DEAR ABBY: I have come to realize that the best thing a person can do for anyone is to cook something for them. I enjoy the expression on their faces when they take the first bite, and the positive compliments I receive.
I have a cookbook collection that, at present, numbers more than 3,200 items. I actually ran out of room for all of it in my home. Nevertheless, I would like to order your cookbooklets — I guess you could say in order to “feed” my obsession. I’d love to know which of the recipes are among your favorites. — COOKING IT UP IN VERMONT
DEAR COOKING: For years, I, too, obsessively collected cookbooks, so I relate to your addiction. Be careful what you wish for! (My late husband used to walk by the crowded shelves muttering that he couldn’t understand why I didn’t actually prepare the recipes, but it was the photographs that hooked me.)
The recipes in my cookbooklet set of two are ones that I have used for entertaining. Among my favorites in “Favorite Recipes” are the Company Crab Dip, Lobster Bisque, Sweet Potato Casserole (Thanksgiving), Swedish Meatballs, Everybody’s Favorite Meatloaf, Burgundy Lamb Shanks, Date Cake, Fruitcake (Yes, I know — but THIS one IS good!), the Famous Pecan Pie (a blue ribbon winner) and the Chocolate Mousse.
Among my favorites from “More Favorite Recipes” are the Little Mushroom “Pies,” Hearty Bean Soup, Cathy Lee’s Rice, Eggplant Mozzarella Casserole, Cornish Game Hens (stuffed with raisins, walnuts and apple), Chocolate Zucchini Cake (it’s healthy!), Raw Apple Cake With Caramel Glaze, Heavenly Peanut Butter Pie and Regency Brownies.
For anyone not experiencing sugar shock after reading this, my booklets can be ordered by sending name and address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.
After reviewing this list, my mouth is watering, my toes are curling and I’m realizing what a miracle it is that I’m not six ax handles across, but these are dishes I prepare for GUESTS — not my own daily consumption. Readers have written to tell me some of them have won prizes at county fairs in years past, so I’m sure you will enjoy them, too.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been in an off-and-on marriage for eight years. My husband drinks every day. Once he’s reached a certain alcohol level, he curses me and talks trash about my family. He is no longer affectionate with me. Our marriage is toxic. We are living like roommates instead of husband and wife. He won’t go to AA and is very disrespectful, and I’m going to leave him. What do you think? — CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE IN GEORGIA
DEAR CAN’T: I think your husband has shown you he isn’t going to change for the better. After eight years of living with his drinking problem and verbal abuse, the time has come to consult a lawyer and set yourself free. If you’re looking for validation from me, you have it.
TO MY MUSLIM READERS: It is time for the breaking of the Ramadan fast. Happy Eid al-Fitr, everyone. — ABBY
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.