Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ideals Country Kitchen Cookbook

I picked up my wonderful paperback cookbook that we're reviewing today from a Goodwill Superstore in Texas. I didn't realize, before my happening-by there, that superstores existed where thrift stores were concerned...but I was thankful and did a "happy dance" in the parking lot (just kidding, but I was excited!) They even had a Goodwill Cafe. So whether you bought cookbooks or coffee or any of the other items, your money went to a great cause.

The previous owner of my Ideals Country Cookbook must have appreciated it, because she had it laminated. That's right, a magazine-sized paperback cookbook with plastic coating so it would last and not get the cover splattered in the kitchen. Now that is love! What a smart home cook to think of such a thing. I wish that she had put her name in the front.

The front cover of the cookbook has a picture of blue enamel pans with golden loaves of homemade bread and a copper tea kettle. It was published by Ideal Publishing, but I'm not sure of the year and there's no ISBN. I can give you the address of the publisher: 11315 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226. Mine is a third printing and Ideal was a very popular publication, so you should be able to find one. And believe me, you want to search for this one if you are a fan of country cooking!

This cookbook entertains with blocks of food history intermingled with the wonderful, classic recipes. For instance, did you know that doughnuts were originally called, "olykoeks" or oily cakes and brought by the Dutch to the New World? But one clever Yankee home cook's idea caused the doughnuts' fame to spread worldwide. Her son was setting off to sea and she wanted to send a type of pastry with him that had lemon in it and would prevent scurvy and colds. She inserted a hazelnut in the center of each to insure that the centers cooked all the way through! Her son's ship left with 1500 doughnuts and by the time he got back, doughnuts were popular at every port of call and its popularity spread across America.

This book has a wide array of practical, common ingredient recipes. These are the types of dishes that have made country cooking popular over the years. I love the abundance of yeast bread recipes, both wheat and corn-based, along with pancakes, fritters and doughnuts. For the chilly weather that's coming up there's: Ham and Pea Soup with Dumplings; Chicken Booyah ; Oxtail Soup and Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup. If you want to know how to make "Dutch Pocketbooks" or Cornish Pasties this is your book! There are so many old-fashioned down-to-earth goodies in here that I can't name them all, but I will share one from page 35.

Lima Bake

1 1/2 C dried Lima beans
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped green pepper
2 C stewed tomatoes
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 slices bacon

Soak beans in cold water or overnight.Drain well. Place limas in large kettle, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add onion and salt. Lower heat and let simmer slowly until beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain beans well, reserving 1/4 C liquid. Combine limas, celery, green pepper, tomatoes, hot pepper sauce and reserved lima liquid in 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, fry bacon to desired doneness. Arrange bacon as desired on top of casserole before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Have a great Friday!

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  1. Hi Marcia! I love lima beans, and this recipe sounds like a real winner to me. Thanks for sharing it and happy FF.


  2. I'm with you; love bean dishes!

  3. I also love Lima Beans, and I get the trait from my dad. This would be a great dish to make for him the next time he visits!