, I think it might be time to update my copy......

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