OK, the worst thing I collect is paper. I’ve gone paperless on bills but they still are duplicated in the mail even though I have asked utility companies and banks to quit that practice. Now I like to have leases and corporate forms organized on paper and will learn more about scanning and the “cloud” when I feel my personal privacy and safety will not be compromised. It would sure make my desk look better!

I collect cookbooks and have since I was seven years old. I concentrate on the best ones and buy out-of-print copies for wedding couples and used ones for me when I can, and do recycle some through the local book mailbox. Give one, take one was always my motto staying cheap in my 20’s at pensions in Europe.

Collecting excessive clothing, shoes, jewelry is a no-no, I’ve never been interested in it. I’ve recently started buying a couple pair of silk long underwear to wear underneath slacks and shirts as they’re so warm and comfy but for the first time in 20 years I now have stacks of catalogs in the mail that only they could have sold my name to other companies. More paper. Oh, I do not collect husbands. They just show up when we’re grown up and we stick. I’m sending mine off to the family ranch today as I’m not well enough to travel.

When I was born my parents decided to get a tree ornament for the holidays every year, of course for my younger brother and sisters as well. Each had an initial and date. I’ve lost many of them over the years but a few remain.

My husband and I met over 16 years ago and will be married for 15 very soon. I wanted to renew our vows but that will have to wait. Two months after we met I found two rustic wooden stocking ornaments. He chose the blue, I took the green. Over the years his has been a Scottish bagpiper, me the national flower of Scotland, the thistle.

He is a trout (tried fly fishing once with his brother, nothing, I ended up fishing for steaks at the local Whole Foods) from the western rivers and I am a bear on a sled. He is an old bi-plane with Santa on top and I am another, a moose lying down atop my plane with lots of presents to give. Last year we were hand-knitted finger puppets, now on our tree. He is on the front door wreath as a cow, I am a horse, and our dog Zoe is, well, a dog.

My husband is a lasso-tossing snowman, and another snowman from the mountains with me as a reindeer standing, in an apron, with a tray of cookies. Cooking implements from copper pan to whisk, all ornaments over my life.

This story has and will be told. My folks put each of our ornaments in a box to send off to college. These are yours. Young people who are married or planning marriage like the history and tradition I love to share. Why would I always seek out a 40 year-old out-of-print book by James Beard (Theory and Practice of Good Cooking) as a gift and reference cookbook as a wedding gift? Don’t buy them all, thanksgiving is for 60 and I need enough in the marketplace for gifts!

I talked to my brother by phone yesterday and told him I’m taking my husband to the airport today to see his family for Thanksgiving. He asked, isn’t that the airport he won’t let you walk into because it has a used bookstore before security that has cookbooks? Yep. My brother and I are each spending the day alone over 1,000 miles away but with a shared family recipe. He was invited here but demurred this time. He’s seeing a football game. I’ll be watching The Mind of a Chef or reruns of NCIS.

I’ve never made or wanted to make turducken but I decided on chicken saltimbocca, chicken, s&p, sage. Chicken is pounded flat, seasoned, then add a slice of prosciutto, roll tightly, brush with melted butter and dredge with seasoned flour (chop a leaf of sage in the flour as well) and roll in bread crumbs and bake for about 45 minutes. I suggested that at a certain time of day brother and I lift a fork of my “pigchicken” and have a toast. Happy Thanksgiving to you! My husband just relayed the dog to me early morning and about the box of ornaments given every kid, said “this is yours, good riddance!” Perhaps.  Then again perhaps I’ll send our old dog Zoe to my brother for company! He’d love that. Dee


2 responses to “Collecting

  1. I’m sorry we won’t get to see ya, honey.
    Last night I made Spaghetti Pie which my boys DEMOLISHED (it’s really good if I DO say so myself!)
    Obviously I will have to plan a weekend visit, but may have to wait for warmer season – I’m extremely cold intolerant these days.
    Love from Val, Zach, & Peran

  2. Val, be still my heart! You sent me an Italian recipe with French cheeses. I now have to change it to Italian with Fontina Val d’Aosta, perhaps a Gorgonzola Dolce and will consult my Italian grocery for remaining cheeses and pastas. I would do a side salad of arugula and radicchio with a lemon vinaigrette, yes, made by me with a whisk. Not J’s favorite bottled ranch.

    I think I’m seeing some ice come in on the Lake. Not a good season for you. But they do have heat and we have battery-powered heated jackets and even heat at home. Imagine that.Thanks! Dee

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