Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random poll September- What's for Dinner?

I love cookbooks.

Several years ago my mom gave me some cookbooks that had been taking up space on her book shelf. One of them was Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking (1969). It's the updated one. The original being copyrighted in 1947.

This is where my favorite biscuit recipe is found. And my favorite flapjacks and waffle recipe. And...and...and...

Anyway, I have used this cook book so much over the years (mostly for baking) that the spine is cracked and the pages are yellow. When you open it a light dusting of flour falls on the counter top.

What I love more than the recipes is the inscription to my Mom & Dad from my great aunt Gertrude:

I wish for you, you
will be as happy as
you were on your wedding days always
Aunt Gertrude
This past weekend I pulled out the floury book because I had promised June Cutoff Cash my biscuit recipe. I found myself reading the introduction and first chapter of this old cook book. Amazingly, the info on calories and food choice don't differ much from what people are telling us today. It seems Ms. Givens was as smart as she was gifted in cooking. Sixty years later lean proteins, veggies, fruits and whole grains are still the recommended way to balance our diets.

What I found interesting is that there is a whole chapter on the importance of feeding your family that I feel is lost in our "make it quick and convenient" culture we live in today. After the Table of Contents, and other reference helps she opens her book with the:

Meal Planners Creed:

The health of my family is in my care; therefore-

I will spare no effort in planning meals containing the right kinds of food in the right

Spending the food dollar to get the most for it is my job; therefore -

I will choose foods from a wide variety, variously priced to save money without sacrificing health.

My family's enjoyment of food is my responsibility; - therefore

I will increase thier pleasure by preparing a variety of dishes attractive in color and form and pleasing in flavor and texture.

My family's health, security, and pleasure depend on my skill planning meals; therefore-

I will treat my job with the respect due it.

I loved reading this because sometimes the monotony of the evening meal gets in the way of my ability to see what a huge job I have in teaching my children how to fuel their bodies. It is a responsibility, but also a privilege! Sometimes I treat it like the "ill-tempered" fry cook from Mels Diner. Do you remember him?

I was inspired by Meta's encouragement to take cooking seriously! So my question for tonight (and tomorrow for you East-Coasties), whether you cook for a family of 10 or a family of 2:

What are you making for dinner?

If it's reservations, that's OK! Sometimes, we need that too! Tell me where you went (or ordered in)! Also, I will post my biscuit recipe in the comments for everyone!

La Vida Dulce


Unknown said...


2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening plus 2 tsp shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk (or I just add 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk so it curdles)

Carefully spoon flour into measuring cups and level before placing flour in mixing bowl. Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut in the shortening (or use your mixer to mix until short. looks like little pea size clumps in flour) slowly add all milk. Lightly flour kitchen counter top. Roll dough out to1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (i like 'em thicker). Cut out with a biscuit cutter (or a cookie cutter if you wanna be fancy), place in a cookies sheet. If you want to be really decadent, brush with melted butter then bake in a hot oven (450) 10 - 15 minutes. Serve hot! With jam!

Anonymous said...

We had friends over last minute who picked up Freebirds, but otherwise I was planning to cook some fish.

And I feel the same way about my Joy of Cooking cookbook. It's my go-to book when I need any recipe. The pages are falling apart because I've used it so much!

Lara said...

Tonight we are having Teriyaki Salmon, broccoli, and brown rice. Last night was Emma's bday and she choose for us to go to Super Salad! :)

Blue Skies said...

I love this entry in your blog. Meta has really touched on what I feel like my role is, being the one who is at home. Your biscuit recipe sounds great. I'm going to try it soon. Our family enjoys biscuits a couple of times a month. I am still trying to tweak my homemade recipe so my sweet husband will prefer my own biscuits to the Pillsbury Grands ones. The main issue seems to be light and flaky. God Bless you!!

Musings of a Housewife said...

I don't know yet. How pathetic is that? Husband comes home tonight after being gone for four days. I know I should welcome him home with a nice, home coooked meal, but I'm tempted to say, "Thank God you're home, take over, I'm done." BAH.

I love the meal planner's creed, but I'm so not feeling it today. :-(

Anonymous said...

Tonight we are having leftover pot roast, thank you very much, but I will be sure and present it in a tasteful way so that my families !! Taco salad for tomorrow night, though, so the kids will be excited.

June Cutoff Cash said...

I had leftover salad and now my spouse is eating the rest. Is that sad? It seems sad. Leftover salad is sad.

Ooo, but I'm makin' those biscuits.