Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Cookbook Give-Away!!!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I seize this opportunity to offer my visitors a chance to win a Free copy of The Military Wives Cookbook. As most of you know, I'm not in the habit of doing cookbook reviews on this blog. However, there are a few reasons why I have chosen to do my first requested review.

Military Wives Cookbook

The first is quite simple. I LOVE cookbooks. Above all, I treasure cookbooks which embrace "traditions, recipes, and remembrances" such as those anecdotal stories found in The Military Wives’ Cookbook: 200 Years of Tradition, Recipes and Remembrances by author, wife, mother, attorney, researcher, and cookbook writer, Carolyn Quick Tillery. The vintage photographs tracing the history and unique contributions of American military wives are the frosting on the cake.

The next reason is pretty obvious. Friday, May 8th is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. What do I do @ Months of Edible Celebrations? I try to commemorate an occasion with cookbooks, recipes, and tasteful morsels of historic events. Instinctively, I said yes to Carrie from Sourcebooks Inc. when she contacted me about offering The Military Wives Cookbook in honor of Military Spouse Day. However, I have another person to thank. Courtney, from Coco Cooks. Courtney was more than neighborly when she suggested to Carrie that she contact me about offering the Military Wives Cookbook. Thank you Courtney:) (Update Military Spouse Day May 8th) I shared a few Santa Maria Style Barbecue recipes from the cookbook here and you should go see the "gorgeous" Old Fashioned Banana Pudding Courtney whipped up from the book. 

Finally, not only is the Military Wives Cookbook flavored with all the binding ingredients of a classic cookbook, it offers us all an opportunity to reflect on the courage and strength as told by those battle scarred families left at home. Miraculously, they manage to "balance the responsibilities of maintaining home and hearth, raise a family, manage businesses, and continue to support the war effort." More often than not, military families are consistently uprooted awaiting the next deployment. Below is an excerpt from an interview Carolyn Quick Tillery had with Kathryn Rem of the State-Journal Register in November of 2008. (There are also a few recipes included from the book)

"The American military family averages a move every two to three years. Spouses often collect recipes and give them to someone else. She adds her own twist and gives it to someone else. That person adds a secret ingredient and gives it to someone else. These recipes evolve as they find their way around the world and to the American table," said Tillery, a third-generation military wife.

The Military Wives Cookbook

I stumbled upon an article published at the Military Spouse Network titled Military Spouses Get a Taste of Marine Life which lead me to a blog post at SpouseBUZZ titled I'll Take "Wasted Time" For $200, Please. Reading through many of the articles and blog posts really hit home for me. You see, although my biological father was a Merchant Marine, who died when I was very young, I barely remember living with my mother and brother in Galveston, Texas. Much like the women who share their stories in The Military Wives Cookbook, I have faint recollections of related stories. Unlike today's military wives, my mother seldom knew where my father was or when he might be home. I know my mother learned to become self reliant and my grandmother told us stories about the hundreds of socks and scarves she knitted for "the boys." Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, I don't remember much else.

The Military Wives' Cookbook is a hardcover 333 page book measuring 9-1/4 x 7-1/4. It is divided into six sections which are preceded by United in Spirit a dedication from an unknown author, a personal foreword by the author which is flavored with "cherished childhood memories" as a daughter of a career officer in the United States Air Force and, the introduction which is perhaps, my favorite section, besides the recipes, of course. Here we are "formally" introduced to the women, through whose eyes the stories are told and whose recipes are shared. Anna Warner; The Heroine of Groton, Molly Pitcher, Margaret Corbin, Martha Washington and others are depicted during the American Revolution. The War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the women "warriors" of the Civil War are represented. Below is what Carrie sent me from the book's press release.

The Military Wives' Cookbook is a collection of recipes, anecdotal stories, and vintage photographs tracing the history and unique contributions of American military wives. Beginning with an Independence Tea Party featuring the foods served by the women of Edenton, North Carolina, at a party on October 25, 1774, it recreates the scenes and foods that recount the stories of the commitments and sacrifice that military wives have given the nation for more than two hundred years.

Presented in menu format, each chapter includes a story related to the recipes of the period (“A Colonial Thanksgiving” and “Christmas in the Confederate White House”) and feature foods from around the world, including places like Morocco, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea.

