Thursday, March 19, 2009

It Only Takes a Recipe to Get a Meal a Cookin'

Last night a fellow blogger and my dear sister in law, Virtual Farmgirl posed a question to her readers: Where do you get your recipes?
That question has been stewing in my mind ever since.
So many thoughts are whirling round that I knew a mere "comment" would not answer the question hence this blog entry.
Last evening just prior to to my reading of the VFG post of the day, I had received two requests for recipes from friends. Friends are a great source. Especially if they make the meal for you and you get to try it out before you make it.
One of them called me the "Great Goddess of the Crock Pot". Which is so funny to me as I do not consider myself some amazing cook.
The other friend saw my Facebook status update that spoke of a pork dish I was making for dinner. The internet and Facebook playing a vital role in these interactions.
Many people comment on Facebook that I must be some fancy amazing cook.
Meals are my responsibility in our household and therefore my status reflects the fact that is what I am doing at that point in time.
Common place everyday meals are what happen most. Take out from Taco Bell, Wendys or the Commander and not to mention Fish sticks all make an appearance at the Arndt family table.
Sadly, I am not cooking up something every night of the week. Three to five times a week and I feel good about it.
My recipe sources are both common, many and varied.
I love to use recipes from the backs and sides of packaging of envelopes, cans and boxes of pantry items also.

Google is always a quick and almost foolproof source for me.
VFG likes as do I. I also like
I love the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa and will often go and print out the recipes of hers that I like and then make them. I store these and all of printed out internet recipes in a black folder in my kitchen.

One of my favorite Go To Cooks is my Aunt Camille. She has sent many a wonderful recipe for my daughters to use in 4H or the perfect recipe for a dinner party that I am hosting.
I have a recipe box filled with cards handwritten by the dear soul who gave them to me. A lot of these are from my mother in law, Rose. Recipes from Rose are stars in my collection.
Speaking of collections... my collection of cookbooks fills a full shelf of the bookcase. I refer to them often for favorites that we have tried.
The most treasured recipes are the ones that are in my head and are not written down.
These come from my mother and my grandmothers.
I stood beside them stirring and beating and watching.
My interactions with them are the foundations of my recipe box in my head.
Clearly a lot of technique and methods were gleaned from these experiences from my matriarchs.
Cooking is fun to me and its strong ties to my family history make it a tradition worthy of carrying on into the future with my daughters. VFG and my brother put together a recipe booklet as a gift to her family. This is a way of preserving all that great food without a Mason jar. A worthy goal for me.
Thanks VFG for the Food for Thought. Visit her blog at


  1. What a pleasant article to read. One of the reasons I really liked this is that you speak fondly of so many people who have contributed in your life, honoring each person, giving them the respect they deserve. This just glows with the love you have for your family. Nicely done.

  2. Love the reply Maria. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Recipes??? What is this foreign concept of which you speak? Cooking? Baking? He he! When I do cook/bake, I enjoy using Mom's McCall's cookbook. I baked Uncle Wilfred's birthday cake from the back of a Hershey's Cocoa box. But one of my favorites that I didn't see listed in your post, was the "church cookbook". I especially like the Burnsville Cookbook as it has so many of Mam Mam's recipes in them. Rich in family history and great food!