Fond Memories Of The Red Plaid Cookbook - Naturally Low Carb for Life Blog at - 121997

Naturally Low Carb for Life

Fond Memories of the Red Plaid Cookbook 
Sep. 2, 2009 8:08 am 
Updated: Sep. 4, 2009 10:15 am
I had an idea while gazing at the red and white plaid notebook cover of my oldest cookbook. You know the one. You probably have it too. I first became acquainted with it as a child because my mother had one. Hers was chock-full of magazine clippings and handwritten how-tos from friends and family. My copy is rather clean by comparison because I have the Internet and of course

I used to spend hours browsing it for recipes with ingredients already in the house. My mother would not buy anything special. Sometimes I just had to imagine myself cooking as I read the directions. Of course now and then I would get stove or oven time.That's when I began my experiements. I remember making maple flavored lollipops from pancake syrup because we didn't have the called for corn syrup in the house. I learned how to use a candy thermometer. I recall the fear of being burnt as I stirred the very hot syrup. It seemed to take forever to reach hard crack and the heat off the pot was daunting. Pouring off onto Popsicle sticks on aluminum foil was difficult and the results, a bunch of thin uneven maple wafers on sticks was disappointing. Still I remember the experience fondly and call on the lessons learned though I have only once or twice made candy since in my whole life.

When I need a solid crowd pleasing all American recipe I know is going to work, I still reach for the plaid. Yesterday I pulled it from the shelf to remind myself how much vinegar to add to coleslaw. Coleslaw is something totally worth making from scratch. Store bought and restaurant coleslaw is nothing like fresh made. I think more people would enjoy coleslaw if they made it for themselves.

This is what gave me the idea for my next project: assembling a list of foods totally worth making from scratch. These should be foods that people commonly make from boxes or purchase pre-made, that are so completely different and wonderful when made from scratch as to be worth the work.

Please help me with your ideas for the list. Here are my first seven:

  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chicken soup
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Mint sauce
  • Key lime pie
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies
  • Meatloaf
  • Ham loaf
  • Apple sauce
  • Au gratin potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Red tomato sauce
Sep. 2, 2009 9:36 am
I love that red plaid book, too. My mother didn't have one - she had a very old, green Betty Crocker cookbook, notated and very worn. I'm not sure who has it now, but it's around somewhere. Add homemade meatloaf and ham loaf to your list!
Sep. 2, 2009 10:06 am
I think mashed potatoes should go on the list. They have those tubs that you can buy that are never as good as homemade!
Sep. 2, 2009 10:23 am
Red tomato sauce
Sep. 2, 2009 11:31 am
applesauce and stuffing to the list...
Sep. 2, 2009 5:28 pm
without a doubt scalloped or au gratin potatoes. They are nothing like the ones in the boxes.....Thank God.
Sep. 2, 2009 7:23 pm
All great suggestions. I shall update my post. You know the crazy thing is that 80% are so easy to make, getting them out of a box doesn't really save time.
Sep. 3, 2009 3:00 pm
There is a recipe here on AR called "Cinnamon Supper Cake" that is very, VERY old and came off the back of a C&H sugar box. My great-grandmother used to make it for her daughter and the two children on Sunday evening. A simple, homemade recipe from the old days.
Sep. 4, 2009 9:55 am
Anything with a pastry crust -- quiche, tarts, pies, etc... Homemade, from-scratch pastry crusts are light years beyond store-bought, frozen, etc.
Sep. 4, 2009 10:15 am
I inherited my moms' plaid cookbook. She had a better memory than me, because hers is in VERY good shape, whereas mine, alas, is dirty on the outside from being grabbed a million times and the pages are all falling off of the binder rings! :) My vote would be bread..I LOVE homemade bread!
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Angela Bull Radoff

Home Town
San Diego, California, USA
Living In
Southborough, Massachusetts, USA

Member Since
Jun. 2009

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About Me
I am a 51 year old game designer, grandmother and entrepreneur. I have been cooking for family all my life. These days I cook at least twice a day for my husband and I who are both on low carbohydrate diets for life.
My favorite things to cook
Sadly I love to bake... oh well. So instead I specialize in yummy stove top cooking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother was a traditional English cook. 'nuf said. I use Mexican, Asian, Indian and American spice combinations in my own recipes.
My cooking triumphs
I have cooked dinner for 30 and have it come off with aplomb.
My cooking tragedies
I once made a birthday cake for someone when I could not smell things properly. I didn't realize my vegetable oil had gone rancid. Yuck.
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