January 8, 2013

Family Kitchen Mergers

Growing up without much money, my family got creative with how we entertained ourselves. As a child, I would page through my mom's old, dog-eared wartime cookbook whenever she used it, especially for baking. I loved the photos -- they transported me to another era with pictures of dinner parties, jello molds and decorative cookies.  

When I was old enough to understand the significance of this cookbook in my mother's life, I told her it was the one thing that I wanted her to leave me when she died. The book had been my grandmother's, passed on to my mom at a young age. 

Several years ago, my mom decided that I shouldn't have to wait until her funeral to have my own copy. She found another one online and presented it to me as my very own -- yet still promising me her heirloom edition one day.

I have several old cookbooks from yesteryear, but this one is by far my favorite and I use it frequently. Recipes may have changed over the years, but some things are still classic -- like Yorkshire Pudding. Now I have my own notes and bookmarks falling out of my copy. 

Nowadays, I also appreciate the back section of the book with wartime recipes on a budget.

Around the same time my mom gave me the book, I had recently returned from the Sailor's hometown. During my stay there, I made the Sailor's family a pie. I searched high and lo for a rolling pin -- frustrated that I didn't know where anything was in the kitchen. (Read more about that here.)

My mother-in-law saw my frustration and dug into the cabinet. She handed me what appeared to be a glass bottle. 

I looked at the lid on one end and then I looked at her.

She explained that it was for keeping pastry cold -- you load the rolling pin with ice-cubes and then it keeps the dough chilled while you work with it. 

This was ingenious! I had never seen such a thing before. I somewhat joked with her that she could leave it to me in the future. Sometime later, I realized I needed to acquire my own rolling pin, before I continued to covet the one in the South African cupboard.

Last week, I found myself in the throes of antique hunting in Tennessee. I have spied a few glass rolling pins over the year, but they were always out of my price range. This time, on my second trip through the store, I found one for only $8. It's missing the lid, but I'm sure the Sailor can find something for me that fits. Besides, once the ice-cubes are in there, they're  not really going to 'fall out'.

This week, I realized that I now own two kitchen items that are symbolically related to my mom and mother-in-law -- and I still get to ask them both cooking advice. A perfect family history and merger. The only question remains is which recipe from that cookbook am I going to try out first with my new rolling pin?


  1. I seriously enjoy your blog. Aside from the attractive page, this great article that can be read into this web site is impressing. I am some important topics in here which are not seen in any websites. Many thanks sharing this site. I love it.