A vintage cookbook just like Mother’s – David’s entry

davids-cookbook.jpgDavid’s entry into our Found Objects Found Art contest…
David writes:

Hi, Pam, here is my entry. This story seems alm0st implausible but is 100 percent for real. Spooky, but real. Here you go…
My “folks” growing up-“Mother” and “Dad”-were actually Grandma and Grandpa. I could not have asked for or been luckier to have had a finer, more loving pair of individuals to see to my upbringing.
Both the folks have been gone for some years now, and for all the things I have as keepsakes I have long wished I’d gotten Mother’s green recipe box and her big thick green cookbook.
There is a lot of odd but specific background that makes this book so dear to me, so please do bear with.
I was raised at 2201 Henry St. in Bellingham, Wa. (remember this for later and stand by with the ‘Twilight Zone’ theme). My Grandfather Larry Guderian (“Dad”) was a Methodist minister for 40 years. My Grandmother Carol (Johnson) Guderian (“Mother”) was both daughter and granddaughter of Methodist Ministers (Darlow and Sidney Darlow Johnson).
Laura, my partner, used to live in Anacortes, Wa. where she owned and operated a marine electronics business. One of my anchor contracts as a marine tradesman is with a large yacht charter business based out of Anacortes (about an hour’s drive from Bellingham). We never met.
Laura moved to Bellingham about the same time that I started working daily in Anacortes. She was at that time still involved in operating Anacortes Marine Electronics and was commuting as well. Who knows how many times we must have been so close together on the same highway? We met, finally, here in Bellingham…both of us feeling we had truly found our “other half”.One of our first dates was to a Goodwill, another to a ReStore, the third to a big annual flea market in Anacortes called Shipwreck Day that occupied all the downtown streets.
Last fall when we were still in the process of equipping our newly-combined household for family use, we went to a rummage sale at the United Methodist Church of Anacortes, which is (theme music, please) located at 2201 ‘H’ St. in Anacortes, Wa.
We got almost everything we needed and a lot we hadn’t thought of, all quite inexpensively. I happen to have a questionably-harmless obsession with old cookbooks and went plowing through the offerings only to find this copy of ‘Cooking for American Homemakers-An Edition of Encyclopedic Cookbook’. First printing was 1948. This one is from 1967, but it is all the same IDENTICAL to Mother’s big, green cookbook. I snapped it up for the princely sum of 50 cents.
Some coincidences, eh?
I have to leave it like this:
Mother made this amazing split pea soup with the leftover hambones–it was my favorite part of the few times a year she baked a ham. I had never been able to find a recipe that got it right nor had a pea soup to compare. Guess what I found in this cookbook!
Hopefully, I bought a ham and made a big Sunday dinner for us all, then had a go at the soup. I modified the recipe from the book hoping I would dial it right in…and four hours later had Mother’s pea soup for the first time in about 20 years. I make it everytime I have a ham, now. Hell-in truth I make a ham so I can make the soup! Laura’s kids look forward to it just like I did, and I make a double batch so I can freeze half for later just like mother did..and everytime I open the pot, stir and ladle out the first bowl, smelling that smell and seeing that thick rich texture, I do really cry just a bit.
This is a wonderful cookbook overall, my favorite, and it came to me in a wonderfully curious way.
Laura and I both have a lot of cool things, fun things, special things that we treasure and enjoy…but of them all, this old green cookbook bought for 50 cents at a church rummage sale is the one I treasure most.

  1. Ken Lochner says:

    Your father, Larry, officiated our wedding at the Bellingham First United Methodist Church in 1978.

    I didn’t look at the date of your cookbook blog, but I was actually thinking of Larry today and thought I would look up his name and this was what I found.

  2. kaye hansen says:

    your darlow johnson officiated at my grandmothers funeral in 1927 St Helens. Portland, Oregon area.

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