When you were a little girl or boy did you ever receive a cookbook in the mail? First of all as a child having mail delivered to my home was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I suppose many of us still enjoy getting mail, particularly when their is a brightly colored envelope bearing a pleasant note from someone dear, a package, a long awaited letter, an announcement or possibly money!
I do not recall going to book stores as a child but I do remember getting my first cookbook via the U.S. postal service. My Mom ordered it and I’m sure sent a few cents to the Imperial Sugar Company of Sugarland, Texas. It could be that she sent a label off of a bag of sugar or maybe a combination of a cookbook coupon and money. However, she did it I remember receiving “My First Cookbook” in a brown envelope in the mail. I was around eight years old and delighted to have a brown envelope with my name printed on the front in the mailbox. This cookbook is nearly an antique by some peoples standards.
It’s a little worn and yellowed around the edges. It is complete with my name written in the front cover where the box says “My Name Is:”. My entire name; first, middle and last. It also has some measurements jotted in pencil on some of my favorite recipes like Quickie Cake and Circus Cookies. On the back inside cover is a box that says, “My Favorite Recipes”, here I’ve written these three; Sweet ‘n Peanut Buttery Sandwiches, Quickie Cake and Jerry’s Bars. I made all those goodies often and today while photographing the book I made a Sweet ‘n Peanut Buttery Sandwich. You know what? It tasted just like it did when I was eight years old, plopped up on my mom’s turquoise formica kitchen counter! Soft butter spread on plain bread, topped with peanut butter and sprinkled with brown sugar. When you bite into it that brown sugar crunches just a little then melts in your mouth along with the peanut butter and butter. Can’t beat it.
In my collection of first cookbooks is also a book titled “You & Peter Pan In The Kitchen”. There is a price printed in the bottom right hand corner of the cover. It is a rather pricey little book – 35 cents to be exact. It came from The Kitchens of Peter Pan, Chicago, Illinois. I don’t recall making too many recipes from this book but I know I made the Criss-Cross Cookies. You’ve probably made them too. Then and now delicious.
When I was around eleven I received another cookbook in a brown envelope in our mailbox. This one directed at teens, I was a pre-teen but close enough to warrant getting this book titled, “Teena in the kitchen with her friends best recipes”. It too came from the Imperial Sugar Company in Sugarland, Texas. It comes with a Table of equivalent measures on page 1 and an introduction written by Teena herself. Impressive for an eleven year old growing up in nowhere Texas. Most recipes have a handwritten note by them, signed by Teena’s contributing friends Wendy, Alice, Molly, Laurie, Margaret, Lisa, Libby and Dot. Fabulous Fudge Cake and Chocolate Dream Frosting was my fav recipe from Teena and her friends. I betcha I’d still like it today.
I’ve had a great time glancing through my oldest cookbooks. I may own some older but these were my own first cookbooks splattered with memories of my first adventures in the kitchen. I just may whip up a batch of Jerry’s Bars, or some of Alice’s Summer Snowballs or bake some Circus Cookies on the next rainy day. After all these are tried and true old-fashioned, nearly antique recipes. How could I go wrong?
If you ever owned or still own any of these cookbooks or remember getting mail order cookbooks I’d love to hear about it. Please feel free to post your comments. Stay tuned….