Cookin' is a Touchy Feely Kind of Thing
Contributed by: Cajun Clark
Have you ever kept a diary? Everyone has whether it's called that or not. Some folks bought one of those fancy ones from a bookstore or office supply house, while others used a notebook; and yet some, like da ol' mon Caj used scraps and scraps of paper as long as a blank spot could be found. In any case, your "diary" is where you kept all your secret cookin' tips, methods and recipes.
Recently, Caj, doing what he's not fond of doing, was going
through one of the many boxes cluttering up his house and
workshop and found a "diary" from Grandmother Price; at least
her name was on it. Now, for your information and to set the
stage, she was no slouch when it came to cooking in her middle
and later years; fact is she was a great down home country cook.
But from all remembrances by those who purport to have sat at
her table in her younger years the following could be the true.
Guess the question is: Is this a real week from Grandmother
Price's diary? Or is dear Grandma trying to lighten her days
with a little humor? Hmmm....What do you think?
It's fun to cook for my new husband Archie. Today I made angel
food cake. The recipe said beat 12 eggs separately. The
neighbors were nice enough to loan me some extra bowls.
Archie wanted fruit salad for supper. The recipe said serve
without dressing. So I didn't dress. What a surprise when
Archie brought a friend home for supper.
A good day for rice. The recipe said wash thoroughly before
steaming the rice. It seemed kinda of silly but I took a bath.
I can't say it improved the rice any.
Today Archie asked for salad again. I tried a new recipe. It
said prepare ingredients, then toss on a bed of lettuce one
hour before serving. Which is what led up to Archie asking me
why I was rolling around in the garden.
I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said put all ingredients
in bowl and beat it. There must have been something wrong with
this recipe. When I got back, everything was the same as when
Archie did the shopping today and brought home a chicken. He
asked me to dress it for Sunday (Oh Boy!). For some reason
Archie keeps counting to ten.
Archie's folks came to dinner. I wanted to serve roast. All I
could find was hamburger. Suddenly I had a flash of genius. I
put the hamburger in the oven and set the controls for roast.
It still came out hamburger, much to my disappointment.
Good Night Dear Diary.
This has been a very exciting week. I am eager for tomorrow to
come so I can try out a new recipe on Archie. If we could just
get a bigger oven, I would like to surprise him with Chocolate
As you can see my Grandfather Archie had his hands full. Ol'
mon Caj came along too late to be subject to Grandma Price's
earlier cookin' adventures; he was fortunate enough to know her
when everything she made was a mouth-watering, palate-pleasing
delight. Funny thing, she never had his cookbook, but she sure
did contribute to it!
Now what's this all got to do with the price of rice? Simply
this, many a time you'll come across a recipe--especially those
that are 100-years old or older--that gives the ingredients
without specifying how much. Or you'll come across a recipe
that gives you the exact amount of each ingredient, but doesn't
tell what order to mix them in, nor how hot an oven or how long
to bake it.
Tell you another true story from those bygone times. Every
cook worth her salt had a plank, a board that had a hollow
carved out of the center. When it was time to bake something
she'd pull it out, and start mixing--usually without measuring.
She'd add the dry ingredients in the order she knew she should,
then the liquid. And then, she'd start twirling her fingers in
a circle mixing the wet and the dry. Until she knew they were
properly mixed, because she knew how the dough should feel and
what it should look like. After that it was only a matter of
throwing it into the oven, watching it bake, and finally
pulling it out at the right time.
Yep, cookin' is a touchy feely kind of thing.
Cajun Clark's monster 659-page eCookbook is no longer available. His second cookbook in the series, with nearly 500 recipes
is Sweet & Sassy! http://www.cajunclarkssweetandsassy.com
You can grab a copy of Cajun Clark's Selected Freebies at