Cookbook Keepers: Page 16

Cookbook buys seldom travel. Two fates await a cookbook.
It reposes on a collector's shelf, or it becomes part of an estate and handed down to next-of-kin.

Teaser: Cookbooks are serious needs for Caroline Egan. Each summer when departing for three vacation months in Tampa with daughter Lindsay Opera and grandchildren, she boxes two dozen-plus of her fave cookbooks and ships them south. Scratch cookery? Not in the Opera household.

Keeper Caroline Egan
Educator, Political Activist, Recipe Collector, Fame Factor: Quiche Caroline

Caroline Egan with her Quiche Caroline prepped from a recipe slightly modified from one of her HER Cookbooks.

Consider her a serious second generation recipe collector, all of which repose in various hard back cookbooks, shelved, boxed, stacked around her home. Egan's mother, Jane Clinton, also a public school teacher for more than four decades, collected her recipes the old fashioned way: While waiting for appointments in doctor offices or for a hair stylist, she jotted down full recipes appearing in waiting room magazines. Usually her only note paper was the back of bank book checks. Those today number in the hundreds. Stuffed into daughter Caroline's collection, they still get periodic counter top use.

Her prize recipe: Quiche Caroline:
Her politically correct quiche comes from a gas oven. "Get that straight," Egan said when asked for this recipe, "my money does not spend at Bob Evans." She's upset with some labor issues relating to her hometown's sausage manufacturer. Thus, meet Jimmy Dean's hot hot sausage. Now that we have all that aside...here are her kitchen steps: Turn gas oven on and up to 350 degrees. While she makes her own pie crust, she advises cook's choice..."store bought or make you own." Brown in oven to keep it from becoming soggy. "Cook Jimmy Dean hot, add onion and garlic, drain off the grease. Take out the crust, let it cool slightly. Take sharp shredded Cheddar, cover the bottom of the crust. Take a packag of thawed chopped spinach and squeeze out the water. Beat two eggs slightly, add fresh chopped parsley, put sausage over the cheese. Pour egg mixture and spinach atop the sausage, add half and half cream until it comes to the top of the crust. Then add more cheddar and Parmesan, bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean."

All that step-by-step assembly is for an eight-inch pie pan. Egan is careful to explain she does not use exacting measurements for ingredients. "I like that hot sausage. I love fresh herbs. I love cheese...I like to play around with cheese ...sometimes with Swiss, sometimes with bleu cheese," is her fast paced explanation when it comes to an otherwise multiple-ingredient recipe. Simplified. Egan credits everything "to some place in those (HER (*) Cookbooks) books..."

(*) See Keepers Page 12. Egan is another voice pitching for Harley Rouda to do another cookbook, she calls, "The Best of ..."

Egan's favorite cookbook:
The Silver Palate Cookbook
by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Michael M. McLaughlin Workman Publishing Co.

This is one of those cookbooks with a publishing history in itself. Note the book name includes the word cookbook, required here because the authors were running a small food related shop called Silver Palate. That was a suggestion of food writer Florence Fabricant. Full story: Google A Brief History of the Silver Palate Cookbook.

The well-used Egan cookbook shelves...

While Egan is highly computer lit, her decades of recipe clippings continue to be stored the old accepted way... folded into pages of a frequently-used cookbook. A friend described her count as "between hundreds and thousands."

A Second Fave:
Betty Crocker Cookbook
1500 Recipes for the Way You Cook Today
by Betty Crocker Editors (**) Publisher: Betty Crocker
Origin Copyright 1921

(**) Betty Crocker is a corporate trade name, owned by General Mills, not that of a real person. During the 91 years more than 250 Betty Crocker cookbook titles have been published.

Her prized personal collection:
HER Cookbook
Featuring Presidents, Senators, Movie and Sports Figures
Published by Harley E. Rouda Realtors
Published Annually 1975 - 2006

In 1975 Ohio Realtor Harley E. Rouda decided to publish his favorite recipes as a door-opening gimmick. After 18 editions composed of fave recipes of famous personalities from across the country, elected officials, movie stars, pro football players, media and just plain folk. Many of his clients and Rouda fans offered recipes as the editions rolled out. Early on as many as 100,000 copies were delivered door-to-door in Columbus, Ohio. They proved to be real door openers. The HER cookbooks have become Keepers for those who saved them from that first edition. Each is a Keeper of value. Example: E-Bay offers single copies for $10, the full set with a bid of $1,200. Egan owns the 18-count set, albeit spread between her home, a sister's home and her Florida-bound daughter. Once under her home plate roof, they are not for sale.

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