Let me go on record as saying that the most important cookbook you’re going to give any female relative Of a Certain Age is going to be Jill Conner Browne’s The Sweet Potato Queen’s Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner).
This work is not so much a cookbook as it is an exercise in sheer, unadulterated attitude, a book about living life to its fullest, and the recipes are more often than not wonderful and indulgent. This is where I first ran up on what polite people (“cough”) call “cat poop” cookies. They’re great for Halloween and kid’s parties until someone sneaks a real one in. Here’s Jill’s recipe:
“Just put 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup cocoa, 2 cups sugar, and ‘/2 cup milk in a pan and cook it just until it bubbles a little bit around the sides. Then take it off the heat and dump in 3 cups Quick Oatmeal, ‘/2 cup peanut butter, and I running. over teaspoon vanilla. Stir it up and drop globs of it onto waxed paper and let it cool. (Cooling is optional.)”
Serve in a shallow pan over crushed cereal or nuts. Provide a slotted spoon for scooping.