Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Cookbook

What's your first cookbook as an adult? This is what Colleen is asking over at Slice Dice & Dish ( This is a fun topic so I thought I'd post my answer here & encourage you to join in the comments or give a link to the answer on your own blog.

My first cookbook as an adult was Heartland by Marcia Adams. Everything I ever made out of this book was wonderful. Marcia had a cooking show on PBS called "Cooking from Quilt Country." This book had a chapter featuring recipes from each of the Midwestern states. Marcia's book introduced this at-that-time California Native to regional dishes from the Midwest. This was a new kind of comfort food I had not encountered, before. This was my first branching out cooking adventure, a stepping beyond the recipes of my Mother and Aunt Virginia (both excellent cooks!)

Marcia's recipe for Swedish Rice Pudding is still the one I make, people who claim not to like rice pudding like this one. For years whenever I had a chocolate craving with no chocolate in the house, I'd make her from scratch brownies (I seldom run out of cocoa powder.) Her recipe for Creamy Potato Salad is still my favorite and her Bread & Butter Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce was AMAZING! That reminds me, I've been wanting to make some of those Marshall Field's Cinnamon Crunch Muffins again. Oh and how could I forget Chicken Breast Baked with Pecan Dressing.

I think this was the first cookbook I ever owned for myself, I KNOW it is the first I ever wrote in. I made recipe notes, starred recipes in the index and wrote the following on title page:

"I purchased this book for myself on November 9 of 1992. It signifies a renewed interest in cooking piqued by Marsha Adams' wonderful television series.
I have now enjoyed two years of cooking from this book and find my skills improved and my repertoire extended.
I expect continued pleasure as I discover the flavors of our nation's Heartland."

I used it so much that the gold letter of the title are wearing away on the spine. The dust jacket was long-ago discarded, it got in the way of use and although some of Marcia's other books are on Amazon it looks like Heartland has gone out of print.

Here is Coleen's post


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