I believe it was late last summer when a classmate of mine posted on the Facebook page "You know you're from Corning if....." that his cousin had published a cookbook and provided a link to Amazon for those interested in ordering a copy.
I remember being happy for Julie and impressed with her accomplishment. Writing a book is hard work. I also thought that if only my Mom was still alive I would order a copy for her. Mom's favorite pastime was reading cook books and trying new recipes. She was such a good cook but somehow that gene passed me by. I am not a good cook and trying new recipes is not one of my hobbies.
But the news about Julie's book stuck in the back of my mind. A few weeks ago I looked up her cookbook online which you can also do here . I was so intrigued by the history included with the recipes that I decided to get my own copy. As soon as it arrived I read it from cover to cover.
I was even motivated to try some of the recipes. Julie says that the Broccoli Salad is one of her personal favorites. It has always been one of the first salads I go for when someone brings it to a potluck, but I have never before made it for myself. I have now.
Salads are my favorite part of any meal. If you had asked me though if I've ever had Acini De Pepe Salad I would have said, "What? Never heard of it".
Turns out I have had it - and liked it - I just didn't know what it was called and certainly didn't know how to make it. I do now.
Recipes Along the Way by Julie Marie is, as this post title says 'Recipes - But So Much More'. Perhaps knowing her and her family makes the family history more interesting to me, but the history about our state is also intriguing. It includes a copy of The Constitution of the State of Iowa saved by her ancestors back in 1857 as well as copies of old newspapers from around the state. I love the way Julie entwines articles from those papers with what may have been going on in her ancestors' lives at the same time.
I also appreciate how little stories about family members introduce or follow a recipe - for instance the vignette about her Grandpa Goodvin and his taters following the recipe for Fresh-fried Potatoes. Or the comments about her Aunt Marie's 90th birthday party and how she connected with people just ahead of Aunt Marie's Pork and Bean Salad recipe. Pork and beans were a staple of my childhood but I don't believe I had ever heard of Pork and Bean Salad. I had to try it. (See, Julie Marie has me trying out recipes!) Not only did I think it was good, so did my husband and he is not a lover of salads like I am.
History and recipes - not a combination you would normally think of until you think about family history and how recipes are handed down from generation to generation. Perhaps reading Julie's book will inspire you to share some of your own family history and recipes.
My Mom would have loved this cookbook.