Me? A chef.

At least not professionally, or even professionally trained.

My “chef” schooling consists of 4-H, a semester of junior high foods class, and 50 years of cooking with and for friends, family, and family gatherings.

The closest I came to making money from my baking was when I was a sophomore in high school. I was allowed to offer my cookie baking skills to people during the holidays so I could earn money for a summer field trip to Denmark with my high school orchestra.

My grandmother, my mother, and I were recipe collectors and recipe book collectors.

If we paged through a magazine or thumbed through a newspaper and the title, picture, or ingredients intrigued us, we cut out the recipe. These clipped recipes were either glued to an index card or to a page in a loose leaf notebook.

If we had a dish we liked at a potluck, a workplace get-together, or someone’s home, we asked for the recipe.

Cookbooks were our friends. If the cover intrigued us or if it was put out by a school group, church group, or community group, we bought it. Partly to support the group, and partly because those cookbooks have the best recipes. Mass published were also collected: especially the ones that decorated the checkout aisles at grocery stores.

Now that my grandmother and mother have moved on to the kitchens of the heavens, I have inherited the wealth of clipped recipes and recipe books. Some I sold just because I couldn’t house the volume of material. Many of the ones I sold were the mass published volumes.

My second husband has encouraged me to be bravely experimental. With all the recipes I have, he has challenged me to be creative and not repeat the same meal for a year. We have times where we look at each other and say, “Never again.” Or, when something turns out tasty, “It’s a keeper.”

So, now I am coming to you, my readers, with the Eclectic Recipe Book. Check out About ERB