Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My old dilapidated German cookbook

I just visited a fellow blogger's site and saw an old cookbook that she purchased from an Etsy seller recently. It reminded me of the one I have, almost exactly the same, only with German and Viennese cuisine. It's not so much a book, but rather a booklet. Only, mine's falling apart and decaying quicker than I can patch it up. Over the years I have used it literally to pieces, because all the recipes inside are traditional German recipes that have been converted and written into the English language. It has a German and an English index. Look at the similarities in these books. This one is my cookbook's front and back cover. It was printed in 1956.

Here is Silke's book: You can see more of it on her blog called Metamorphosis. You will find more images of the book's illustrations that are very similar to mine. This book is in excellent shape compared to my tattered version.

I purchased my booklet a long time ago (I'm guessing maybe 35 years or so) at The City shopping center in Costa Mesa, California, at a store called Italian-Swiss Colony. Both, the mall and the company have changed, but my little booklet is still here - barely! I love it so much, I keep it in a plastic sheet cover because the paper has gotten so porous that I don't even want to tape it up anymore. I got my famous Apfelstrudel recipe from that book and my Stollen and Kartoffel Knoedel recipes. Everyone loves what I make from this book and even I have to admit that this is the real thing, baby! Look at some of these illustrations. They all depict a typical German scene, like these chess players, for instance.
Here you see the oxen all dressed up and decorated with flowers and ornamental gear. This always reminds me of an interesting tradition the fathers have in the region of Germany where I grew up (Bavaria.) You see, Father's Day was not spent with the family, but more of a guys' day out (I hope none of the men read this, because they will want to claim their German heritage now) Anyway, the men get a pair of decorated oxen (similar to what you see in the illustration above) and make them pull a wagon with a bunch of dads and a keg of beer and they head out into the woods and travel the country roads, singing and laughing till all the beer is gone and then they come back home. Technically, nobody could get into trouble for drunken driving because the oxen pulled and the dads didn't do anything except drink and sing. It was no big deal - in fact, it was expected for dad's to do that, only my dad never participated in that particular ritual. This illustration is of the witch with Gretel and her gingerbread house and her cat. Oh, I love this one. It reminds me of my Oma (grandma) baking. This page is all about making the perfect yeast dough for various cakes and pastries. I love homemade yeast dough! To me there's nothing better and it smells heavenly. Look at all the kids begging for a piece of warm freshly baked pastry. I could hardly wait for the dough to cool down because I was not allowed to eat it right out of the oven. My Oma said it would give me a belly ache. Big deal! When you're a kid you expect to have belly aches, right? This is the book's center color photo of all sorts of of German foods. From the top row (left to right): Veal Cutlets with Fried Eggs, Cauliflower with Mustard Sauce, Parsley Potato Balls, buttered peas and smoked salmon-caviar appetizers, Cheese Cake, Braised Spicy Spareribs, Pot Roast of Beef with Wine and Parsley Dumplings, Apple Pancakes, Oxtail Stew, Sweet-Sour Red Cabbage and Macaroni and Ham with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. In closing, I just want to add one more thing (and God have mercy on me if my daughter ever finds out about this) when I was looking though my stuff, no doubt digging for this book after one of my many moves, not having seen this cook book for a while, I found this note, look closer:

It's a poem my daughter, Christie, wrote when she was very young. I would guess maybe 7 or 8, (she's 32 now) - that was when she used to slip me notes like: "Mom, can I spend the night at Tina's? Check here for Yes or No"...did your kids ever do that? They get you right when you're busy or on the phone, because they knew the chances of your checking Yes were very good. In case you can't read her poem, here it is: A lending hand across the sky kind of reminds me of grandma's apple pie It's so sweet, tender and soft hearted too, and it makes you feel happy when you're feeling blue so lend a hand across the sky, and you can have some of grandma's apple pie. And then she writes in big, circled letters: "Don't trow away" and as you can see, I did not!

7 comments:

Kerrie said...

How terribly sweet your note is!! I love that! I too have notes the kids wrote and they are 40, 45and 46 1/2 now! Your cook book also looks like one I have that came down through my sister's husband's family. I cherish it and it is falling apart. The illustrations are similar to yours. Thanks for you comment on my post today, I know you would love O. Henry's stories and Yes, you will cry-ha! Kerrie

Silke said...

Oh, wie schoen, Doris! I wish I had the German/Viennese version of the cookbook. Definitely the same illustrator and probably publisher! I love it!! And I love traditional German recipes - I still make my grandma's and mother's Christmas cookies every year. And, of course, incorporate Daniel's family's recipes as well!

I'm so glad I found you!! Eine Stimme aus Deutschland in Georgia! Hope you aren't getting too much rain from Ida. Not too bad here!!

Bis bald!! Silke

Kerrie said...

I am feeling a little burned out right now, too! We are making gifts for the family for Christmas as well as trying to stock the Etsy shop. That's what we get for making everything ourselves-ha! You have put an awful lot of work in your wonderful crochet and knit items! I would love to see your paintings! I am just chilling tonight! Kerrie

Bearly Sane said...

I guess we all have a similar cookbook in our kitchens that we use constantly. I still refer to my old Emily McPherson College cookbook from High School ... the cover has completly come away from the pages, it's stained with food and has no pictures, but it's written so clearly and simply that it's always a pleasure to use.

What a sweet little poem, it's lovely to re-discover these memories when poking around in our cupboards.

Hope you are having a wonderful day Doris.
Hugs,
Sandi

Just Playin' said...

I love how unique this is. AWARD Alert! Award for you! Go get it at my place!
Sandra

Just Playin' said...

AWARD Alert! Award for you! Go get it at my place!
Sandra

I Wonder Wye said...

I collect old cookbooks to! I love to read pioneer accounts of 'how to' do laundry, cook impossible sounding things to eat, and make cleaning supplies...we have it SO easy today -I remind myself when I am doing 6 loads of laundry in a day...my grandmom's cookbooks are yellowing and old so seldom used. I actually found notes and drawings mom kept that I gave her in one of her Julia Child french cooking books, so apparently i did this too. (I don't have kids of my own. Just four-footed kids).