Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Recipe Box...Finally!


Nearly everyday a card is added to my recipe collection. This has resulted in a recipe box problem. I've worn out a regular old plastic index card box and have been looking for a replacement ever since. If you know me, you know I couldn't just go to the store and pick up another plastic card box. No, I need something cool and preferably old. Enter this fabulous old storage container. Originally used to store your leftover meatloaf or spaghetti in the Frigidare, this baby was snagged on a flea market spree with my mom this summer. It didn't become home to my recipes until last month when I finally got fed up with trying to find my pita recipe in the tiny box I was keeping everything it. Is it not perfect?
During the move to their new home, I was caught up in the history of so many of my recipes. Nearly every one has memories attached to it, who gave it to me, who I made it for, who loved that particular thing and even who I've passed it on to. History that makes a recipe more than a mixture of butter, sugar and flour, it transforms a list and some directions into a road-map of my life. Being the emotional creature that I am, I found myself sitting at our table crying over my recipes. Funny how a splattered index card can do that to me. I thought I would share some of my favorite recipe-memories with you:

My Mom's Molasses Ginger Cookies. My family has made these cookies every Christmas since who knows when. The rolling/cutting/icing/sprinkles mess is as much a part of Christmas as decorating the tree.

Daily Bread. I have made this bread at least once a week for several years. It's one of the first bread recipes I adapted/made up myself and we love it.

Mrs. Penny's Broccoli Salad, a truly magical salad. Our dear family friend served it to us when I was a teenager and I copied down the recipe that night. I have several recipes from dinners at Mrs. Penny's house.

This is one that got me. My sister's Aunt Clara's Harvest Coffee Cake. We've been making this coffee cake for more years than I can remember and I don't even know where my sister came across it. Last year my sister move out of the country and I miss her so very much. I might just have to bake a coffee cake in honor of her. If only she could drop by for a piece and a good long chat.
So there you have it, some of my favorite recipe-memories. Now I know where to go when I'm feeling nostalgic, straight to my own glass box of history!

6 comments:

Manda B said...

I love this idea! I have so many recipes and I have the same problem with the plastic box! Thanks Audra!

Ruffio said...

In the theme of promoting nostalga, I went to my cupboard to see if I could find the yummy split pea or lentil soup recipe. Alas, I could not. I found one recipe for a lentil soup, but it seemed pretty different to me than the one Mom used to make and the page in the cook book was just too clean. (I love the stains of a used recipe, even though I'm not very good about cooking from recipes).

Susan Lindquist said...

Oh Audra, this post really touched me! A few years ago, I got frustrated with my recipe collection. I had an old card file plus a plastic shopping bag with a huge pile of hand-written recipes, friends' larger index cards that had been gifted to me, newspaper clippings, can label recipes, you get the idea. The girls (in college by this time) were asking me for certain recipes and I just had a hard time finding things when I needed them , so I began the long process of computerizing every recipe. What came of that is a family cook book that has grown to two large loose-leaf notebooks. The recipes are slowly becoming organized into categories and I have printed three copies of the original 'edition' - the one that the kids requested. Every recipe included has been tested by time, has distinct memories associated with it, and is finally in a plastic lined page protector that can come out onto the counter and get a quick wipe-down when I get it sticky.

Gloria said...

A couple of years before my mom passed away, I bought her a new recipe box and "brightened up" some of her dowdy, well worn recipes. Now I wish I had just left it alone. (What was I thinking?) I agree with the large stash of memories--some of which we invented growing up. One of my favorites is a terribly unhealthy one we called Clovis' Tator Tot Casserole, complete with ground beef, mushroom soup (of course!), tator tots, and cream-style corn for good measure. Sheesh....

Kristin said...

*coffee cake*
I'm drooling over here, Audra.

Rebekah said...

Maybe you'll share Aunt Clara's Harvest Coffee Cake recipe with us too??