The six sections are:

  1. Teas and Coffees
  2. Buffets, Brunches, and Lunches
  3. A Taste of Home: Dinner Family Style
  4. Alfresco Dining
  5. Over There: An International Affair
  6. Home for the Holidays and Other Celebrations

Today, is a wet and dreary day in New York so I have chosen to skip the Tea and Coffee section and share a menu from section two, Buffets, Brunches, and Lunches.(click the image to enlarge)

Hearth and Home: A Soup Kitchen Party
Young wives far from home found great comfort and fellowship in the company of other military wives. By 1898, America had become an empire. It was during this period that the women's club movement was born in the civilian sector of American Life. Military wives soon joined the movement. These clubs were both social and service organizations. They raised money for worthy community causes, they joined book clubs and sewing circles, or they came together simply to entertain themselves with popular games. They met in homes for breakfast planning meetings and for business and social luncheon buffets. The tradition continues to this day. A favorite entertainment style was the buffet. Military Wives Cookbook

The Give-Away

It seems I have misplaced Carrie's email concerning where visitors might be able to purchase the book should they so choose. I'll be contacting her later this evening and leave that informations for you tomorrow. I checked over at the the Sourcebooks website but it didn't seem to be loading in Safari. The cookbook is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon which also has five star reviews.

If you would like a chance to WIN! the book for free right here, the details are fairly simple. Let me first say though, not only would The Military Wives Cookbook make a wonderful addition to your reading cookbook library, it would also make a wonderful gift. I have a senior citizen friend that I take shopping each week. She's 89 years young. She often tells me about her challenges raising six children and working a full time job while her husband was in the service during WWII. Despite gasoline rationing, food rationing, working and raising a family, she still managed to volunteer her time to the war effort. Amazing!!! I really think she would relate to the stories and the photographs. Heck, I think she would even reminisce about some of the recipes, especially the Red Velvet Cake recipe:) Tomorrow, I will share a few of the recipes with you. For now, the details.

At first I was going to offer this book simply by asking visitors to leave a comment. When I started doing a bit more research, it dawned on me how little I actually knew about the sacrifices military families endure. I realize everyone is busy in their own lives and in these economic times it is sometimes difficult to stop and thank those who enable us to enjoy our freedom each and every day. As Mrs. Obama so eloquently stated at Arlington National Cemetery, for Women's History Month:

[Military families] They are mothers and fathers who have lost their beloved children to war. They are husbands and wives keeping the family on track while their wives and husbands are deployed, on duty.  They are grandparents, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers who are taking care of children while single moms or dads in uniform are away.

So, what I would like you to do is discover something you didn't know about the life of our military families or share a brief personal experience in the comment section of this blog anytime up until May 8th; Military Spouse Appreciation Day. You can begin your search with the links I have left on this blog post or do a quick search in google. I will randomly (using the random generator) choose a winner Friday @ 3:00 PM. and announce the winner immediately. I'm curious as to what you will discover and look forward to your comments.

Military Spouse Day was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on April 17, 1984. The Military Wives Cookbooks would be an indefectible salute to a military spouse so if you know someone be sure and tell them about this free give-away. I know how much you would like to have the cookbook all to yourself but how wonderful would it be to pass the plate...

A Proclamation
Since the early days of the Continental Army, the wives of our servicemen have made unselfish contributions to the spirit and well-being of their fighting men and the general welfare of their communities.

Throughout the years, as the numbers of our married men and women in uniform have grown and as their military missions have become more complex and dispersed, their spouses have made countless personal sacrifices to support the Armed Forces. In many instances, they subordinated their personal and professional aspirations to the greater benefit of the service family. Responding to the call of duty, they frequently endured long periods of separation or left familiar surroundings and friends to re-establish their homes in distant places. And there they became American ambassadors abroad.

As volunteers, military spouses have provided exemplary service and leadership in educational, community, recreational, religious, social and cultural endeavors. And as parents and homemakers, they preserve the cornerstone of our Nation's strength -- the American family.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 23, 1984, as Military Spouse Day, in recognition of the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of service members on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserve, and to the security of our Nation. I invite all the Armed Forces, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, the Departments of Defense and Transportation, the Governors of the several States, the chief officials of local governments, and the people of the United States to observe this day in an appropriate manner.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 17th day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
Ronald Reagan

1. Military Spouse Network
2. Obama's Military Spouse Day Proclamation


  1. Thanks so much for posting about this special day, I hadn't heard about it. I have a young friend here in town with a three year old that saw her husband off to Afghanistan for a year in Dec. She is a avid cook and cookbook collector and I would like to get her this book. I will be sending her a card to celebrate Military Spouse Day.
    My Dad was a career Naval Officer and I know how hard it can be for the families. When I was young I know I just couldn't fully appreciate all the extra responsibilities my Mom had when my Dad was away for nine months at a time on deployment.

  2. I was a military wife. My husband has since retired from the military. One of the hardest things is the separation of the family when your husband is on duty. The long nights waiting while your husband is deployed in very hard. It's hard to hear your kids crying for their dad and not knowing if they will see their dad again.

