Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Cookbook

When I was 14, my mom gave me a cookbook compiled by "the wives of Rotarians", called "Among Friends: An International Collection of 500 Delicious Recipes". What I treasure most about this book is the inscription mom wrote inside the cover:

To Stephanie Rose! May you have a lot of fun trying these recipes, and may all your young dreams come true! Happy Birthday, age 14, Feb/1988, Love Mommy.  You may even be using this book for your husband and kids~ hope he likes the food!

Through the years, I've kept notes as I've cooked, and as I browsed through this cookbook this evening, I was delighted to read the little reminders of when and for whom I lovingly prepared food:

Tonight I made an old standby, "Hearty January Hamburger Soup". It's a favourite for cold, rainy evenings, and reminds me of the soup my Grandma used to make. She used stewing beef rather than ground beef, but the taste is the same. Even the most discerning (read: picky) palate in our house eats this with gusto!

A bit more of Margot's Cheese....
Here it is:

Hearty January Hamburger Soup

1 tsp. butter
1 lb. ground beef
3 medium onions, chopped
14 oz. can tomatoes (use crushed or diced, doesn't matter!)
salt, pepper, and sweet basil to taste
1 bay leaf
6 cups beef stock
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 medium potatoes, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 cup small pasta (seashells, elbows...or just break up spaghetti like I did tonight!)
Worcestershire and Tabasco, to taste

Heat butter and brown ground beef. Add onions, tomatoes, seasonings, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Add remaining vegetables and cook 1 hour longer. Add pasta during the last 12-15 minutes of cooking. Correct seasonings, remove bay leaf, and serve hot!

*in order to post this, I had to go OUT of Blogger, then back in for every single photograph. After posting one, the browse button would not! Anyone? At this rate, I'll manage one post a week!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! We are in the midst of a mini snow storm and this looks like just the thing for a cozy Sunday supper tomorrow night.

    And I can totally relate to how sentimental cookbooks can be. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother tucked little notes, post its, invitations, receipts, grocery lists etc. in this big old cookbook she had. She jokingly promised to leave me the cookbook when she died, as I was one of the frequent note-leavers. Well, she did die and a year or so later I got the cookbook from my grandfather. It's something I truly treasure :)

  2. I absolutely LOVE that you made notes in the cookbook. What a treasure this book is from your mother.

    The year my father received the Gift of Life, I had bought him a book to record his memories. It was called, Papa, Did you know and every day he had a question to answer and write for my children. That was the year my son was born too.

    He gave it to me a year later and along with answering all of the questions, he had turned it into a daily calendar and journal. He wrote about his bilateral double lung transplant and all of the feelings he had during the process. Now that he is gone, I treasure this book more than ever.

    It wasn't just about the answers he wrote, it was the additional notes that made it extra special.

    One day you'll give that recipe book to your daughter or grand daughter and seeing your notes will be a priceless gift.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe and the notes you wrote.


  3. I, too, write notes in my cookbooks, espec the first time I make something. This soup looks great and maybe I will make it one of these days! YUM!

  4. Dear Stephanie,
    I loved reading this blog post. I got goose bumps when I read the inscription, you were just 14 when your mom gifted you with this wonderful treasure. So precious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us and the notes:)
    Take care

  5. So wonderful. Your recipe book puts me in mind of the mother's scrapbook in Gail Anderson-Dargatz' book, "The Cure for Death by Lightning". I'll lend it to you, if you haven't already read it.

    We have a vinyl tablecloth that we do our crafting on, upon which we write similar notes at each crafting session. The kids LOVE it, as does the mama :-)

  6. mmmmmmmm...... autumn for sure... even here in the south it's autumn in my soul... I noticed that when planning out the menu and somehow had soup for 3 nights this week... no one minds, thankfully. This one looks like a good one to try.... perhaps I can toss in some chopped greens and tell them it's just seasoning :) I posted my giveaway today! Thanks again for all the lovelies. The mushroom cottage is officially among my 8 year olds "most favorite treasures" I'll be sure to share when I knit something up with the lavender yarn. Thank you, thank you :)

  7. I never thought of writing notes in cookbooks but what a brilliant idea.Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is great. my mom recently found a copy of Among friends VOL II at a local thrift shop. What a great treasure. Does anyone know if VOL I is still available anywhere?


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