Everyone in the world have several things that remind them of the past: good and bad. I am only interested in good 😉
It actually all started from my aunt and then my mom who thought it was a great idea also…Well, they are sisters so they think alike (crazy ladies) 😉
After I have been living in the US for several years, my aunt somehow sent me a cook book (to be totally honest, I cannot even remember how and with who she sent it to me..)which belongs to our family and I remember seeing it at her house. When I was a kid and we didn’t have tons of beautiful things, every time I stayed at her apartment I would browse through her books and catalogs (clothing and household) and just admire the pictures. Now I understand where my obsession with organizing shelves and folding towels facing the “right” direction came from … I just wanted it to look like in the catalog picture 😉 I would flip through the cook books also just because I thought that every single picture looked delicious and beautiful and I wanted all the foods and dishes at our houses to look just as beautiful. Well, it was a hard job to do in the Soviet Union and the 90s Russia – we didn’t have much of a variety on our tables. Later on, my mom sent me another cook book which is probably as old as I am.
Between the pages, I found dry leaves from the parks that I collected in one of the Septembers (every kid was doing it back then). There were also random inserts and notes made either by mom or me. How amazingly awesome that is!
I flipped through that book and the first thing came to my mind was: how beautiful everything looks on the pictures but how sad that nobody in Russia actually ever had anything like that on their tables when the book was published. It was all like a fiction.
Right now, as an adult, looking back and remembering things from the childhood I admire my parents and my family for striving to make the best lives we ever had even without simple essentials like lots we take for granted nowadays. As kids, we never felt like we are missing something probably simply because we did not know better. I don’t think it was a bad thing. Our moms and grandmas had the skills to put together yummy dishes with having so little on hand and almost no money. I do not know how they used to do it but they excelled in it. Our childhood was fun and these “old smelling” cookbooks remind me of it.