My maternal grandma is my personal hero. She grew up in southern Arizona as the only girl in her family, began nursing school, met my Air Force captain grandpa at a dance, then eloped with him despite the fact that doing so would mean being kicked out of school. She moved to Cleveland (where, post-WWII, my grandpa worked in his family’s business), began a home with my grandpa, and raised 12 kids – 9 girls, 3 boys. Then she went back to nursing school, completed the education she’d always planned on getting, and worked as – what else? – a maternity ward nurse. At 88, she is now grandmother and great-grandmother to over 80 grandkids and great-grandkids, and is the wisest, kindest, and sweetest person I’ve ever met.
My siblings and I were visiting her last week when my aunt was making chicken a la king. My aunt couldn’t find the recipe in my grandma’s recipe box, so my sister called my house and got the recipe. My grandma insisted the recipe being used was not the right one, and went searching for her Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cookbook (1978 edition). I helped her find the cookbook and sat with her while she found the recipe. My grandma kept pointing out good recipes, tips and skills featured in the book. She mentioned multiple times that the cookbook was full of “good and easy recipes to make when you are first married and working a lot.” Once she found the chicken a la king recipe in the cookbook and made sure it was the recipe she had in mind, she turned to me and said, “Here, you can keep this book if you want to.” I was very excited and touched that my grandma was giving me a cookbook she greatly liked with the intention of helping me build a strong home with my future husband. I cannot wait to start trying out the recipes in it! The first one I’m going to try? Chicken a la king, of course : )
Have you ever had a cookbook passed onto you from a close relative or friend? Which one, and what’s your favorite recipe from it?