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The greatest gift of all

Five Roses CookbookFive Roses : A Guide to Good Cooking
by Elizabeth Driver

When I was a kid, my Mum had this spiral-bound cookbook that she kept in the bottom drawer under the kitchen counter. This cookbook came out whenever we would embark on a baking adventure. Mostly cookies came from this book, from what I remember. I know that occasionally we would make Pineapple Upside-down cake (YUM!) and maybe my mother made some sort of dessert squares from it? I am sure she at some point made some of the real food recipes as well, but when I think about the Five Roses Cookbook? I think of baking cookies with my Mummy.

The 21st Edition of the Five Roses Guide to Good Cooking has become an indispensable guide in the kitchen. Five Roses Flour, a trusted name in many Canadian kitchens, offers delicious recipes for baked goodies such as breads, muffins, cakes and pastries, as well as meats, gravies, soups, and salads. Noted culinary historian Elizabeth Driver provides information on this fascinating collection.
~ from Amazon.ca

I am not sure which edition it is that my Mum has. Might even be the original. All I know is that when I moved out of the house almost 10 years ago I tried everything I could to take that book with me. By the time I had hit the tender age of 21 the book was in fragile shape and my mother would NOT part with it. “But why?” I asked sweetly (because I was always such a wonderful child, of course!) “I’m the only one who ever uses it! How will I know what to do when I want to make sugar cookies at Christmas next year?” (I had moved out at the end of December that year, I was big on planning ahead.) Still, my Mum would not relent and I was forced to phone her up or email her constantly to have her give me the recipe again and again. (For various reasons — moving, hard drive crashes, theft, fire — I kept losing the bloody thing!)

For the years following I would try to sneak that book out with me on my way home from a family dinner or visit, only to be thwarted by my parents. Curses! The last time I saw the book it was being held together with rubber bands and possibly, tape. Still, I was not to be deterred! That book was going to be mine! I wanted to make cakes and cookies (and maybe try something for dinner, but I highly doubted I would even look at those chapters. *innocent whistle*). That book brought back so many happy memories and meant so much to me. I was certain my Mum didn’t even use the blasted thing anymore. I wanted to give it a good home.

Imagine my complete and total surprise this past Christmas when I opened one of my gifts. My very own Five Roses Cookbook! I think that everything else from that holiday paled in comparison. It’s the exact same thing, right down to the page numbers. (I compared!) This is no lousy substitute, my friends. This is the real thing. It isn’t spiral-bound (Hello?? That makes it SO. MUCH. EASIER. to leave open on the counter while baking. Geez!) and it’s all shiny and new and stuff, but I still love it to pieces.

And when did I first use this lovely gift?

Um… this evening. *sheepish look*

In my defense, I wasn’t even living in my own home during the holidays and then once we finally moved into the new house many of the book boxes have stayed packed. Plus I just haven’t had the time to really bake. Sure I have made a couple of cakes (Betty Crocker, yo! Just read the back of the box) and some chocolate chip cookies (Hershey’s Chipits, yo. Just read the back of the bag!) but nothing that’s all that exciting. Until tonight. Ok, so it isn’t that exciting, but I made the sugar cookie dough and it’s currently chillin’ in my fridge. I don’t think I’ll be rolling it out tonight though as I’m not that well and it’s getting late. But it’s there to be made later this week. So there!

So I send many, many thanks to my wonderful Mummy who searched high and low for this book in order for me to have the best Christmas Gift Ever. There was one store in the Montreal Area that actually had ONE copy in stock. And my parents drove all the way there just for me. I always knew I was the favourite daughter! Thank you Mum & Dad!!

new vs. old