In my youth, I would hide from my mother behind the sofa so that I could read Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Back then, the incongruity of a t-shirt wearing, Asian-American girl dreaming about being Laura Ingalls was lost on me. I longed for calico dresses and my mouth watered for such exotic foods like fried potatoes with salt pork, mashed turnips and hulled corn.
But, now, no more! I’ve been captivated by my recent purchase of The Little House Cookbook. It’s been in existence for over 20 years, but I’ve just discovered it. My inner child rejoices! Finally, I can actually taste the foods I’ve read about for so long.
And so far I have made Almanzo Wilder’s favorite dish: apples n’onions. It’s a pretty easy dish (fry apples and onions) but the gastronomical joy is great. Highly recommended. Even my husband, who looked at it curiously upon being served, admitted, “This stuff is pretty good.”
This tasty achievement, of course, leads me to fantasizing about a cookbook made from my own books. My mind explodes with possibilities. It could be a cookbook filled with Asian cuisine recipes, just like the dishes my mother cooked for me. Who knows, perhaps kids reading my books are suddenly developing a craving for bowls of white rice, sweet pork buns and stir-fried noodles. It could be a smash hit.
But reality sinks in. I realize that my book is called The Year of the Dog and that is just not an appetizing title for a cookbook.
Which is not the first time my titles have thwarted me. Just be glad that the cupcakes I’m making for our Cupcake Contest (that YOU can win) are not from a cookbook called, The Year of the Rat.