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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's My Blogaversary!

How do I look? Not me you silly, my new blog banner! composed for my one year Blogaversary today. Don't you just absolutely LOVE it! It's heavenly and I have Jessie, over at Cakespy, to thank. She is such an unbelievably talented visionary it glows in her phenomenal artwork. I would like to give her a standing ovation. Right here, right NOW! You must stop over at the Cakespy Shop and drool over her incredible custom artwork. Heck, her cupcake art was even featured in Taste of Home magazine. When she promises "sweetness, "literally," she kids you NOT! Jesse, from fantasy to phenomenon, I thank you:) So, I ask you kind visitors, who's your favorite Cuppie?

Cooking by the Calendar

As many of you may already know, the seeds for Months of Edible Celebrations were sown back in 1998. At that time, I created a website over at Aol. But, the concept for a cooking calendar began many years before my first Aol upload. I suppose, it all started with one of my most treasured name brand cookbooks; Betty Crocker's Cooking Calendar A Year-Round Guide to Meal Planning with Recipes and Menus published in 1962 by Golden Press. Many cookbook collectors I've been in contact with through the years have usually favored Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook first published in 1951. Not me. As a matter of fact, up until last year, I had a brand new shrink wrapped first edition of the Picture Cookbook which I "sold to the highest bidder." Yes, I do have quite a few Betty Crocker cookbooks but, quite honestly, I don't usually gravitate toward brand name cookbooks. Oh, I don't know, maybe it's because everyone else wants them too and I'd rather ferret out the obscure or the unusual. Say for instance my die-cut cookbooks. They are so difficult to find and yet I just feel they are worthy of the hunt. For some reason, I am attracted to the Cooking Calendar book and the rest of the Betty Crocker library of speciality cook books such as the Cook Book for Boys and Girls first published in 1957 (which I'm saving for the grandkids:) and the Party Book first published in 1960. Hey, I'm a 60's kid! Anyway, for my blogaversry today, and because today kicks off National Cookbook Month, I would like to give you a peek inside the Cooking Calendar cook book.

Before we get to the delightful illustrations seasoning each chapter, let me present the introduction.

Dear Friend,
Here is a book that is really two books in one. First of all it is a cook book written to inspire you to lend variety to your meals by using fresh fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak of flavor and are most plentiful...

Aren't they charming? But wait, I got a bit ahead of myself. I forgot to shed light on the poem by Joyce Cary above. You see, what I did was just scan the top of the chapter page. Yes, most months are introduced with the origin of their name, the flower of the month and the gem associated with the month. The flower of the month for October is Calendula or Cosmos and the gem is Opal or Tourmaline. Each chapter also gives an inside look into any red letter days in the Seasons calendar.

...October brings us "Indian summer," the name given to that mild, dry, hazy weather which follows the first frost. In England this seasonal phenomenon is called "goose summer," for it was at that time that the geese, which had been fattened, were eaten. Spiders weave furiously during "goose summer"; that is probably why anything very sheer reminds us of the bedewed "gossamer" webs which cross our paths these October mornings.

Back to the introduction:

...At the same time it is a calendar book with space to note family birthdays and anniversaries, holidays and appointments - plus famous dates of years gone by and homey mottoes...

See those open spaces embellished with famous quotes, unique fun facts, and cute little drawings? How could one resist such seasonal quips? Note: the date for Emily Post's birthday appears to be wrong. According to the Emily Post Institute website, Emily Price Post, of etiquette fame, was born on October 27, 1872. Once again, we'll head back to the intro...

...You will find a section for each month, with appetizing recipes for featured fruits and vegetables - savory one-dish dinners, flavorful salads, succulent vegetable dishes, glamourous desserts, together with tender meats and fluffy hot breads to round out meals for both everyday and entertaining.


Cooking Calendar Recipes

I must admit, the Brittany Duck recipe pictured is new to me. It must be to others also because I'll be darned if I could find a recipe by that particular name online. However, I did find Magret of Brittany Duck featured as a signature dish at the Arlington Lodge Country House Hotel in Ireland. And then there's the Poulet au Cidre Cider Chicken Stew over at Margarita's which is somewhat like the scanned recipe shown, a tad more sophisticated though. There's another recipe for Chicken in Hard Cider Sauce at about.com. There are also a few suggestions to round out the meal in the comments section. Other suggested recipes for the month of October in "Betty's" Cooking Calendar cookbook include Far East Eggplant which I found over at Rochelle's Vintage and Frugal Recipes. She also has the recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken with Orange Sauce which is a suggested recipe for a Twelfth Night Weekend Dinner in January. I left the link below. (see why I love this charming cookbook/date book:) I'm going to leave you with a few suggested recipes for a Halloween Party for Grown Ups as well as a Planting Chart for Spring Flowering Bulbs which you just have to click on to enlarge. (I mean really, how cool is this little gem?)

I'd like to give another shout out to Jesse for her patience, kindness and my incredible new banner. I also would like to thank Manuela over @ Baking History. She knows why and I do appreciate it. Someday, I'm sure we will be hosting an event together. Before I go, I would like to thank everyone for stopping by. It's been a whirlwind of a year and I look forward to another year of sharing...And now, Betty's closing...

We hope you find this book handy, not only as a source of new and delicious recipes but as a record of family activities. Sincerely...
Circle This: October 13, 1792-Cornerstone of White House laid...courtesy of Betty:)
I am a lonely cookbook
a sittin on the shelf
Although I'm full of goodies
I'm no good there by myself
I need someone to pick me up
and look inside my cover
And if you do, I promise you
A new world you will discover.

Resources
1. Betty Crocker Cookbooks (1880-1969)
2. Seasons calendar (In case you didn't visit the season calendar above, I have to tell you about this fabulous website . I didn't have time to stay but I will be going back. It was a little hard for me to figure out how to navigate, you have to skim over the icons at the top, but, you really should visit especially if you're an aspiring chef or in search of inspiring recipes. Very cool...Just look at this recipe for African Style Chicken. There's also a French version...
3. Oven-Baked Chicken with Orange Sauce
4. Betty Crocker's New (1964) Dinner For Two Cookbook a la Maria
5. Chicken in Hard Cider Sauce Recipe
6. National Cookbook Month (updated online cookbooks I post last year)