So for my aunt to assemble the recipes and then record them for others to be able to use with exactness was a mighty task. But she did it in style-breaking the cookbook into seasons and telling stories of each season as they grew up on the family farm. It is an anthology of sorts of a time that has long since disappeared-including their one-room schoolhouse, telling how my grandfather would harvest ice with his team of horses and flatbed sleigh from a nearby river-to the lighting of candles nestled inside little tin candle clips on Christmas morning after breakfast, those candle tins sitting on tips of branches of a Christmas tree put up on Christmas Eve. Besides the recipes, those memories are reason enough to cherish the cookbook-to keep it for generations still to come-offering them a glimpse of relatives and a way of life they will never know.
While I have copies of the cookbook given to me be my cousin that have never been touched I chose to show the cover of that cookbook I've used over and over. The stains-the tape holding it together show how much I treasure it-how much I go to it for not only a recipe but to reread the stories. The line illustrations by yet another cousin add the perfect touch.
Of all my favorite recipes in, "Mom's Farm Kitchen", a favorite is on pg. 51-"French Goulash." I've made that goulash so many times and every time the smell of the bacon cooking, along with a pepper and onion, as spaghetti is cooked and drained in wait of being added-brings me back to my grandmother's farmhouse kitchen. That's what family recipes do. And when I make her rice pudding on page 79 and her Banana Nut Bread on page 108 I'm in heaven!