A Gift (complicated family story involved)

A couple of months ago, when we gathered the children’s textbooks and “weekend needs” from the other house, there was a cookbook with a note on it. I have flipped through it. I have smiled every time I have looked at it with its post-it.

But why is this a complicated family story?

My ex-husband is engaged to the woman who gifted me with the cookbook. (I really think there needs to be a vocabulary to succinctly describe such relationships, “my ex-husband’s soon-to-be third wife” sounds dreadful! It is worse than explaining that I love to visit my partner’s ex-in-laws and her ex-mother-in-law is one of my favorite people.) The ex’s fiancee reads my blog and says she enjoys it. From talking to her, I think she appreciates my love and amusement that I get from older cookbooks.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I give her a nod as she grows nearer to being an official member of as boy child called his group of parents when he was at middle school meet the teacher…the momtourage. I wish for her plenty of patience as she joins the family in what people dread about the teen years. I wish her the love and respect of three truly incredible children. In any case, I wish her peace, love and joy as she moves through this season of her life.

In the meantime, I thank her for this gift, Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book, First Edition, Sixth Printing, 1961 (different from my other copy with fabulously fun new pictures of food!) In the coming days I will share some recipes but first the colorific cover!


  1. I love this cookbook! My mother and my aunt both received this cookbook as young women. My mother used hers so much, she had to tape it up many times and you could always tell the family favorites based on the degree of page splatters and where the book would naturally open. I learned to cook from this book and loved it dearly. My aunt, on the other hand, never even cracked the binding on hers. I asked her if I could buy it from her when I was in my early 20s and setting out on my own. She insisted it was a treasured item and couldn’t part with it (whatever!). I finally found a copy of my own from a used book seller. When it arrived, there were several deposit slips with recipes written on the back and used as page markers – just like Mom’s! You can now tell our family’s favorites from the page splatters and where it opens (the biscuits and sweet rolls are in high rotation!)

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