A recipe a week


Partner and I watch “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” almost every night.  “Jeopardy!” is one of our retirement plans: I’m supposed to go on the show and do a Ken Jennings and win a million dollars.  As the years pass and my mind turns to coleslaw, however, this is becoming less and less of a possibility.  Then there’s “Wheel,” with the genteel Pat Sajak and the lovely Vanna White.  One of my favorite moments of the show is the very ending, where Pat tries to make conversation with Vanna; she is amazingly obtuse in a Gracie Allen way (without seeming to realize it), and says the most charmingly silly things.



But I respect her for this: just before the New Year, Pat asked Vanna for her New Year’s resolutions, and she said that she was going to try a new recipe once a week, every week.



What an excellent idea!



I collect cookbooks. I rip recipes out of magazines and newspapers.  Sometimes I go online just to see how one prepares stewed dog or roasts a gazelle hump.  But do I make these recipes?  I do not.  I just allow them to accumulate.  For a while I was pasting them in a big notebook (yes, I know, I’m an elderly housewife, I do things like that), but that got tiresome too.  Now I just keep piling them up in a big heap.



But if Vanna can do it, so can I!



I made ricotta cookies (AKA egg biscuits) at Christmastime, and they were very nice.  I will make them again.  They have definitely joined the regular rotation.  (I will post the recipe soon.  I recommend them.)



In search of the next interesting new recipe, I pulled out the Ladies’ Society cookbook distributed by the Methodist Church in Overton, Nebraska circa 1950.  (I think I got it on eBay; I bought one cookbook, and the person I bought it from asked if I wanted a whole bunch more, and I said “Why not?”, and she sent me about twenty bizarre and wonderful cookbooks from all over the USA.)  The Nebraska cookbook was well-loved by its previous owner; it has little notes like “Good!” and “Needs sugar” and “Try with black walnuts” written over some of the recipes.



One – a recipe for lemon refrigerator cookies – was marked “TRY.”



Who am I to argue?  I tried.



Mmph.  A little too lemony, if anything, and the second batch burned to a crisp.  Apparently “ten minutes at 400 degrees” meant something different in 1950 than it does now.  But they had a nice light texture (they reminded me of my mother’s refrigerator cookies, but they were better, if anything), and I brightened them up with a little powdered-sugar-and-milk glaze.  I will refine them further and let you know when the recipe is a complete success.



Next week: who knows?  Sachertorte?  Tarte tatin?  Sand tarts?  Fairy cake?



Ideas are welcome.  So are recipes. 



Write me, kids.  And make it interesting.



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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