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
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:
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.