Yes, we all know to cover our heads when we attempt to open that door, it should come with its own warning. It's no secret that, while I love to eat I have become not so much a fan of the cooking. I've explained why before, so I won't go into that, but I do always hope to cook and so have a collection of cookbooks and even more, a collection of magazines. I love Cook's Illustrated and Gourmet and Cooking Light. I purchase them, read them, pour over them, leave drool stains, you know. And occasionally I, or one of the girls (most likely? Gillian) will actually cook from one. That cabinet is deep, so when I tell you that there are even more cookbooks than you can see, believe it. I have my Fanny Farmer and Joy of Cooking back in there and plenty of slow-cooker books, Weight Watchers, vegetarian cookbooks, dozens of them. (I have a post for the next day or week about a 21 day pledge for January. It involves creating meals, and as you can see I should have no problem with inspiration.)
I enter every holiday season with the hope of organization, time and carols playing while I spend hours baking all kinds of wonderful cookies, breads, bars, biscotti, and every year I make a few of the same old cookies. That does not stop me from buying every Christmas baking magazine published, and even though I know that the recipes are the same old recipes it is disheartening when you find that the 2002 and 2006 issues are exactly the same. I mean! They might have changed the cover photo for pity's sake!
This is the best I have. No cute, vintage box handed down from a grandmother (mine didn't like cooking either, that trait must have skipped a generation with my mom), or found at a yard sale or thrift shop. Just a fundraiser purchase that I have scribbled a few favorites into. It does contain my mom's Pound Cake recipe, which she had scribbled on a scrap of something that got so worn at one point that she had me transcribe it into the back of one of the American cookbooks in her Time Life collection. When I tell you that this cake is so yummy and best without frosting, toasted and buttered for breakfast the next day, you will understand why I don't make it that often. Cake for breakfast. I'd have it every day.
My other favorite is a meatloaf that my dad used to make. He found the recipe years ago in the Boston Globe magazine and as much as I love my mom's meatloaf, this one is even better.
2 lbs ground beef (I have used turkey or half and half successfully)
3 C bread cubes (I usually buy the Pepperidge Farm stuffing cubes
1/2 c light cream
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 1/2 T Worcesteshire Sauce
1/2 c canned whole tomatoes (I usually use crushed)
1 T grated Parmesan cheese (or my preference, Romano)
1 t Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 t dried marjoram (I use more)
1/8 t dried mint (ditto)
3 strips bacon (or as many as you can fit on)
Put ground beef into a large bowl and kneed to break apart. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the bread cubes, cream and eggs, leave to set a few minutes, turning several times so the bread absorbs the liquid. Gradually knead the breadcubes and their liquid into the ground meat then add the remaining ingredients except bacon. When the mixture is combined thoroughly, pat it into a neat loaf shape and transfer to a 9 x 13 dish. Stretch the bacon gently on a board so they won't shrink. Place on loaf and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until cooked through.
It should be fun to see the recipes that are shared through Kay's contest. I may actually cook some of them.
Three hundred sixty-two to go.