Good Ole Ethel

Remember Ethel?  I blogged about her a year or so ago.  I didn’t really KNOW Ethel.  I found her cookbook buried under a pile of junk at the flea market and paid 50 cents for it.  It was chuck full of stuff from the 1950’s all the way to the late 1970’s.  Ethel must’ve been some fine cook.  Every new contraption that involved cooking…Ethel had it.  Toasters, the hamburger patty press, can opener.  She was first in line.  Some of the recipes were scratched on old envelopes or the back of stationary.  Some were clipped from Family Circle and the local newspaper.  One was written in shorthand…but I’m not sure if it’s a recipe.  Could be a ransom note for all I know.  That shorthand stuff creeps me out.

Ethel seemed to worship Julia Child and had several of clippings from the 1960’s with stuff circled and highlighted.  She had also handwritten exact instruction for when to plant certain flowers and vegetables, how to prep the soil, when to water, when to harvest.  For instance:

“Bring in azaleas from cold frames at intervals for a succession of bloom – it takes 6-7 weeks at 60-65 degrees.  When new growth starts, feed every other week with solution of 1 oz. aluminum sulphate to 2 gallons water.”

There were also a couple of pages in the back, a handwritten journal of some sort.  Maybe she was standing in the kitchen and became overcome and needed to write some things down.  Maybe she was writing and practicing her prayer for church that upcoming Sunday.  It was obvious that Ethel was a God-fearing woman..with some weird notions of abusive elders and whatnot:

“Bless all in authority over me, and so rule with their hearts and strength.  Bless their hands that they may punish wickedness and vice and maintain thy true religion and virtue.”

Anyway…I’m sure Ethel wore pearls and pumps and sprinkled her wrists with rose-water before heading off to the church social.  I wonder why her kids never held on to these memories.  Maybe she didn’t have children.  I’m just happy to have her “here”….and I think I might try out a couple of her recipes…just to stand her shoes for a few minutes.


2 Responses

  1. I have a book just like this with all my recipes and kitchen whatnot. It’s all in a crappy Wal-Mart magnetic-cling page photo album. No biblical quotes, however. I would cry if anything ever happened to it (or if my kids didn’t want it after my demise.) Now go make me a jello-mold, woman!

  2. I’m gonna make you the Tomato Aspic.

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