I assembled the Tasha Tudor and Family Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes and Warm Memories from Corgi Cottage with the idea that although the receipts are straight-forward enough, the cook and baker's philosophy sometimes is not. My grandmother generally used the same type of food that had been available in her youth: seasonal and pretty basic. I think some of what made her meals so memorable was the care she took to provide an attractive setting for it.
I took all the photographs for this cookbook in Granny's house with the dishes, utensils, and settings she used. Many receipts in the cookbook are prefaced by a paragraph or two that provide insights on my grandmother’s approach. For example, she was particular about how to cook broccoli, and how it should be served: At the last possible moment, so it remained hot. I can hear her voice now: “I don’t know any other food that cools faster than broccoli!”, usually a remark made as she brought it from stovetop to table.
I had the impression that my grandmother never really forgot times in her life when food was scarce such as during the great depression, and probably other times when there wasn’t any money. Sometimes I would go grocery shopping with her. She put one or two canvas bags or a basket in the back seat, and brought a shopping list, usually quite short.
Not to get off track, but I remember following her to a mechanic one day to drop off her car, as it had developed increasingly frequent episodes of stalling, and not starting. We were to go grocery shopping afterwards in my car. My car had an automatic transmission, hers a standard. Anyway, she turned left to take the on-ramp and of course her car stalled in the middle of the road. I waited a few moments, and could see her bending over the steering wheel and cranking the engine. I had a pretty good idea what her opinion of cars was at that moment. Well, the car didn’t start. I got out of my car and approached hers, as did a couple of construction workers. We pushed the stricken car to the side of the road, and I mentioned we were on the way to the mechanic. “Why aren’t you driving the car that breaks down instead of your grandmother?” one of the men wanted to know. My grandmother said: “I never learned to drive an automatic. I always think the brake is the clutch. Very surprising for my passengers, and the car behind.”
Other things I remember about making the cookbook: I took all the photos in the winter. It was cold out, and I kept the fireplace and cook stove going, which brought back a lot of memories of cold winter days spent with my grandmother. My daughter Ellie helped arrange the dishes sometimes, and our dog, Henry, was always around. He liked to sleep in the same places my grandmother’s dogs slept, either by the back door where a draft of fresh air came in, or would seek warmer quarters on the day bed.
Editor's Note: Winslow's Tasha Tudor and Family Cookbook is not to be confused with the 1993 Tasha Tudor Cookbook, which was written by Tasha herself and is now out of print. Though they share some of the most famous recipes, Winslow's cookbook features 58 recipes of his and Tasha's that have never been shared outside the family! Additionally the Tasha Tudor and Family Cookbook is greatly enriched by Winslow's writing and reminisces of cooking with his Granny Tasha.
The book is now in it's second printing and we are thrilled to offer signed first editions!
*Winlsow's Chocolate Chip Cookies*
(Added on 3/30 due to popular demand!)
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
2-3 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Add brown sugar, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, flour, salt, and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients until just combined, then add chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on cookie sheet, flatten slightly, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges should be just beginning brown, and the sheen of batter just disappearing when removed from the oven. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet to a wire rack. This last process inevitabley damages a few cookies, which provides a sample for the baker.
Makes about 3 dozen and lasts up to a week in a well-sealed container, or much longer when properly sealed in freezer. However, these cookies are at their best for 1-2 days.