Saturday, November 5, 2022

Library Dining


          It’s pretty ironic that this past week’s posts seem to all be food-focused, since by Friday I had a cold that would fell a trucker. A big trucker. My taste buds are currently on holiday somewhere else.

          But on Wednesday, I went to our town library to check out something I’d seen in the paper – a cookbook club. We were to all choose a recipe from the cookbook selected for the month and bring the finished product for everyone to sample. That simple. And I’d call it a success. It was a small group of eight, but all congenial.

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of my dish, which was Mushroom Business, a creation made of buttered white bread (which I had to buy specially since I never do), a pound of sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers, with beaten egg and milk poured over it. The glory of this is you could assemble it the day before. At the last minute, you pour a can of mushroom soup over it (this almost prevented me from trying it) and bake. Kind of a cross between a souffle and stuffing. Okay, but I couldn’t ignore how much bread I was eating.


         What had caught my attention was the cookbook – the I Hate to Cookbook by Peg Bracken. I’d discovered it as a new bride in 1970. It has reasonable, dependable recipes that don’t ask for weird ingredients, but yet often have a small twist you wouldn’t expect. I’ve been making her chicken with artichokes for years, and it’s never failed me.

          And even if you hate to cook, the book is a fun read.


  1. I was in a library based cook book book club, now retired with its leader, and it was huge fun. We did some adventurous dishes and I learned a lot. I love peg Bracken as a comic writer. Her books are hilariously funny, also the illustrations by Hilary Name escapes me. Her food, not so much, back in the fifties and sixties when canned soup wss was an ingredient!

  2. Hooray for dependable recipes - and fun reads. I do hope your cold is getting better. They are truly miserable things.

  3. That does sound like fun. I am surprised that the library can publically share food with COVID but other organizations are also letting down their guard. That dish sounds interesting and l love mushrooms, but sadly many in my family do not.

  4. "Compleat"? with an "a"! it sounds like it should have been written by Peggy Bundy from "Married With Children". I'm glad it has worked well for you though with dependable recipes. Canned soup used to come in so handy at times back then. I remember someone gently poaching chicken pieces in canned tomato soup, then crisping them on the barbecue grill.

  5. Wow, this sounds like a fun cookbook. My mother used to check them out from the library and read them like novels. :-)

  6. I remember that book! And yes, I think "compleat" is meant to be a nod to archaic English books -- like "The Compleat Angler," from 1653.


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