As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking even more about my mother, Phyllis, who left us five years ago this month.
Today I went through some of her well-used, well-loved cookbooks. Her two favorites were the Joy of Cooking – she had the 1953 edition, and Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook – it was her mother’s – the 1943 edition.
When I really miss my mom it’s comforting to flip through them, (carefully, as they are falling apart!) and read her handwritten margin notes.
I’d forgotten that in the Fannie Farmer book there are recipes written all over it in my grandmother’s elegant, artistic handwriting.
Note the two for Corn Pone and Corn Dodgers, from Laura May, my grandmother’s African American cook and housekeeper in Louisville, KY in the ‘20s and ’30.
I still have my grandmother’s cast iron skillet that is well over 100 years old.
I also peruse her very librarian-like recipe cards.
The Joy of Cooking was truly my mother’s favorite, so I guess it’s no accident that I named my book Salad Joy. My acronym for JOY is Just Open Yourself, and Phyllis was the most open and joyous person I’ve ever known.