June 5, 2015


I recently found a box of cookbooks that have been in storage. Here is one box on the back porch, that has not made its way to the basement. 

 I had years of cookbooks, but gave away many during the moving and packing process. So finding the remaining books was a cause for celebration. We have been reunited...and I am enjoying reading them again. There are other boxes of books that I have not been through.

This box contains several cookbooks from local organizations and some I bought in bookstores. I began my reading with the spiral bound cookbooks created by local church groups and one from the county homemakers.

In Kentucky we have what is called the UK Agricultural Co-operative Extension Service, via the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Each county usually has a building where there are offices and employees who help with programs such as 4-H for kids, and Homemakers for helping women run a home, as well as informative farm programs. My mother's first cousin, Dr. Joe Smiley, was a tobacco specialist with the University of Kentucky. He would sometimes offer day long programs for farmers about new techniques, etc. Mrs. Shirley Sheppardson was our local homemakers extension agent. She had a degree in home economics and offered programs dealing with home topics...canning, nutrition, sewing, home management, etc. Have you checked to see if your state has an agricultural extension office?

Kentucky is mostly rural...so we have lots of programs geared toward rural living. I am proud to say that I live in rural Kentucky. Don't get me wrong...I love Louisville and Lexington, but not the traffic or huge concentrations of people. Ha! I like driving country roads lined with fences and pastures of crops or cows. I love the wide open spaces and rolling hills that we have in Kentucky. It is funny how the different regions of Kentucky are different. Flat in the west, mountainous in the east, and gently rolling in the center. And these regions have slightly different cultures too.

In my former county there were/are several homemakers groups...based on where one lives. My mother-in-law was an active "homemaker" and I later joined one of the groups. Our group would meet in a different member's home each month. I remember teaching how to make French crepes at my house for a meeting one time.

The homemakers cookbook I have is like reading your grandmother's old cookbook. Many of the recipes have been handed down through a family. They are not gourmet recipes...but rather the kind you would take to a church potluck or put on the table for your family. I found a punch recipe from a lady who helped me with the Top Scholars academic recognition program. Not sure when I will use it, but I am glad that I found it! The cookbook has many desert recipes, casseroles, salads, soups, etc.

Orange Punch

1 cup of pre-sweetened Orange Kool-Aid mix
1 large can of Orange Juice
1 large can pineapple juice
1 large bottle ginger ale.
Mix kool-aid by directions on the package. Add orange juice and pineapple juice. Taste to see if it may need more sugar. Chill for at least two hours. Pour into punch bowl. Add large chunks of ice. Add 1 bottle of gingerale. Will serve fifty or more people. Kids love this! 

Here is a jam cake recipe from the homemakers cookbook that I have made. It is super simple and then you add whatever caramel icing recipe that you have and/or like. This is a lighter cake than a made from scratch jam cake...but I was going for easy for my first go around with jam cake. And it is just like the flavor of a traditional jam cake. Just not as heavy and dense. I could not keep myself out of the cake pan! Jam cake is traditionally one for the winter holidays...but I think it would be yummy any time of the year.

Easy Jam Cake
1 Box Spice Cake Mix
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups seedless blackberry jam
1/2 cup nuts (I use pecans)

Mix the first 3 ingredients thoroughly. 

Add nuts. 
Bake at 350 degrees in a greased and floured 
13 X 9 inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. 

Top the cooled cake with caramel icing.


Do you have a cookbook collection? 
Do you read cookbooks kind of like novels? 
I can answer yes to both! How about you?

Thanks for visiting,

Linking with…
Dwellings, the Heart of Your home, Make it Pretty Monday
Between Naps on the Porch, Met Monday

My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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