all very kosher

I am such a heroine. I finally sorted through the boxes in our garage, Yes those same boxes that have remained unopened since our last move – in 2002!

Nine boxes of  books are being collected by Lifeline today. I don’t know what possessed me when I was buying some of those books. I found a Jewish cookbook that I had bought through some crazy book club when I was about fourteen.

No, I am not Jewish, and at fourteen I could not cook either. I don’t know where I thought I might have purchased half the ingredients in a small rural town in the 1970s either. This was a time when eating grilled pineapple with our steak was considered exotic!

I remember once, my Dad arrived home with a carton of small tins of mushrooms in butter sauce that had fallen off the back of a truck (really it had fallen off the back of a truck! Dad owned a trucking company and it had been damaged in transport.) Once we got over the excitement of Dad bringing home a box with something inside it, we all just stood there looking at the cans. No one, least of all Mum, knew what to do with them. Foreign. I think in the end someone must have told Dad to put the sauce over his steak and he manfully ate his way through the entire supply. The rest of us ran screaming from something so weird!

So, what I was going to do with a Jewish cookbook, I have no idea. It was probably during my Simon and Garfunkel period when I was positive one or other, or both of them, would arrive on my doorstep at any moment and whisk me away to a life of sex and roll and roll (well, okay, folk rock!)

Just as well I didn’t know that Cat Stevens was Muslim, heavens knows what foods I would have been searching for then!

7 thoughts on “all very kosher

  1. Old books carry so many memories, it’s no wonder it’s hard to sort through and part with them. When I was 16 I bought this “Recipes from The New York Times” cookbook. My fantasy back then was to move to New York City and live in a cold-water flat in the Village (which today would cost $2100 a month) and become a writer. The problem was that all of the recipes were extremely long and required ingredients I’d never heard of. (Prosciutto? I couldn’t even pronounce the word. Green peppercorns? My mother didn’t even like the black ones!) Some of them required not hours, but days of preparation. Of course they’d been created by professional chefs from three-star restaurants who did nothing but cook all day, but I didn’t know that at the time. I tried two of them—one for stewed pheasant, after my cousin brought over a dead bird he’d shot, the other for a seafood stew, a “cioppino,” which again I couldn’t pronounce. The ingredients alone were extremely expensive and made my mother squawk at the grocery store. (“Six dollars for this tiny bottle of spice? We’ll never use it again!”) The worst part was that the end results were mediocre, the pheasant despicable, even. I kept the cookbook for another 20 years however. When I looked over it again, as a weary single mother of three children, I realized then what a joke it was and threw it out. My culinary skills had improved by that point, but I also learned to recognize when a recipe was not created for the home kitchen. Oh, and the New York-starving writer thing was a bust, too. Just two months in a hot, tiny apartment with three other people killed that dream. But better to learn that when one is young.

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    • stewed pheasant…. oh no never! I can remember complaining about buying spices I knew we would never use again, when daughters were learning to cook. They are both better cooks than I, so maybe it was worth it!

      I always thought I would be a writer… my days are running away from that dream!

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  2. I have a firefighters’ cookbook. All of the recipes serve 30 people. Why I thought it was important to have a recipe for meatloaf that would serve 30 is beyond me. Yet, I can’t part with it. Maybe today.

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  3. HAha. I have most of my classic literature books still with me. I keep thinking, “What if I need to write (yet another) critical analysis and I don’t have any books to critically analyze?” :S But now that I’m graduating soon, many of those books may go on ebay or to charity. LOL! But not my favorites, of course. 😉

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  4. First, you nearly lost me at the mention of cleaning.

    Then I cautiously moved forward and you had me at “books”.

    Low and behold, you upped the ante with the mention of food!

    Great post. I like Simon better than Garfunkel. His hair was just too weird (like Paul’s wasn’t, but whatever).

    Diamonds on the Souls of My Shoes-
    Emily Reese

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