I love it when the Lord provides for me well before I need it. Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away… when I worked outside the home, a friend gave me a cookbook she never used. It was a 1962 paperback copy of Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker. I used that cookbook well after it had separated into two halves, right down the middle of its paperback spine. I spent years looking and waiting for a very good condition hardback copy to become available. I finally found one a few years ago!
Not only did the Lord provide a terrific cookbook with a few gluten-free recipes in it, but this gem also has some ‘unique’ entries along with being a general all around great cookbook. This cookbook is where I had one of my earliest exposures to Reformed theology. No it’s true! In THIS cookbook! And in the biscuit section too. Gotta love that!! It is a poem by Howard Weeden and you know how I love poetry!! Every time I go to use this cookbook, I find something else in it to crow about!
For starters they use symbols to help you in your food preparation & storage, indicating freezing, altitude cooking, blender, and other. One of the best parts are the “pointers for success”!! I have yet to make anything from this cookbook that has not been very well received by my friends and family. And because of these tips, they turn out great. Every single time! And what homemaker wouldn’t be happy with regular cooking success?! This is the cookbook I tend to grab first.
One reason for repeated success when using this book is one of my favorite features – the “Abouts”. These areas give special information on each food type so you can successfully careen around problem areas each type might pose and special tips to ensure optimum presentation at the table.
Two other features were new in this edition; Know Your Ingredients and The Foods We Heat. In the first section you learn in detail about the properties of the materials commonly combined in cooking, how and why they react as they do, and when feasible, how to substitute for them. The second section gives the most through explanations on how to cook using any and all cooking methods available under the sun. It is this section that shows me how to set up a camp oven, how to build a hunter’s fire, how to position the various outdoor cooking tools, how to dig a pit to cook for a crowd and much more!
If (or when) TEOTWAWKI comes THIS cookbook will be with me. And if it isn’t TOETWAWKI, than this would be just the ticket to have on hand during this upcoming economic “downturn” we are headed for. On top of showing me how to cook with a wide variety of outdoor cooking methods, and tips for success no less, there are sections on how to skin a squirrel or rabbit AND how to prepare them. Then there is the section on best methods for preparing an opossum and even what to serve with it! Oh and let’s not forget the ever popular skewered small birds or directions on fixing dove or pigeon.
This 812 page cookbook covers nearly everything! To top it off, there is also an exhaustive 40 page index! There are no photos in this tome, though directions are further enhanced by well done yet simple drawings.
Have I peaked your interest in this cookbook yet? All the recipes use real fats and real ingredients. The limitations on this would be a lack due to its age. In 1962 the average homemaker did not have access to coconut oil, palm shortening and the like. And this cookbook was written for the average homemaker!
When I went gluten-free in March 2010 I discovered a gem of a recipe in this, my favorite cookbook. I was SO excited!! Rice Flour Muffins. I tried them and my family loved them! Here is my dairy-free version of this 1962 gluten-free gem of a recipe. And NO gums were ever used in this recipe. The muffins are tender & tasty with just a hint of sweetness. They mix up quickly and are ready in a snap!
makes about two dozen 2-inch muffins
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Have all ingredients at about 75 degrees.
Measure into a bowl:
1 cup rice flour (I use brown rice and in the “about” she specifies not to use sweet rice flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Pink Himalayan, it’s what I have on hand)
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
(1 to 2 teaspoons sugar)
2 tablespoons shortening (I use grapeseed oil)
and when slightly cooled, add it to:
1 well beaten egg
1 cup milk (I use So Delicious brand coconut milk beverage or almond milk with equally excellent results)
Mix the dry ingredients well and then with a few light strokes combine with the liquid mixture. About 10 strokes is all that is necessary.
The muffins are less crumbly if you add to them before the dry ingredients are completely moistened:
1/2 cup raisins or 2 tablespoons orange or pineapple marmalade (I use orange marmalade)
If you add the marmalade omit the sugar.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes and serve at once.UPDATE: I do leave my muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes before serving them. Once I take them out of the oven, I finish getting the rest of the breakfast ready. I remove them just before we sit down to eat. Also, the batter is quite runny. Thinner than a cake batter. So don’t be surprised when you make these!
Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)
Other posts of interest:
This post also linked here: Musings of a Housewife