Saturday, September 21, 2019

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Reading a few recipe books

I wish I could say that the allergies have left but the heat and humidity continues.  So do they!  I didn't have seasonal allergies until a few years ago and now I understand the allergy sufferers in the family who counted the days until the first frost or freeze occurred.

We are supposed to start finally cooling down soon, followed by the usual warm up cool down warm up cool down cycle of a Midwestern Fall.  September where I live does have its' very warm days but they usually are short lived.  Should I complain to you in January of the icy winds blowing and the snow measured in feet rather than inches... remind me of the September nights when I couldn't sleep due to the coughing and congestion! 

Actually, my thoughts have been on cooler weather recently.  Even if the cool inside the house was artificially induced with the air conditioner.  I'm tweaking what is needed in the pantry and looking for some new recipes to try, just for a change.  Yes, I admit it... I am a lazy Summer cook.  Let's just get something on the table that is quick and easy kind of cooking.

I have a few cookbooks out right now, both old and new favorites.   My philosophy about cookbooks is this... even if I only find a couple wonderful recipes that I make a lot, it is worth the price of most cookbooks.  If you are patient, some cookbooks eventually sell at great used book prices.  Of course, your library will probably have the best selling cookbooks and can request them through inter-library loan.

I especially enjoy cookbooks that have stories and beautiful photos, which I often keep on the corner of the desk or the coffee table to peruse when resting when the days are short.  I prepare bookmarks ahead of time and if I forget... one can find a few pages that have a clean tissue used to mark pages.

The first of the three cookbooks I have on the desk at the moment is Vivian Howard's huge (but lovely) Deep Run Roots.  Whether you liked to watch A Chef's Life or you have never seen an episode, this book probably has more than a few recipes you will appreciate.

I love the way she divided the book by ingredients, much like she did for A Chef's Life episodes.  It makes finding what you are interested in much easier, in spite of this being such a large book.  While the book, like the TV show, has modern recipes in it, she is best known for documenting the old recipes from her part of North Carolina, even traveling to interview the older generation before the recipes are lost forever.

This is a cookbook you will read and use often.

The other recipe book I pulled out usually sits in the wire basket where I keep often used recipe books for quick reference.  Lovina Eicher has co-written other Amish cookbooks but The Essential Amish Cookbook was the first cookbook she wrote alone and contains a lot of her family's favorites.  As one would expect, the recipes are mostly what modern cooks may call "old fashioned" but I call "tried and true".

You may know Lovina from her mother's books and column The Amish Cook.  When she took over the column after her mother's unexpected death, the name was changed to Lovina's Amish Kitchen, where she shares what is going on in her family's life and shares a recipe.  I have a link to her column on the sidebar and I subscribe to receive it through email.  It is always interesting! 

Her family is Old Order Amish and she writes out by hand her columns but her life is definitely not boring.

The third book may seem out of season but 1) it contains a lot of cool weather baking recipes, and 2) it is never too early in Fall to start stocking the pantry for Holiday cooking. 

I purchased Cozy Christmas Baking: A Hygge-Inspired Christmas with credit after last Christmas.  As with most self published books, it cost a little more than other cookbooks but oh my, it is worth it!   If someone only had one cookbook on their shelf for cookies, yeast breads, quick breads, pies, etc., then this would be that cookbook.

It is not a thick book but the photos are beautiful and... very important to me... the font is BIG enough for me to see while in the midst of baking.  Written by Abby Jo & Johanna VanHoutan, the recipes are excellent and the section called "A Cozy Christmas" is charming and has many good ideas for creating a "hygge-inspired Christmas".

Just reading through any of these three books is enjoyable and they are providing great ideas.  So I'm going to continue placing bookmarks in the pages of recipes I want to try (which is the entire Christmas book!) and I will make a list of cool weather inspired recipe ingredients to have ready in the various pantry areas (garage shelves, kitchen, freezer, and refrigerator).

All of this was written as I cough and sneeze and think about colder days when pollen is not a problem.  Please forgive any typos or grammar errors.  I only had a few hours of uninterrupted sleep last night.  Yawn.  But we press on toward the goal...

Mentioned in this Blog Post
Deep Run Roots... here.
The Essential Amish Cookbook... here.
Cozy Christmas Baking: A Hygge-Inspired Christmas... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.


Colleen said...

HI! I am so glad to see a pantry post this afternoon! I'm glad you are feeling well enough to post! I just checked out the Deep Run Cookbook by Vivian Howard from the library; it is beautiful. I just heard about her show this summer and can't get enough!! The other cookbooks look great, as well! Thank you, Brenda!

Vee said...

I am sorry that you are plagued with allergies. My sister just today told me that she now has autumn allergies.

For weeks now I have yearned for pot roast. Finally made one yesterday and it was a huge disappointment. Since this happens more often than not, I am being trained to do your summer kind of cooking. Keep it easy and simple and just get something to eat.

I do enjoy reading recipe books, those that have pretty pics are a bonus.

Suzan said...

I have to agree with that seasonal allergies are the pits. MY last two months of this Australian winter have been horrible and I have had three courses of antibiotics over the last few weeks. Goodness knows what spring will bring.

I am off to see about these books. I need some inspiration for Christmas. How I wish it was cold here for that special holiday.

Rebecca said...

I'm smiling and wondering why I haven't thought to use bookmarks in my cookbooks!?!☺️👌

Barbara H. said...

I never had allergies til I moves to the southeast, and for some reason they've been worse this year. It'd still hot and humid here in eastern TN, and I am so looking forward to cooler weather--hopefully soon.

I tend to spend less time in the kitchen, too, in the summer. Fall is a nice transition to heartier meals that it's too hot for in the summer. I do use bookmarks in some cookbooks--mainly the ones that I just use a couple of recipes from. I keep thinking I should just copy the ones I use and keep them in a notebook and get rid of some of the books. But after using them so long, I'm so familiar with what recipe is in which book and how it's situated on the page.