Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I invited my dynamo librarian friend Nancy McCully to guest blog. Nancy is responsible for the Vintage Cookbook programs after asking me why I don't 'do a program with all those cookbooks' and helping me design them as well as get the word out. She has established a business doing library programs on travel, including a very popular one on Christmas in Williamsburg. She is awesome with both adults and teens, has a wonderful sense of humor, and makes exquisite jewelry in her spare time. While of course today I am especially thankful for family, she is also a person I am thankful to have in my life. What are you Thankful for today? -AA

My name is Nancy McCully and I am also a librarian with a shelf full of vintage cookbooks. My collection is a bit different from Amy’s—I bought the books new and have been using them ever since. Don’t worry, my family doesn’t live on meatloaf, Campbell soup sauces, and jello. I do fix ethnic dishes and wouldn’t dream of using the butter and cream that are the staples of vintage cuisine. I love my new cookbooks but I keep going back to some of my first purchases to prepare old family favorites.
One cookbook I use heavily at this time of year is The Williamsburg Cookbook, a treasure I picked up on our honeymoon visit to Colonial Williamsburg in 1976. It automatically opens to the King’s Arms Tavern Sweet Potatoes recipe on page 102. My family enjoys these potatoes every Christmas whether we’re sitting around the dining room table in Mount Prospect or feasting in style at the King’s Arms Tavern. If you want to add a little taste of Colonial Williamsburg to your holiday table, try these:

King’s Arms Tavern Sweet Potatoes
(8–10 servings)
3 pounds sweet potatoes ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup light-brown sugar, ½ teaspoon nutmeg
packed, divided ¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 1½-quart casserole. Cook sweet potatoes in boiling, salted water until done. Drain, peel, and mash. Stir in all remaining ingredients except 2 tablespoons of sugar. Turn mixture into prepared casserole and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Colonial Williamsburg is a magical place during the Christmas season. To see the decorations and discover how easy it is to add Williamsburg style touches to your holiday celebration, come to my last Christmas in Williamsburg slideshow of the season.

Christmas in Williamsburg Wednesday, December 16, 6:30 p.m.
Rolling Meadows Library 3110 Martin Lane Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008(847) 259-6050

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