The Joy of Cooking

Cool, rainy fall days have replaced the intense heat-filled days of summer. The sun rises later and later and sets earlier and earlier. My driveway is covered with fallen leaves and the forecast is for rain and more rain. I’m not complaining.

Yesterday, after yoga class, a friend stated, “Love this rainy weather. Makes me want to just curl up with a good book and make soup. A big pot of it to last the whole week.”

I agreed. I often find refuge in cooking something as ordinary as soup or hours making a special dish.

Once home I rummaged around a bottom cupboard for a couple of recipe books, thinking to make one of my favorite casseroles. Hidden underneath the ones I usually use was an ancient recipe book I hadn’t opened in a while, filled with handwritten notes and recipes that truly are from a different era. Reading a few made me laugh out loud:

“Yaghurt – The latest French food craze – 1905

Have you tasted any yaghurt yet? It is the latest food craze in France and has reached its popularity because it’s a sure remedy for the disease of growing old. Yaghurt, it is explained, is a curdled milk of a special kind, prepared after a Bulgarian recipe. It can be obtained in tins in Paris. It is supposed to be fatal to all sorts of hostile bacteria in the intestines, while friendly microbes thrive on it. It is said to look like ordinary cream cheese gone bad and tastes similarly. People who wish to live to a hundred eat nothing else for breakfast; but many who have sampled it prefer to die young …”

What a hoot! The recipe goes on to describe how to make it at home. Since, we can now all easily buy yaghurt, known today as yoghurt, in any grocery store I didn’t think anyone would want to know how to make it from scratch.

Instead of making the casserole, I ended up re-reading the cookbook containing many other things besides recipes: health tips, remedies, canning instructions, and how to dry herbs for instance, and found myself immersed in old timer tales and sayings: “3 meals a day makes your mind cloudy,” or “cook when you feel relaxed and unpressed for time,” or “cook only once every day or two…”

Or how about this one, written in 1954: “the little ways of cooking in our daily life remains the least subject to change while society rises, collapses and rises anew…”

Happy Autumn everyone. Here’s to the joy of cooking …

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2021. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

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