My favorite cookbook is 50 years old! I read about it in the local paper today...
50 years ago, a group of women in Tampa's Junior League were looking for a way to raise money to help with their civic projects. They decided to write a cookbook. Little did they know that this book would become iconic...a staple gift for a young (or old ) bride, a housewarming gift, a tourist souvenir... Even Jackie Kennedy Onasis bought a copy at the Florida Pavilion at the 1964 Worlds' Fair. Her photo, carrying the cookbook, spurred nationwide sales of the cookbook!
What I love about this cookbook, is the glimpse it gives to the way of life in Tampa during the early 1960s. Each chapter is prefaced with beautiful stories of family, food, and the culture of the day. An example of this is the story telling of the manner in which Cuban bread was delivered...
"Long ago, when the 20th Century was still young, Cuban bread was delivered in a horse-drawn bakery wagon, and the deliveryman, swinging the loaf of bread like a bat, would impale it on a nail hammered to the side of the customer's house."
Another favorite example of the times is "Here in Tampa we women look forward to the Fall of the year when our men go forth in the morning as hunters, and return in the dusk as providers....There is something primitively satisfying in receiving from your man food for the table."
Throughout the book, recipe contributors are identified by their MARRIED names...such as Mrs. Joe Black. There is also a wonderful mixture of Spanish, Italian, Greek, Cuban, and Southern recipes found in its pages, reflecting the diversity of Tampa...and Florida. I especially love the recipes from favorite restaurants of my childhood...places that closed many, many years ago.
The artwork throughout the book is quite special. It was done by a local celebrity...Lamar Sparkman. His drawings were found in the pages of the Tampa Tribune, for years. This is one of his drawings of the pirate, Jose Gaspar, and his (decorated for the Gasparilla festival) pirate ship.
(You can read more about this festival at: http://artfullygraced.blogspot.com/2010/01/pirates-are-coming.html )
OK....why am I telling you about this cookbook...besides the fact that I love it so much that my copy is beginning to fall apart (It is 35 years old...)?
On September 25, I am going to give away a 50th Anniversary edition to one lucky winner. Here's how you enter...
1. Leave me a comment.
2. Become a follower of Artfully Graced
3. Tell others about this giveaway.
Here's one of my favorite recipes from the cookbook...
Prize Peach Cobbler
from Mrs. Julian Lane (Frances and her husband, Sen. Julian Lane, were very dear family friends. I have used her cobbler recipe for 35 years...and ALWAYS receive raves!)
3/4 cup flour
Less than 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix with 1 cup sugar; slowly stir in milk to make batter. Melt butter in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan. Pour batter over melted butter. Do not stir. Carefully spoon over this the peaches and sugar, mixed thoroughly. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serves 6. Delicious hot or cold. Serve with cream, if desired.
***I have cut the sugar in half... 3/4 cup in the batter, and 1/4 cup in the peaches. I also use the batter recipe with different fruits or fruit mixtures, such as blueberry and peaches, together. Yum!
I am linking with Foodie Friday