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A Very Special Cookbook From Ozark County

The holiday season is upon us. A time to reflect on the year past, to give thanks for our blessings and most of all to celebrate cherished family traditions.

We all have special memories of being in the kitchen with our family and we have treasured recipes that remind us of those who we dearly love. And aren’t cookbooks that celebrate family memories the best kind of cookbook? Recipes made by loving hands? That’s what I have to share with you today; a very special cookbook.

As many of you know, Mountain Man and I consider Ozark County, Missouri, our adopted home. I subscribe to the paper and try to keep up with the happenings in the community so when I saw The Ozark County Genealogical and Historical Society had published a cookbook as a fundraiser, I purchased a copy. And when I received my cookbook, I discovered this was no ordinary cookbook but instead a testament to love of family. I asked the editor for permission to share some of it with you and he kindly allowed me. I know you’ll love it also.

The book is called “Apron Strings: Recipes and Recollections.”


To quote from the introduction, “We asked folks to share not only a recipe but also a memory relating to cooking, special meals or food preparation…and as one of our contributors noted, the secret ingredient of love was the most prized seasoning used by Ozarks mothers and grandmothers as they cooked nutritious, satisfying food for their families, using just what they could grow or raise or trade eggs or cream for at the local general store…”

Each page contains a family recipe, photos and a cherished memory of a loved one.

Here’s just one example:


And another.



Page after page of beautiful memories, photographs and recipes always made with love. I have to tell you I was tearing up as I read this cookbook.

The best news is I have one cookbook to give away. If you’d like to be entered into the drawing, please leave a comment below sharing one of your memories of cooking with your family. The winner will be announced on November 21st.

As we move into the holiday season, let’s remember it’s the people in our lives, the memories we create for our children and our grandchildren and the traditions we pass on with love that are truly important.

“Apron Strings: Recipes and Recollections” can also be purchased for $15.00 + 3.00 shipping. Copies can be purchased from OCGHS, PO Box 4, Gainesville, MO 65655. What a great gift this cookbook would make and all proceeds benefit the Ozark Genealogical and Historical Society.

mountain woman
11/21/2011 6:20:19 AM

Josh, Nadine, Dave, Hope, I want to thank all of you for stopping by and sharing your memories with me. It really is so lovely to see the bond we create when we work in the kitchen with those we love or we eat meals prepared by loving hands. Thanks so very much.

11/17/2011 3:16:05 PM

I have so many cherished memories of my Grannie's cooking. For years we would go to my grandparents' house on Wednesdays for supper. It continued even after my brother and I were grown, married and had families of our own...We had four generations sitting around the same supper table those nights. When someone's birthday came around, they always got to choose what meal they wanted Grannie to fix to celebrate. We could count on my brother to pick ham and beans with cornbread and fried potatoes. I'd often go with her chicken casserole. Grannie has been gone a little over two years now. No matter how hard we try to re-create the meals she fixed for us, they've never come out exactly the way we remember them. I really think it's true that love is the secret ingredient when it comes to family and cooking. Thanks so much for introducing us to this lovely cookbook!

nebraska dave
11/15/2011 8:10:15 PM

MW, you always have such great give always. In my travels through the disaster areas, the groups I was with mostly staid at churches. I always thought to ask if the church had a cookbook. Several did so a collection of church cookbook was born. I expect that all the recipes in the books are the recipe that the named person was noted for. It would take years for me to work through all the great recipes. Experts say that we have about 10 meals that we fix and eat as families. I can see that pattern in my daughter and grandson. I like to try different things as long as they don't get too far out on the fringe of food. I'm still pretty basic through really don't see the need to be fancy. Have a great heart in Vermont/Missouri day.

nadine tindell
11/15/2011 4:54:54 PM

This reminds me of growing up in Iowa farm. When we butchered or dressed chickens my cousins and great-Aunt would come and we would spend the day preparing the food for all to enjoy during the winter. Not a bit was wasted. We always had such a great time and so many memories that have long past and never to be enjoyed again. Seeing the cookbook reminded me of the great recipes my Mother and Aunt would make. Really brings back memories. Thank you for sharing and hope to see more of the cookbook.

joshua barmore
11/15/2011 1:56:10 PM

What a wonderful cookbook about all the love of differnet families. Growing up and staying with my grandparents was the highlight of my summers. My grandmother makes the best bread pudding in the world!! She would get some day old bread from the bread store and work her magic. To this day, she still makes the best bread pudding. My mom and wife try their best and don't even get close. The bread pudding is even more special now as my grandmother is battling the effects of a stroke at 83 years old. But, there ain't no quit in this family. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas.