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This is a small collection of recipes, gathered by the Saint Vincent de Paul Youth Committee, which I have no memory of ever being in. But all these years my mother saved it because I drew the illustrations. On the cover is the title, written on what looks like a fragment of empty sheet music, a staff with no time signature, although the clefs are correct. Three people are singing with arms raised, one clearly a self-portrait, one very skinny and gender neutral but with tied shoe laces and scary teeth, the third one a rather beefy, bearded Jesus-look-alike wearing a striped sweater and beads around his neck. His hands both have more than the normal number of fingers. Musical notes are floating all around us.


The acknowledgment page gives special thanks to Sharon, our guiding angel, from the Lil Devils of the Youth Committee. If you are familiar with Adventure Time, the devils look like they are wearing Finn's hat, except slightly more pointed. There is a page for Equivalents, a Table of Contents, then 66 pages of recipes, submitted by names of women from my mother's church that ring a distant bell.


From Creole Pork Chops and Sauerbraten (gingersnaps in the gravy?) to Lazy Daisy Cake, Tea Doughnuts (from the kitchen of Nona D'Anna), Whiskey Cake, which cheats a little by using one package yellow cake mix and one package instant vanilla pudding and one-half cup or one gill of butterscotch bits, but redeems itself by the last two ingredients, one gill or cup of whiskey and 5 eggs. The directions which follow are sparse: Mix and beat all ingredients for five minutes. Fold in butterscotch bits. Grease and flour 10" tube pan. Bake 1 hour at 350*.


The one which intrigues me is Tomato Soup Cake With Cream Cheese Icing on page 51, which I will cook later tonight, only because I have no raisins or walnuts in the cupboards. All this just to use a can of tomato soup that I somehow ended up with during the recent storms.

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