Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crock pot chili!

Mmm, came home tonight to yummy meatless (i.e. cheap) chili that was all ready to eat from my wonderful slow cooker! Tried a new recipe for cornbread also which remarkably did not call for butter. Not that I'm trying to avoid butter. As I said before, I'm a dairy fanatic. But it looked quick and easy and I thought it would be interesting to try fatless (using fat in the traditional cooking sense, not the "nutritional facts" sense) cornbread. It turned out surprisingly well and really none the worse for lacking oil or butter.

The most interesting thing about the cornbread was that the recipe came from Depression Era Recipes, a fascinating cookbook compiled by a certain Patricia Wagner from handwritten family cookbooks that were over sixty years old by the time she started her project. The recipes are fascinating just to read, let alone make! They list the ingredients and then the most brief of instructions I've ever seen in any cookbook. I've always thought it would be nice to have a cookbook that assumes the reader knows how to cook and doesn't give a lot of steps to sort through. The More With Less Cookbook is something like that, with tips and simple "throw together" instructions in the margins of the pages. Anybody else have the MWL cookbook? If you do you know what I'm talking about. I love that cookbook just for those tidbits. This one has recipes which look as though Mrs. Wagner really copied them exactly as they were jotted in those family books. One recipe calls for "brn. sugar" while the surrounding recipes call for "brown sugar"!

This Depression Era cookbook is so  fascinating because each page has a fact about daily happenings or headlines from the '30s, and each section's front page has advertisements for various brands or cooking advice from contemporary sources. For example, the "Soup" section begins with a Campbell's advertisement. Would you believe their can labels have changed very little over the last seven decades! The "Meats" section begins with a vintage chart for buying various roasts depending on whether your meal will be "special" "moderate priced" or "less expensive". If the Lord blesses me with the privilege of homeschooling my children beyond preschool, it would be so much fun to use this book as a hands on part of a history lesson about the Depression!

Obviously I'm  really enjoying this book! What is your favorite cookbook?

(Wow, I've done two posts in one day! Can you tell the boys are away at my parents' for a few days?)

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