An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Thursday, January 05, 2006

a sentimental journey

So one bit of mindless self-indulgence is in order as far as I'm concerned. I had a great birthday and that most certainly includes in the (admittedly shallow of me to covet so much) gift receiving department.

I'm completely impressed with people's abilities to read my mind this time around! I was absolutely thrilled with my in-laws surprise: a DVD of March of the Penguins and... a fantastic 6 dvd set of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection!!! I love Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals as much as I love It's a Wonderful Life or The Wizard of Oz (ooh gotta get that deluxe version!!!) or any of my other sentimental movie classic favourites.

And the last time Suzanne and I went hunting for some ancient commercial and all VCR tape from a televised version of one of them (I think it was The King and I or Oklahoma) we discovered that the last 10 minutes never got taped!!! Bleah...

That was several years ago and I honestly don't know why it never came up to replace those movies (some I didn't even have, the rest were badly taped from the t.v. VCR versions) before now, because Suzanne and I both watched them fairly regularly for years and years. But for some reason it never made either of our gift lists and Stu didn't really have much of a clue that we needed brand spanking new dvd versions (... or did he... put a bug in my in-laws ears maybe???).

Anyway, it was an awesome surprise!!! The set includes Carousel (tear-jerker of the highest order), The (very sublime) King and I, The Sound of Music (I've got three words for you: Christopher. Plummer. Rawrrr!), South Pacific (GAWD, I love it!!!!) and my absolute favouritest, most beloved Oklahoma! (sheer Musical-perfection!) and... it has one that I've never even seen before and I'm totally looking forward to watching first: State Fair.

I know this is all sentimental-value stuff and most modern and urbane people probably don't get it, but I don't care about that now do I. :-) I love Cole Porter; I love Hoagy Carmichael. I love Rodgers and Hart and I absolutely love Rodgers and Hammerstein. Lyric and Music; and old fashioned musicals! I love it as much as I love Led Zeppelin and that's saying alot... My in-laws, bless their hearts, are brilliant!!! Absolutely... and thoughtful as can be.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law sent me a gorgeous Abbey Road T-Shirt and my daughter got me the latest Jimmy Carter book I've been coveting: Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis (she actually gave me this just before she left for her Christmas vacation... she finally gets back tomorrow and believe me that's gonna be the best birthday present yet; I just miss her so much) and my sweet sister gave me my always requested Borders Gift Certificate and the newest edition to my journal collection (those two items are always, ALWAYS on my birthday/Christmas lists and every year without fail I get at least one absolutely gorgeous and unique journal - one of my favouritest things to receive!!!)

But, the best gift of all. My hubby got me The 1950's Classic Edition of the Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book. To understand what that book means to me is to take a trip down memory lane; to my earliest memories in fact. The original version of that cookbook, may not have been my mom's only cookbook but it was certainly one of the oldest, and most frequently used, tried and true cookbook. Next to my Grandma Vera's handwritten masterpieces, that book was the one that held the most culinary magick in our household.

I remember looking through that cookbook over and over as a child, salivating over the color-plate pictures of all kinds of scrumptious food (laughable really as the colour was "off" in that 1950's book - and I'm happy to report that the latest edition has those very same images in their very same slightly "off" hues! what a blast from the beautiful past!).

Some of my favourite desserts are buried in there, including the hard-to-find Strawberry Delight that I got a hankering for (a couple of birthdays ago in fact) that my sweet hubby improvised for me based on a description of the dessert from my memory of the recipe in this book. NOW, I've got the recipe again!!!

One of the first desserts I ever made for Stu was way back when I was 17 years old and using mom's original version of the cookbook to make Baked Alaska! I was madly in love and my love was the colour of that lovely pink ice cream featured in the colour-plate image of that most heavenly dessert (page 243!). Mine didn't come out quite so lovely as the inspiration and it threatened to melt away quickly as we scambled to make short work of it, but I was proud of the end result just the same! I will never forget that moment or countless other warm memories that I associate with that dear old cookbook.

To own the revised copy is almost as precious as the memories it evokes! It's a very cool little time-capsule of a book too with lots of great old-fashioned hints and cute little vignettes explaining the origins of various recipes!

For example, did you know that:

"the first waffle is said to have been made in 13th Century England. A crusader wearing his armor accidentally sat in some freshly baked oat cakes. The cakes were flattened and bore deep imprints of the steel links. His wife, delighted with the way butter stayed in the imprints from the armor, made him put it on once a week and sit on fresh oat cakes. They were called "warfres," meaning flat honeycomb-like cakes."

~~~from The Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book (please don't sue me General Mills; that blurb was too cute not to share!!!)

All in all, a perfect birthday and a lovely trip into the far, faaaar distant past....

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:08 PM :: 5 Comments:

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