You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myDaytonDailyNews.com.

breaking news

Thunderbird jet crashes at Dayton air port, reports say

Cookbook user: 49 years, 24 Time/Life volumes and 3,300 recipes

The Peking Duck recipe was particularly tricky.


When Carolyn Bohler was 20, she subscribed to Time/Life cookbooks — the innocent beginning of a 49-year “hobby” she just completed in February.

“I made a pie dough and cried because I couldn’t get it in a perfect circle like my mom’s,” said Bohler, a downtown Dayton resident.

“Someone knocked on my door. Ironically, he was selling Time/Life cookbooks, with recipes from all over the world. I agreed to start with the American edition, the first in the series. I had no idea there’d be 24 volumes.

“I didn’t marry until I was 31, so had a decade when I was invited to dinners as a solo, and I’d make something from the cookbook.”

When she married, she and her husband, John, made their own wedding cake. A California native, Bohler came to Dayton to teach at United Theological Seminary. When the couple had children — a son and daughter that were raised here — she found herself using the cookbooks for family meals and potluck dinners, and she’d use a new recipe to prepare a celebration treat for students at the end of classes.

“Each volume contains recipes from a different country, so it helped me understand other cultures.”

She never forced family members to eat her experiments, but some of her creations became family favorites, like tuna Rangoon, oatmeal pancakes and a 3-layer chocolate cake that her daughter still wants on her birthday.

By the time she made chitterlings, which her son-in-law’s family said were fragrant but she didn’t, she had 400 recipes to go out of a total of 3,300. “In retirement, I was determined to complete all of them — it became a compulsion.

“It was a great hobby because nothing accumulates and I had to cook anyway,” she observed. “I was very grateful that my husband was accepting of this, and was involved. He’d go to the grocery to search for ingredients, which were often hard to find.”

When they couldn’t find Tamarind for a chutney recipe, a Persian neighbor led them to a grocery that carried it, but she occasionally had to make substitutions. Elk, eel and truffles were problematic, and when a nephew finally gave her a truffle and she used it in scalloped potatoes, “I really didn’t like it.”

She noted that there are inherent problems with 50-year-old recipes. “Eggs have changed in size, and there are other differences in ingredients and the processes. I often revised and improvised.”

She kept notes on each recipe, writing down the dates, occasions and successes or failures.

John recalls her Peking Duck recipe, since the duck had to hang in the shower for several days. “It’s part of the process to get the juices moved to the exterior,” he said. “That was a fun recipe.”

Although she only cooked the “iffy” recipes for her family, Bohler recalls one recipe for guests that was a complete flop. ”It was chicken and wasn’t done — something was wrong, and it was a real mess.”

Then, there was the black-bottom pie she carried to a dinner, “But, by the time I got there, the pie was out of the pan — I had to invest in good food-carriers.”

She didn’t do the recipes in order, and her last recipe was a French pastry she made on Feb. 11, the night before her 69th birthday. “We’d invited couples, my daughter and her husband who had enjoyed and endured my recipes before,” she said. “The recipe, which took 14 hours to prepare, included puffs of pastry filled with cream – but they didn’t puff. I served the cream on the side and that worked, but I won’t try that one again.”

Now that she’s completed all recipes in all the volumes, she says “I feel a bit of relief. I’m more daring with my cooking and can dream things up on my own.”

And, when she has to have a successful recipe, “I can check my notes and select one that says ‘excellent’ or ‘superb.’ ”

Contact this contributing writer at virgburroughs@gmail.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Semi crash shuts down westbound lanes of I-70 in Preble Co.
Semi crash shuts down westbound lanes of I-70 in Preble Co.

All lanes of westbound Interstate 70 are blocked after a crash involving an overturned semi in Preble County Friday.  The crash was reported around 11:50 a.m. west of the Ohio 503 exit on westbound Interstate 70 in Preble County.  Initial reports indicate at least one semi is involved and is on its side.  State troopers said all lanes...
Truck slides into oncoming train in West Chester
Truck slides into oncoming train in West Chester

No injuries were reported, but traffic backups lasted about one hour after a train crashed into a truck today in West Chester Twp. The accident took place at approximately 10:30 a.m. near the intersection of Tylersville and Cincinnati Dayton roads. The truck was traveling west on Tylersville when it slid on the rain slicked road into the railroad crossing...
Alleged Middletown bike bandit tells judge he has heroin addiction
Alleged Middletown bike bandit tells judge he has heroin addiction

A Middletown man charged with aggravated robbery and attempted escape told a judge this morning he needed help with his heroin addiction. Randy Scott Womack, 45, of Vannest Avenue, was arrested Wednesday morning after an investigation found he allegedly robbed an elderly man in a business lot on North Verity Parkway. MORE: Middletown bike bandit may...
Tropical Depression Cindy: 5 ways the storm will impact local travel
Tropical Depression Cindy: 5 ways the storm will impact local travel

As Tropical Depression Cindy moves across the South, flooding and heavy rains are likely to impact travel plans throughout the country during the weekend. Cindy made landfall as a tropical storm near the Louisiana-Texas border early Thursday morning, and now the downgraded tropical depression is moving through the lower Mississippi Valley with rain...
Police investigate video of man kicking cat off cliff
Police investigate video of man kicking cat off cliff

Police in North Carolina are investigating a viral video that appears to show a Charlotte man gleefully kick a cat off a steep hill. The man apparently recorded himself abusing the animal and then posted the video to Facebook. As the man appears to kick the cat like a football, he can be heard exclaiming, “In the hole you go.” After thousands...
More Stories