M & L: Is there something special about finding a recipe in a book that sets it apart from finding say a picture?
MP: "Absolutely. Photos and old letters are fine for speculation, but recipes give us a chance to bring that moment back into the present. I can run to the grocery store for supplies and give it a go, make changes, scribble down notes - I can take the ephemeral out of the ephemera and make it my own. Oh, and it's tough to serve a photograph to hungry guests."
M & L: What do you think was the most memorable recipe(s) that you found in one of your books?
MP: "I always get a kick out of the home remedy recipes I find, like this one:"
"Nothing like linseed oil to take care of that cough."
M & L: Do you see differences in the kinds of recipes you see in books depending on what decade/era they are from?
MP: "Most of the recipes I find are from the 1930s-1960s, and I've noticed that there are lots of casserole recipes. I'm sure if I had a broader collection to inspect, I'd find that the number of casseroles would drop significantly in the 80s and 90s, but I think the general eating public are returning to simple goodness of one dish recipes. "
"I've also noticed that most of the older dessert recipes were cakes or pies. In the newer desserts, I found a lot more muffins, cookies, cupcakes... hard to believe, but based on the small sample size, it seems that the servings were getting smaller."
|M & L: Did you ever try to create one of the recipes on your own? Do you hear from people who use the recipes that you have salvaged?|
"I tried a few dessert recipes without much luck. Baking has never been my strong point, I'm more of an entrée man. The waffle recipe I tested for the book came out fairly well, but I think it works best with an old-fashioned waffle iron that can really get hot."
"I've been lucky enough to have a bunch of readers try out recipes on the blog; there have been hits and misses. The blueberry muffin recipe turned out to be a dud." (http://www.handwrittenrecipes.com/2009/11/blueberry-muffins.html) but the pasta with artichokes was a big success (http://www.handwrittenrecipes.com/2011/08/pasta-with-artichokes-tale-of-2.html).