Some things get better with age, and a good cookbook has got to be one of those things. I always fall for an old cookbook that’s worn, has a few stains, and is filled with notes on the pages like ‘double the spices’ or ‘less sugar’ or ‘blech!’ (I know what you’re thinking – ‘less sugar??!’) At some point the cookbook almost becomes a journal, and I often wish I had cookbooks like that from my grandmothers. I would just love to know which recipes they relied on and which seemed crazy to them. It would be such an interesting glimpse into their lives.
About ten years ago, Mum gave me a King Arthur cookbook (the 200th anniversary one) and it is one of my go-to books. I appreciate the approach they took; really delving into ingredients and methods to help the reader develop beyond the recipes into a more intuitive baker. My copy is certainly well loved – a few of the pages are threatening to pop out, and there are certainly plenty of stains and notes and bookmarks. I may not be a truly intuitive baker yet, but I’ve certainly learned a great deal.
One of my favorites is the basic scone recipe, which is widely open to interpretation.
These are Saturday morning orange raisin scones. The change here is that instead of buttermilk, I sour the milk with half a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and half a cup of milk, with an egg mixed in. Doesn’t that sound delicious? With orange zest mixed in as well, it gives the scones a great flavor.
Also on deck for the weekend was my first foray into a light and lacy kind of knit scarf. Here is a silhouetted picture of questionable quality:
The recipe is from Joelle Hoverson’s Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and although I didn’t get a shot of the final product, it has a great cobwebby feeling to it when it’s done. For some reason, my brain constantly misfires when I try to refer to a knitting pattern. I always, always say recipe first and then think, hmm that’s not quite right. But what is the difference, really? They both give you ingredients and instructions and timing. I’m a fairly new knitter, so I’m wondering if people’s knitting books ever end up like their cookbooks, with notes and creases and loose pages? Maybe less crumbs – although there’s a knitting group that meets at the Starbucks up the street from us, so the crumb factor might be pretty much the same for them!