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Stories and Stovies

I think the best way to say "Thanks" is a quiet reflective moment of everybody who had something to do with this little book –

My grandmother, of course;

The many teachers I had in Scotland who taught me to think and to feel as well as to read and to count, all of which are necessary tools and skills of a good cook;

My children whom I love so much and whose presence in my life inspired me to put together this book of memories – as well as the others I threaten them with – for them;

My friends who listened to my enthusiasm and shared my adventures, first with the printed book for the family and now with this link to;

My brother and his family, and my in-laws and special friends who were gracious enough to accept copies of the original book as Christmas gifts in 1998; my dear, new ("cyber" according to my children) friends that I’ve made since becoming "connected" to the Web;

And a special thanks to Alastair at whose patience with this amateur contributor never seemed to end and whose kindness led me to believe this may bring "hame" a little nearer to other exiles.

I also need to thank the publishers and authors of my favorite cookbooks in my kitchen library whose clear instructions made cooking and baking a fun and successful family activity at our house –

Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, published by Grosse and Dunlap.
We always called this "The White Cookbook" because of its cover. I was thrilled to find one in great condition in a used book store in Phoenix and bought it for Stephanie. Mine, all beat up and bruised but still surviving, is special to me because John bought it for me at a Giant Drug Emporium in Laurel, Md., when we'd only been married a few months. It's the book I learned to cook from. This cookbook is now available in reprint, paperback, at Barnes and Nobles Bookstores, and if you can only afford to buy one cook book this is the one. (Because, after all, this is the "macaroni" cook book!)

The Fannie Merritt Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Stephanie and I thought we were so lucky when we found a copy of this in another used book store for $4.10. It wasn't much later that I saw it was reprinted and for sale at Barnes and Noble's. (This is the "brownie" cook book!)

Lion House Recipes, published by Deseret Book Company.
I like this as a kind of souvenir recipe book from our years in Utah. The Lion House Kitchen is a wonderful restaurant in Salt Lake City with all the food made from scratch and absolutely delicious.

The Complete Electric Skillet-Frypan Cookbook, published by Hearthside Press Incorporated.
This was one of the first books we ever bought, along with "365 Ways to Cook Hamburger" (which I see is now reprinted in paperback) and, as my homemaker handbook, Phyllis Diller’s Household Hints – this book is hilarious as she tells tales of herself and her husband, Fang, and his family. Among the many tips are instructions to her readers to always keep the drapes closed tight because this makes the mess inside the house harder to see.

Sunset Mexican Cook Book, Simplified Techniques of 155 Classic Recipes, published by Sunset Press.
As it says, the recipes are very easy to follow.

A Taste of Scotland in Food and Pictures, published by Pan Books, London and Sidney.
Wonderful recreations of Scottish foods.

Navy Wives Club, Edzell 239, Cookery Log, published at US Naval Security Group Activity, Edzell, Angus, Scotland.
This is a souvenir of my meeting John at this Base, and was given to me as a bridal shower present from Tim and Alice Farrell, who introduced us.

Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning and Better Homes and Gardens Home Made Bread Cookbooks, published by Meredith Corporation.
Ah, the joys of home canning California produce – apple pie filling, tomatoes, pears, peaches, persimmons – to be eaten with fresh, warm, home made bread.

But I think the most important recipe book and story book is your own. There are many reasons I’ve tried to create an interesting little book for my family. Principally is the hope that my daughters and son will begin now to look to their futures as parents, grandparents, friends and examples to their own sons and daughters. Not only every recipe has a story, but every man, woman, and child has their own story, also. I hope my children and those of you who may read this on the web, will write your stories of food, fun, and friendships for your families.

And, finally, I’d like to share one last poem with you. The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compiled a selection of poems, stories, songs and articles related to women’s lives from the early to the mid 20th Century. I was asked to be one of the women reading the poems, reviewing them, and making recommendations for inclusion in the anthology, published as "Legacy." I was happy to see several of my recommendations selected for inclusion. "My Wants" best describes how I feel about my family and friends and this book –


I only want a little house,
A lilac tree beside the door.
A house with windows clean and bright,
And sunlight dancing on the floor
To the lilting music of childish laughter;
A hearth whereon a kettle sings;
Some birds to nest in the lilac tree,
And a patch of sky to try their wings.

Roberta Bates, Relief Society Magazine, 1943.

And, one last look at the Top of the Hill from a D. C. Thompson newspaper clipping,

Top of the Hill

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