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