Today I begin this course (Blogging 101) in order to develop this blog and learn to blog regularly. I need, no desperately need, to give my writing life a good, swift kick in the ___ – you know what I mean. I went through this course with a different blog and it did me some good; this time I hope it does me a lot of good.
MONDAY, AUGUST 3 ASSIGNMENT: tell you, my classmates and readers, who I am and why I’m here.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
I AM KARNA! KARNA TECLA THAT IS! If that sound Seussish, it probably is since I love what Seuss wrote.
I was not born and named Karna or Tecla; it is the name I gave myself.
Ok, you’re right. That’s my name, but it doesn’t tell you who I really am. Several years ago, I found that when I wrote, or when I spoke, or when I did anything creative; I did it better when I pulled out my alter ego and let her take credit for it.
I remember being asked to read the scriptures at church the first time. It was horrible, but I couldn’t understand why for a long time. I was able to teach in front of a large group of students, direct a theatrical production and speak to the audience before it began, and even act in a theatrical production. But read – in front of the church congregation – as myself? NO! So rather than decline a second invitation to read, I said yes and put on my alter ego.
WHO AM I?
So, if I begin at the beginning, I was first a daughter, student, musician. Then, I became a wife and a mother and a grandmother. I can go beyond that and tell you that I am not only interested in cooking and baking, but I am also interested in gardening, that my activities take me beyond the kitchen. I enjoy music, arts and crafts, camping, and some sporting activities (long walks, swimming, fishing), but these don’t relate to this blog.
When I was a junior high school student, “foods” was a subject taken in school. We learned how to cook and bake; we learned about health and nutrition. We made foods that every teenager loves (chocolate chip cookies – and yes I still have the recipe); we cooked odd foods (why would someone ever sprinkle sugar on the top of a cut grapefruit and broil it); we made foods I knew I didn’t like (cream of wheat – and we were expected to try it and eat most of it).
But I started cooking and baking before that. I was a member of a city 4-H troupe. One of the best lines of learning (the website call them programs now) was the baking strand. We met monthly, if not weekly, and at our meetings, we were expected to demonstrate something out of our manuals. The best meetings were when someone demonstrated how to cook or bake something and then had samples for all of us to try. It was also through 4-H that I was encouraged to bake to perfection for the county fair. For some reason, the 4-H cookbooks for each level have disappeared, but since I love going to garage sales, I keep looking for some of them to resurface.
But baking started before that. By kindergarten, if not before, I was present in my grandmother’s kitchen during the massive Christmas cookie baking. I was usually given some of the dough, especially the sugar cookie dough, to create cookies of my own.
WHY THE “ECLECTIC RECIPE BOOK”
As I grew up, my mother’s and grandmother’s habit of clipping and collecting recipes began to rub off on me. I don’t remember at what age I started clipping recipes from magazines, but I did. Then I would glue them to blank paper and place them in a three ring binder in categories or glue them to index cards
After my children were born, my hectic life found me pushing that activity aside in favor of purchasing cookbooks. At one point in my life, I had several shelves of recipe books. My favorite are the ones put out by church, community, and school organizations. Those tried and true recipes that real people bring to share at real functions.
Several years ago, I attempted to weed out my recipe books and sell them at the garage sales my mother and I held. The only problem was that I would buy more recipe books at garage sales, or I would take the recipe books my mother would offer me.
Attached to my mother’s kitchen was a half bath and off that was a pantry/closet. When I was a kid, that was where my grandmother stored the massive number of Christmas cookies we made. When my mother moved back into that house, she turned it into her own special cookbook library. In that library were her own personal recipe clip books.
But as my daughter-in-law and I cleaned out that room after my mom had passed away, we found several boxes of clipped recipes that she had never taken time to paste into her clip books. We also found boxes of clipped recipes and hand written recipe cards in other areas of her home.
We even found my great aunts “Foods” notebook from junior high school.
Do you know what they used to add to gelatin? What can you do with Spam? How did people eat during the Great Depression? The answer to all of these lies within this gold mine.
I want to share these recipes with you, my readers. I want to share stories of cooking, favorite foods, and family gatherings. I want to know what your favorite recipes are and what you like to cook/bake. I want to know the good recipes, the strange recipes, the family recipes, and share my adaptations and personal creations.
So, stop back every-so-often to see what’s cooking at the Eclectic Recipe Book.