Steeling herself for Bouillabaisse....

This is the lovely Mary-Roe Bentley, my darling Mother-in-law.  Her Mother-In-Law was Mildred Maddocks Bentley, the founder of the Good Housekeeping Institute and Editor in Chief of the Good Housekeeping magazine and author of numerous Good Housekeeping Cook Books.  Mildred worked at the magazine from 1904 until 1935.  So, can you imagine being the daughter in law of someone with that station in life.  My mother in law tells me how intimidating it was being a new wife with a mother in law like that looking over her shoulder.  

So, now, I am the daughter in law, and I try to do everything I can to make sure Mum is happy, comfortable and full of good food.  

When I became engaged to her son, some 22 years ago, she welcomed me into her family by having a ring made for me from her own mother’s diamond.  She added my birthstones to the ring and presented it to me as a “welcome to our family” gift.    

Mum broke her hip 2 years ago and everyone thinks it was the best thing that ever happened to her.  She had been rambling around, alone, in a big house too far away for frequent visits.  After she was injured, she moved to a lovely apartment 5 minutes from our home.   

Now, she comes to dinner every Sunday and I delight in developing menus and preparing food that she will enjoy.  Coming up with these menus is a bit tricky because she and her son (my dear husband, David) don’t like food very much.  Me, a passionate foodie, married into a family of disciplined food resisters.  Damn the twists of fate!    

My goal has been to get Mum and David to look forward to Sunday dinner and savor every bite.  I want them to enjoy the meal enough to eat a little more than they had planned.  I hope that’s not evil of me.  I think my plan is working.  So, I created this site to share the menus and recipes I use to enchant my family and other guests that may happen to my table.


11 Responses to About

  1. Gazzo says:

    loved seeing the picture of Mum!
    Love, Kath

  2. Penny says:

    I have partaken in several Sunday dinners and as a fellow “foodie” I can vouch for their goodness. I certainly have eaten more than I had planned…Mum and David enjoy the meals as well… and the company is devine.


  3. Chantal Valsecchi says:

    Hi Carol, It was nice meeting you last Friday at the Valentine’s party… I like your blog with all the recipes with beautiful pictures…. You are one daughter-in-law in a million and your mother-in-law must be very special.. continue enjoying your Sunday meals and enchanting your family (what was cooking in the pot today?).

    • Hi Chantal, Thanks for looking around my blog. Today, I fixed another pulled pork, because I wasn’t able to get any photos at the Super Bowl Party, and I didn’t get to eat any either. Everyone scarfed it down before I had a chance to sample. So I made it again today, along with coconut rice and a salad of arugula and red grapes with a shallot dressing and garnished with crumbled blue cheese. Wow, that salad was yum-mee! I had tons of grapes left over from the Super Bowl party and came up with that salad as a way to use some of them. For dessert, I served store bought cheese cake with a home-made raspberry sauce. I melted some seedless raspberry jam, added a little Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and at the very end, tossed it with fresh raspberries. Topped it all off with a dollop of whipped cream. It looked very Valentine and tasted delicious. I will have it all posted tomorrow or the next day. I hope you come back again!

  4. Wirt says:

    Carol was so sweet to invite us.
    It is so much work you know before during and after…
    I already knew how good she is . She invited us many times before. Not just cooking. Every thing. She has that gift . She is so highly smart and bright , she can turn everything beautiful, a text, a picture, a plant, a dish of potatoes tomatos and green beans,..
    We loved the crab cakes and the corn pudding, Carl is still talking about the corn pudding and I’m nuts about potatoes especially if they are beautifully cut and served on a dish with colorful tomatoes and green beans(have you seen that picture?), Thank you Carol and David, we had a very pleasant evening and we love your dog ginger is a sweet heart and your cats are drop dead gorgeous, and the fish is unbelievable, it is all so perfect…Thanks

  5. Emily Brungo says:

    Do you ever try any of the old Good Housekeeping Recipes from Mildred’s heyday?

    • The old recipes are really fun to read, especially from the very early books, say, 1906. At the time, stoves were either wood or coal, so instructions include how to build and maintain the heat at high, medium or slow. They used ice boxes, so instructions often refer to packing items in the ice box. Mildred was very scientific in her approach to cooking. She refers to two types of adult diners, the indoor worker and the outdoor worker. An excerpt:
      The first division includes those who engage in hard, muscular, outdoor work; the second includes those who are tied to a desk in a heated office, in school or in shop. The first, or out-of-door worker, with plenty of oxygen at hand and no hard brain labor, can digest more food and food difficult of digestion, because his blood supply is not called away from the digestive organs to the brain. Ha ha, sounds funny, but sort of true!

  6. Daria Bentley says:

    Sharing Christmas with Carol & David was a wonder-I loved & learned so much working with Carol to create spectacular meals..

  7. Fabulous evening of wonderfully
    Prepared food, delicious and
    Very easily made!! Carol
    Is a very special, giving, caring,
    Amazing cook!!

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