Two cookbooks I’ll be using today:
My little brother’s church youth group put together the yellow cookbook as a fundraiser.  Just getting out this old spiral-bound standby is like opening up a trunk in the attic.  Memories come pouring out.  With a story behind every recipe and cook, this humble book is an artifact in my personal history.
The cover model was our minister, Ed Luttrell, from Richmond, Virginia.  When he told stories of vacationing at the Outer Banks, he prounounced it “Ooter” which we thought was very strange.  Few people in Columbia Missouri in the 1960s and 1970s took beach vacations – and if they did, they were more likely to go to Texas or California.
In church, our family often sat near a gentle old couple who must have been born in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  One or both were from the bootheel of the state and knew what it was to live a hard life during hard times.  The wife contributed this recipe to the book, which I love to read every year.
I believe the last line, I’m just not sure I’ll ever try this recipe.  Note that it’s filed under “pork.”  This sweet old lady’s husband was a master musician.  He played the leaf.  Seriously, he was a genius at blowing leaves.  The Smithsonian recorded him for its American music archives.  They were the grandparents of one of my friends, a cute boy who wore YSL blazers to church (this seemed like the height of sophistication) and started playing the leaf with his grandpa.
As Chris points out, this book is fascinating for the transition in time it represents – it contains hardscrabble pioneer-time country “receipts” from the old, old women, as well as many modern recipes from their daughters and granddaughters whose ingredients lean heavily on cans of soup and envelopes of Dream Whip. 
My favorite recipe in here is from my mom, a super-talented baker who loved to whip up cookies, cakes, fudge, candy, pies and breads.  Ice box rolls have been made, following this recipe, by my mom, grandma Lorene, and great-grandma Mabel going back 100 years.  They are made every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter without fail.  And yet I still pull out the recipe, as a ritual.
And I use butter, not Crisco.
The boys used to love to help me cut out the dough, after it had chilled all night in the “icebox,” but now they sleep until the late mornings.  So it’s back to being just me, slicing out triangles and rolling them up from the fat end.
Then they rise in a warm, sunny spot for several hours.
Just before we sit down to the feast, I’ll pop them in the oven and drizzle them with the mandatory frosting of powdered sugar, vanilla and a few drops of hot water.  They are heavenly clouds of rolls.  And they’re great the next day, warmed up just enough not to melt away the now hardened icing.
And Nigella?  I had planned to use her corn pudding recipe.  Her cookbook is beautiful and inspiring, and her prose makes me laugh.  But it contains no memories for me.
Just now, we found the handwritten corn pudding recipe from my mother-in-law, who is coming over in a couple of hours.  So now we have a perfect representation of family recipes and family history, from both grandmothers, on our table.
On this day that unites all Americans in menu and thought, I wish you a splendid Thanksgiving Day, full of gratitude for all we have and hold dear. 
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