by J.D. Faver
A few years back, I wrote a cookbook. This idea was born when my son married a gorgeous girl from New York and he moved up there from Texas with all his worldly possessions in his pick up. My daughter-in-law is a lovely young woman and when she called me one day to ask if my son was pulling her leg about chicken fried steak, I wasn't sure how to answer.
"I mean, you don't actually put batter and gravy on a perfectly good steak do you?" she insisted.
This gave me pause for thought. There are so many things we take for granted, and certainly the foods we grow up with are a part of our comfort zone. So I set about chronicling our lives in food.
The oldest recipe in my possession had been an old recipe when I was a little girl. My grandmother had a box of index-size cards and papers folded to fit. One such paper had yellowed with age and was hand written in loopy cursive. My grandmother informed me that this recipe had come over on the boat from Ireland when one of our foremothers (yes, that's my word and I'm sticking with it) immigrated during the potato famine. My grandmother frequently prepared this version of Irish Potato Soup, especially when someone was feeling under the weather. I know from experience that this soup will fix you right up, no matter the ailment.
In our family this is known as "Irish Penicillin."
I wrote down every recipe I could think of that I had ever fed my son. Now he grew to be a great big 6'4" strapping, Texan who ate everything that wasn't nailed down when he was growing up. I swear I never knew what leftovers were until he left home.
Then I expanded my recipe collection as I went along. When my mother was alive, I asked her for some of the recipes she had made and I wrote them down as she dictated. I also contacted my mother's youngest sister and she contributed some of her favorites. My collection ended up being quite a large tome. I printed it out and bound it as a cookbook for both my daughter and daughter-in-law one Christmas. I also made a CD for them in case they wanted to add their own recipes.
Recently, my friends and fellow authors, Tara Manderino and Stephanie Bancroft Berg were chatting with me about our recipe collections. The upshot is that we decided to publish our individual recipe collections.
I am going to put out four seasonal cookbooks from my own perspective here in Texas. Tara, a Pennsylvanian of Italian descent cooks and bakes all the time for her family. Stephanie is of German/French ancestry and lives in Michigan. So we are all working hard to share our love of cooking with the world at large.
Next week, I will be sharing a peek with from the first to be published: A TEXAN IN THE KITCHEN~Autumn Recipes. I sincerely hope you like this because it comes from deep in my heart...