Collecting cookbooks and recipes is my guilty pleasure like buying shoes are for my gal pals. I like shoes too but I relish collecting and reading cookbooks. I usually purchase a new one to add to my collection during my travels and the habit helps me to continue to explore the local cuisine long after I am back in the fort. Every region has a specialty, have you noticed? I inherited my mother’s recipe box with all the cards and handwritten notes scribbled by the long gone bakers in their own unique style of longhand. There is one recipe for basic bread that my mother made nearly every week. When she was no longer able to make the bread, she coached my Dad in how to prepare it and you can see his horrible penmanship added to hers on the recipe card. There is a recipe for Croghan Bologna, shared by my North Country Mother-in-Law that I modified and added pistachios and garlic which pairs well with sharp cheddar cheese and a buttery cracker. There is a recipe from my brother, Ed, who shared it with me years ago and is always enjoyed around the holiday season as it involves bacon and crab. My maternal grandmother Helen made a holiday cookie that she called Sandies. She kept them sealed in a container in the refrigerator so the cookies were sweet and cold and tasted divine. At my bridal shower, each guest shared a recipe with me to start my own recipe box. While this tradition is very TBT, I still treasure the recipes and added them to my mother’s collection and keep the box next to my ever expanding shelf of cookbooks.