Skip to main content

Using Cook Books, Even in Ex-Nihilo Cooking

When I was in high school and first learning how to put together a meal on my own, my dad would tell me to just be creative and change recipes by adding ingredients or substituting ingredients.  I was too afraid I'd mess it up, so for a long time I stuck strictly to the recipe.  Now I've been cooking so long that there are many, many meals I make without a recipe.  I'm also no longer afraid to add to or to substitute ingredients in a recipe.  I do stick pretty close to the recipe for things like cake, though.

I think every cook has a few cookbooks that they go to over and over again.  Here are my favorites.

1.  More with Less.  This is "suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources".  This is my go-to book because the recipes are easy and use a limited number of ingredients.  If I had to cut down to one cookbook, this would be it.



2.  Betty Crocker. 

 

But the second book I'd want to keep is my Betty Crocker cookbook, especially for cake and cookie recipes.  When it comes to baking, Betty Crocker is my lady.  I was given this book when I first went to Nigeria as a single missionary.  By the way, I have a copy of More with Less and a Betty Crocker cookbook on both sides of the ocean.



3.  I have two old cookbooks that I love because they were written before recipes called for a can of this and a mix of that.  One is an even older version of Betty Crocker than what I have and the other is an old Good Housekeeping cookbook that has especially wonderful cake and cookie recipes.



4.  The Crocodile Cookbook.  This one is so old and my copy is falling apart.  It was put together by a women's club in Nigeria back in the '70's and is full of recipes that work in Africa.  

 

5.  The Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Book.  I make all of our bread with the exception of the delicious baguettes we get here.  This book has a lot of different kinds of bread.  It was worth every penny I spent buying it used on Amazon (not more than a dollar or two!).



6.  And my own notebook of saved recipes.  Some are ones I've gotten from friends and some I've printed from off the internet.  I need to do some re-organizing of this book.  That will be a home-assignment project.



What's your favorite cookbook?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  



The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 



The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  



February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.



In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…