I have a love affair with community cookbooks. What is a community cookbook? These are usually cookbooks put together as fundraisers for churches, boy scouts, PTA groups, or made for families and friends to share and sold locally in a community. They contain some great, down-home recipes that are easily made from ingredients already in your cupboard and usually don't list some weird ingredient that is only going to be used for this particular recipe and costs more than all remaining ingredients put together. (Who keeps fermented Yak milk around anyway?)
These recipes are hearty, often feed a lot of people, are pleasing to the eye and palate, and are shared by folks who know how to get a meal on the table. Some of my very favorite, tried-and-true recipes are from these books and range from appetizers, salads, and main courses to cakes, cookies, and just some generally fun stuff like Karo syrup finger paint for kids.
Anyone who knows me knows I love these, and with the internet being so popular, they are harder and harder to find. I always look for them if I go to garage sales or estate sales and have quite a collection. After a while, you begin to recognize names in the cookbooks and know the recipe associated with that name is going to be a winner. The photo above shows some of my favorites, but I have many more. I treasure my collection and hope to share some of the recipes from
these books (with credit to the cook, of course), along with some of my
own recipes in the near future.