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Yellow Bird: Cookbook helped Mom feed family of 15
Monday, December 11, 2006

"On Thursday evening, as I searched my collection of cookbooks for a cookie recipe, I found an old cookbook that my mother, Dorothy, loaned to me a few years before she died. After some research, my editor and I determined it was Meta Given's "Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking."

We had a hard time finding the title because the cover and some of the pages were missing. It's a giant book (more than 1,600 pages), published about 1949.

As I opened the discolored and stained pages, I knew my mother had paged through this cookbook looking for a recipe many times. My mother was a very creative cook; she had few luxuries and made do many times with substitutes.

I thought about her and my life in that old house in Minot, where I lived with my large family. A warm feeling came over me as I read from the old book. I could almost feel her looking over my shoulder.

Mom cooked for a family of 15, and sometimes, that was a real challenge. Yet, she was always cheerful, and she hummed or sang while she cooked or made bread."

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