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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • KAY HIVELY: You can tell much by cookbook stains

  • My brother-in-law in North Dakota has a friend who has retired this year. He taught in a technical school for many years, but he is really enjoying retirement. He's a big fisherman so he is fishing almost every day.
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  • My brother-in-law in North Dakota has a friend who has retired this year. He taught in a technical school for many years, but he is really enjoying retirement. He's a big fisherman so he is fishing almost every day. On top of that, he searches for wild asparagus on his daily trips to the lake. So, many nights his dinner is walleye and wild asparagus.
    He is single and since his divorce, has become quite a cook. And there's not much better than a walleye straight from the lake and asparagus on the side.
    Asparagus grows wild and is very plentiful in the upper Midwest. My mother-in-law loved it so much. Often we would be going some place in the car when she would spot some. The car had to stop and everyone got out and harvested asparagus.
    In 1962, Euell Gibbons wrote a book titled "Stalking the Wild Asparagus." It was an instant hit and spawned several other books of a similar nature. He loved to gather things from nature and make a meal of them. The book is still popular today.
    A few weeks ago, Mary Deffenbaugh brought some fresh asparagus to our house. I had never cooked asparagus before so I got out the trusty old Betty Crocker Cookbook. It turned out wonderfully and there was enough for two meals.
    My Betty Crocker Cookbook was given to me by my oldest sister as a wedding gift nearly 50 years ago. I have used and used it. It is in pitiful shape. Pages are stained, pages are torn, the spine is broken and the book is in two pieces, but I still love it. About 20 years ago, this same sister bought me a later edition of the book. I hardly ever use it. It's very much the same as the old edition, although there are some "modern" touches to it. I mostly use it when I can't read the old book because of stains or tears. Then I check the newer version to be sure I have the proper amount of ingredients or the proper way of putting the ingredients together.
    They say you can always tell a housewife's favorite meals by the stains in her cookbook.
    We don't plant asparagus in our garden, but what we do plant is starting to produce and I am looking forward to everything. In addition, local orchards are already selling their goodies and I hope to get my share. I would love to put some peaches and apples in the freezer this year. Just thinking about them puts a smile on my face.
    I am writing this ahead of time and I'm thinking about cherries as I write. As you read this I will just be back from Michigan after about a week. It's cherry picking time in Michigan. We expect to be in the Cherry Capital of the United States where they say "Eat, Drink and be Cherry."
    Page 2 of 2 - I can hardly wait.
    Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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