It was in one of these stacks, unbeknownst to me, that a particularly tasty treasure quietly awaited discovery. I, in my excited haste, actually overlooked it, but thankfully my mother, who never overlooks anything (ahem), didn't.
Here's what mom rescued from that musty old pile, and then promptly handed over to me...
Now, you may have noticed that this book has seen better days. It's clearly been beat up, cracked up, and taped up, but all that means to me is that it was used plenty and cherished enough that someone took the time to try to hold together when it was on the verge of falling apart.
Ooh, this is getting good...I mean, don't we all need to be appreciated that much?
Golly, I'm gettin' a little teary-eyed.
I bet it's just my allergies...here, peek inside while I take a moment to compose myself:
Thankfully, I'm here to save the day.
Although, unfortunately, I neglected to save you a piece of this...
And since I'm on a roll, I also believe that this Lemon Meringue is simply one of the best old-fashioned homemade pies I've ever tasted!
Ok, roll over. I mean my roll is over.
Oh boy. You know what I mean. Back to the pie...
It wasn't difficult to make. First I made a pie crust, and then I simply (oops, I backslid) followed Betty's recipe. Here it is, straight from the pretty pages of my new favorite book:
Here's the meringue recipe, and don't be alarmed. It's very detailed but ultimately very easy, and like what it says at the top of the page,
"With a little care, they'll be heavenly fare."
"A butter icing is like a favorite cotton dress...simple and easy to put on...".
It makes me want to put on my favorite cotton dress, head straight to the kitchen, and whip up that "simple and easy" butter icing or whatever else strikes my fancy.
And sprinkling that lemon rind on my pie struck me as fancy. I get the feeling that this is exactly what the book is designed for--elevating mealtimes in a way that is uncomplicated and carefree.
The message is loud and clear, yet spoken in an elegant lady's prose:
A little effort goes a long way, and aren't our families worth it?
As I cook my way through this book, one dish at a time, I can feel those words settling around me and infusing the ingredients of my meals. And with each stir of the spoon, I swirl a little farther back in time to an era where family came first, fellowship and feasting went hand-in-hand, and a traditional meal served on the dining room table was an event to be treasured.
I must say, despite my never-ending search for treasures of the yard sale variety, I know in my heart that the true treasures already reside in my home. And I think those "precious jewels" are worth any effort I can make, no matter how "little" it may be.
But let's be clear--once yard sale season begins, that effort may get a little sparse. Although once my family sets eyes on all the goodies I'll be lugging home, they'll forget all about fancy little touches like grated lemon rind on a homemade pie...I think.
Oh well, I'll just go about my adventures and hope for the best!