Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday 55 & Da Count-What time do we eat?

A barely decipherable scrawl skipping important information.

A yellowed and splattered index card from eons ago.

A printed, titled card with careful lists and instruction in nearly perfect handwriting.

A bundled set of painstakingly typed notes to fit in a 3x5 inch space.

A 3 page handwritten letter with explicit secrets.

Generations of family recipes.

*image from

My old recipe box was stuffed to overflowing. Although I know exactly where to find the recipes I need it was difficult for Diana and Calypso to wade through the mess. Given that they are actually showing interest in being in the kitchen now I thought perhaps I should make the recipe box more user friendly. I got a nice new keeper, which necessitated going through the old box and reorganizing things as they moved to their new home.

It was an interesting process since I discovered a few recipes I forgot I ok, maybe the old box was not as workable for me as I thought. I also have a small, neatly bundled set of recipe cards from my maternal grandmother that has always been kept by itself. I have been looking through it trying to decide whether or not to integrate it with my own new file or just maintain its integrity alone.

In any event, looking through some of the old recipes that I don't even really need to reference anymore since I have made the items so many times was a walk down Memory Lane. When both sets of my grandparents had passed I inherited all the photo albums from both sides and I cherish them. I realized in sorting through recipes how much of the culinary history I had also inherited, and also how many of those recipes have never been written down but exist only in our minds. I can think of a few recipes I remember from my childhood but never learned to make that are now lost to history. I also think of certain dishes and desserts I have picked up from outside my own family but that my own kids enjoy so much now, recipes that maybe one day they or their children will refer to as a family favorite.

As Thanksgiving approaches it is time for a lot of family favorites and traditional foods. I'm counting so many yummy ones from my family.

What family recipes are you glad to have?


Hypersonic said...

Oh my! Now that's a box I'd like to get a look at. I have a cookery book my mother was given as a present when she got married 42 years ago and one that my grandmother got 70 years ago. Both are cherished items and used to death but everyone who has owned them.

Palm Springs Savant said...

i LOVE digging through things like that. I have a bunch of old recipes hand written by various family members and I LOVE reading them and making the old family favs.

Anonymous said...

wow that's beautiful lime.

Jim said...

Two recipes related to my OH/KY roots on my mother's side --- Buckeyes (those little chocolate-covered, peanut butter-cream balls that you do at Christmas), and Transparent Pie (basically eggs, sugar, butter and cream, baked in a crust).

Edible sex, both of them.


Mike M said...

ok, very cool 55 Lime!! I never saw it going that way. Very cool indeed!

Queenie said...

Very tasty 55. Like you I have recipes from way back, one from my Great Gran is written on the inside of an old Be-Ro flour pkt. Little gems everyone.

snowelf said...

My favorite favorite holiday treat is my mom's mint chocolate brownies. They are SO delicious!!
I have yet to be able to make them as well as she does, but I'm going to keep trying!!

Happy Friday!!


Ameratis said...

I have a filing cabinet full of recipes but my favorites are from my grandmother:

Caramel Cake
Banana Nut Bread
Chocolate Frosting
Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate Sin

Yum!! I need to go through and organize my recipes!

Beach Bum said...

When my grandmother recently passed we went looking for many items that had been put into storage after she went into the nursing home. One of things lost was her ancient recipe box. It would not be an overstatement to say the family was devastated. That was a total of three generations of history lost.

lime said...

hypersonic, oh how wonderful to have both of those collections

savant, it's such a tasty heritage isn't it?

top cat, thanks. it certainly is yummy!

jim, buckeyes, aunt makes those, sooo good. i would not be in any way upset if you'd like to share your recipe for edible pie

mike m, glad i surprised yo ua little

queenie, oh the scribbled backs of wrappers, love it!

snowelf, oooh i have a brownie recipe i turned into a minty one. i do enjoy it

ameratis, i LOVE red velevet cake. and i think you really need to share that recipe for chocolate sin

beach bum, i gasped when you said the recipes had been lost. what a sad thing!

MONA said...

Ah! an ode to old recipes. What a wonderful idea!

I think old recipes are such a treasure, with so many secrets passed generation down!

