A Special Recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie

Thanks to the good friend who passed on to me an old cook book that belonged to her grandmother. It was published by the Grand Union Tea Company sometime after 1872, and is identified as The Young Wifes’ Own Cook Book,  “a practical cookery book of today, with minute directions on how to buy, dress, cook, serve and carve, with 300 standard recipes…”

One of my favorites so far is for Lemon Meringue Pie. (In the book it’s actually spelled “maringue”,) but it’s the method of preparation that I found most interesting.  Here’s the recipe right from the book, including punctuation:

“Boil three lemons until they are soft enough for a straw to penetrate the rind, mash them up fine with a tablespoon of butter, one cup and a half of powdered sugar, and the yolks of six eggs; make a thin crust, put in the mixture and bake it; when cool, beat up the whites of the eggs with one and a half cups of powdered sugar and spread it over the pie; brown it a nice color.”

There you have it. An entire recipe in one sentence, in one paragraph.  The young wives of yesteryear must have known a lot more about cooking when they got married than recent generations, me included.

I will try this one day and let you know how it comes out!

Your friend in the kitchen,


Blue Ribbons at the State Fair

For the first time, I entered food products (2 yeast breads and 4 jams & jellies) in the Arizona State Fair. Judging was done within 24 hours and I learned that both of the breads – Rosemary & Cottage Cheese – were awarded blue ribbons. The Apricot Pineapple Marmalade earned a red ribbon.

I love it when people like what I cook!


Celebrate Date Night

Let’s hear it for Date Night!

I was recently approached by a young professional who said, “I’m past due for Date Night; I’d like to bring my wife to one of  your cooking parties.”

He planned the evening as a surprise, invited another couple to join them, and didn’t tell anyone where they were going.

They showed up hungry, as instructed, and we got acquainted over Brown Bread with Dates & Raisins and Sparkling Cider. Everyone participated: whipped the cream, chopped the fruits and vegetables and even cooked the broccoli/pepper/jicama side dish. Whoever was on the other side of the counter got to supervise:  checking instructions, verifying ingredient amounts and monitoring cooking times.

As the mother of sons and wife of someone who considers himself “strictly a consumer” when it comes to food, it was fun to have two guys volunteer to work in the kitchen. (The wives snapped pictures to have a permanent record.)

Besides the veggie side dish, we made Chicken Saltimbocca, Fruit & Veggie Pasta Salad and Lemon Ice Cream for dessert. Rosemary Bread was baked earlier in the day.

We all sat down to eat, talk and laugh like old friends and it was 9:30 before we knew it.

It was all about what they wanted to celebrate, but it turned out to be Date Night for us, too. What do you want to celebrate?

Your friend in the kitchen,