Many of the recipes I’ll be posting come from the Summers’ Family Cookbook. I created this cookbook in 1996 as a stocking-stuffer for my 6 children. They would call and ask how to make a certain family favorite, so I gathered many of them together and published a cookbook just for our family. There’s an introduction in the cookbook that I want to share here:
This book is a compilation of recipes I grew up with and so, you did too. Some of them are passed down through at least 4 generations (My grandmother- who got some recipes from her mom, – my mother, my self and now to you, so you can pass them on to the next generation. Some of these foods are Not “heart smart”, nor are they gourmet. These are comfort food recipes that I hope will bring back good memories of fun around our own dinning room table.
One of my favorite memories is when we were all together near Thanksgiving time. Jonathan was in kindergarten and his class was going to make “Pilgrim Soup” (vegetable soup). Ray wanted so much to be in school too. He listened and laughed and then announced that he knew how to make Pilgrim Soup. “Really? How do you make Pilgrim Soup, Ray?” He grinned and said, “First you get a bunch of fresh Pilgrims and then…you boil ‘em ‘til their hats pop off”!
We’ve had holiday disasters: wallpaper paste potatoes (left too long on the woodstove ‘til they were too runny and sticky to eat), birthday disasters: Rachael’s “Fall-me-down” cake (3 layer black forest cake that slid off itself into the refrigerator), Christmas charcoal rolls, flaming Lemon Meringue pie , and many, many more.
There will always be kitchen disasters – they’re good for you…you won’t make that mistake a second time! But, there will always be fun too, if you keep in mind that food is more than just nourishment. It is a ritual of shared love, a communion of hearts and minds. Meals can be places of growth, healing, new friendships and relaxed enjoyment. Meals give families time to learn about each other’s humor, ideas, worries and desires. This cookbook is an introduction to the ritual communion of a family. Use this one with joy. I have put our love and a little piece of our life in here for you to keep and to pass on. All I can tell you is to improvise, experiment and ENJOY! – From Christmas 1996.