    My dad was also in the military and the constant moving we did was hard. We moved 17 times during his 20 year stay in the military.

  3. Great post Louise! Reading this book for my own review has opened my eyes to the great scarifice these women made and continue to make.Your mothers experinces sounds like my Grandmothers post WW2. My grandfather was stationed in Guam and she was left here with her new baby, my mother. She went to Chicago to forge a life and left my Mom at home in Mississippi for a year with her sisters and grandparents before sending up for everyone and the return of my Grandfather, where we are settled today.
    Don't count my comment as I already have the book. It is a great addition to any cooks collection, but historians will find it fascinating too.

  4. You should announce the giveaway on Twitter.

  5. I agree-- go on Twitter.

    Our son is in the Army right now, in Hawaii. I have a friend who would love this book --her parents were both in WWII --her Army nurse mother barely got out of Corregador in time to avoid being imprisoned by the Japanese. Her father was career Army. My friend's also the wife of a retired Air Force colonel. She's had some very interesting times because of that!

    I'd like to be able to give the book to her.

    Thanks, Louise!

  6. My dad was in the navy, and actually, he is the only member of our family since that time who has been in the military. We are very fortunate for the service and sacrifice of so many families.

  7. Its apause of thought for me, thanks for doing that, I can identify with the sepeartion from a husband/wife affecting immediate family but never looked at it outside the immediate family group. I found this on Google

    "As a military spouse, they have willingly packed up and relocated countless times, and may have been separated from their own parents and family for several years at a time."
    jochrisbryan [at] gmail.com

  8. Such a great giveaway, the stories in the book must be so interesting to read!

  9. Thanks for the link back to SpouseBUZZ. I am sending readers your way with their stories!

    For me, one thing that I always mention at our SpouseBUZZ Live events is this: Did you know that in the military, your duty never ends, even when you're not at work? If you want to go on vacation spanning a holiday weekend, you have to actually use your vacation days for it? If you are not close enough to home to be called into duty on a moment's notice, you have to be burning vacation days. I always figure that's something that civilians don't know about our military families.

    I look forward to reading other people's stories!

  10. Such an awesome giveaway! I am an Army wife, my husband is currently serving on his 3rd tour to Iraq. I guess one thing that many civilians don't know about Army life is how my husband isn't counting down the days until he gets out of the Army. I always get the comments, "When can he get out?!" My husband just re-enlisted for the SECOND time. We don't want to get out. We both love serving our country, and yes, as an Army wife I am serving my country. I make sacrifices everyday also. This life is hard, but hey... I get to be married to a Hero. That in and of itself is AWESOME!

  11. I found your blog through SpouseBuzz! What a cool cookbook! I would love to win it since I collect them.

    I have been a Navy wife for 18 years this July and he has been in for 19 years in July. I have been with him the whole time and we have 3 kids.

    I think the best advice I ever got was at our first duty station which was Hawaii(we both are from Ohio) I have never been that far from home before and at first I was miserable and even thought of divorce but I had a "seasoned" wife tell me to "bloom where I am planted" and I have never looked back. :) I love this life-what an adventure!

  12. I'm an Army wife of 7 years (although my husband has been in for almost 20). We've moved to 5 different duty stations in those past 7 years. I never lived further than 30 minutes away from my family before I married my husband. Right now, we're 12 hours from "home," but we're looking to go back when he retires next year. I wonder, though, will I be able to settle down for good now? I wonder if that "time for a new start" feeling will bubble up even after he's out of the Army. He's been moving for 20 years and he thinks he's ready to really settle down....I wonder if we really will.

  13. Wow - I've been in for 18 and my wife for 19; and who would have thought I'd first learn of spouses day on a cooking blog! Guess that's my first thing learned.

    But, my real 'learning' was more from reflection on the rest of your post and the other comments. I noticed that while it's hard to see someone go away, we've actually got it better than in the past. We don't have rations books (I have some of my grandparents); and unlike grandma in WWII and my mom in vietnam, we can call and use the internet, instead of waiting and hoping for a letter... while reading newsprint of thigns that happened days or weeks ago. It's still by no means easy - but with a 24 hr news cycle and better communications; we're at least not waiting 'as long' for word from the one's away. Having folsk gone is a big dark cloud, and this little bit of lining does not change that... but it is a small help.


  14. What a great cookbook.
    please enter me.


  15. Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for sharing your stories in the Military Wives Give-Away. It has been quite an enlightening experience and indeed a time for reflection.

    The chosen winner was Nic. If anyone knows how I may get in touch with him, please email me acalenda {at} gmail.

    Thanks again!!!

  16. It's hard to wait for your husband who is deployed in a mission. But i knew that God is always there to protect him.


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise