A long time ago, I was pilfering through my mom’s cookbook drawer searching for some recipe I’d loved as a kid. My mom hasn’t bought a cookbook in years. Nope, you won’t find a Rachel Ray or a Giada or a Barefoot Contessa book in her drawer. She does have plenty of old-school pamphlets filled with recipes promoting things like Philadelphia Cream cheese and Eagle Brand condensed milk and of course she has the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. (Does everyone have this cookbook? Naoto and I each brought one to the marriage and neither of us is willing to part with the copy we brought.) While I was looking through the drawer I found her old Methodist Church cookbook. I flipped through it finding all of the usual church cookbook fare: plenty of jello salads, punches and casseroles. I loved seeing familiar names from our small town and seeing which recipes my grandma and her church lady friends contributed. I told my mom that I wanted a copy of the cookbook.
Since the cookbook was published in 1984, I knew finding one would be pretty impossible. I sifted through eBay listings of church cookbooks for weeks, but gave up and kind of forgot about it for awhile. When we were celebrating Christmas Thursday, I opened a box that had some new kitchen towels and new measuring spoons inside and there it was, tucked under a kitchen towel–the church cookbook! Apparently my mom told my aunt that she was searching for one and my aunt offered up her copy for the cause! (Thanks, Aunt Karen!)
My mom and I spent a good amount of time looking through our books and discovering recipes that include outdated ingredients (Have you ever used Dream Whip before?), many cans of cream of mushroom soup, oleo (aka margarine) and lots of Jello. I’ve already picked out a few recipes to try. I’m starting with a Jello salad, since Naoto and I have been in a Jello groove lately and I’m super-psyched to see several lima bean salads and casseroles!! Limas are my favorite and who knew they were the star of so many dishes!!