Cooking is such an art, which can be savored visually, aurally and orally!

barman said...


Several years ago my sister in law took on a project. She asked people to send her recipies and she would organize it into a cookbook. What a chore. Not only did she have to follow up on people to send her recipies many, many times. But she also had to deal with people like me who, once reminded a couple of times, gave her maybe 30 receipies and that was cut down.

So she organized and indexed and tried to make the recipies similar in nature and now we have a nice cookbook. Funny thing, I refer to that book all the time for my own recipies. Perhaps I should not have sent her the Milk Can Stew recipies...

Glad you got that all organized.

lecram said...

OK... yes, it is too funny that we both counted food related topics this week! Cheers!

Charles said...

Wonderfully done 55. Perhaps you can share those recipes with those of us unfortunate enough to not have inherited such things. ;)
I was too young when my grandmother died, and I don't think she had anything written down, and of course my dad didn't cook worth a hoot (what do you suppose he did in the Air Force? Cook) so there wasn't a lot of opportunity to get such things.

Flash said...

Awesome 55!

I digitized my families recipe box years ago ad just sealed the cards and papers away for future generations...or a museum. Then I had to show my mom and grandmother how to do it.

Sophia said...

Some of the greatest family legacies are their "secret" recipes!

S said...

Ive seen that picture before, havent I?
I wouldnt mind exploring through it!
Have a great weekend LIme!

Mike M said...

Hey like, Go to the post just below the one you commented on about the Ginger ninja 55 for Snow. I stated a 55 site and I want you to be a part of it!

Pauline said...

Edible family secrets, what treasures!

Real Live Lesbian said...

You JUST gave me an idea of what to do for my mom for Christmas. A new recipe organizer it is. Her box ( and sadly mine, too) looks just like yours. I'm hoping to find one that has clear sleeves so you can see the original handwriting. I'd hate to lose that part.

Happy Friday!

Akelamalu said...

I love your 55! I posted my first one today.

I have a Lever Arch File full of recipes I've collected but the best ones are in my head! :)

lime said...

mona, it really is an art that cannot be passed down merely in a box of recipes

barman, what is milk can stew?? sounds like a wonderful thing yoru SIL did

lecram, both of us must be hungry

flash, that's a good idea too. keep them all safe and make it easy to share them through the family

charles, i have put up a few recipes in the past. if you search 'recipes' on my blog they shoudl come up, but i will add more too

sophia, indeed they are

susie, i stole the picture from the link at flickr i posted under it

mike m, ok thanks

pauline, ooh i love the way yo uput that 'edible family secrets'

rll, i am glad this post could give you a good xmas idea:) no the picture is not 9f mine...i googled it

akelamalu, lol, yes some of my best are in my head too. i need to write them down for posterity

airplanejayne said...

great 55!

I have two:
From my mom's cookbook:
Leg of Lamb. I make it perfect!!

From my dad's cookbook:
how to change out the working guts of a toilet.

Rebicmel said...

Michelle what a trove of treasures found within recipe boxes. Loved your flash!!

Crabby said...

Aw. This one hit my heart big time. When Miss Ellie, Bob's Mom, and practically mine since I was 13, passed away, one of the things I found was a little plastic box of her old recipes. One of them was a bread pudding recipe we both used to make and were so proud of. I'd lost my copy. Recently I made it again and all I could think about was her and how tickled we were with ourselves every time we made that.

G-Man said...

Great 55 Limey..
And do not forget your Pineapple Pudding recipe' you promised to share...
Have a great week-end!!
Galen xoxoxox

Jeni said...

Loved this post! I too have a little green index card box and it is stuffed with recipes - some written on cards in either my Grandma's handwriting or my Mom's and lots of clippings of recipes too from very old newspapers. I should go through it and record the recipes I remember from that collection one of these days.

gab said...

Ah yes the family recipes. Im lost without mine. "Sniff" When we went home lst time I forgot to grab them. Hopefully soon.

Charles said...

I took your advice and did the search and ran across: "Phobia - A world wide chocolate shortage. Is there a word for that?" Isn't that 'Lackachocaphobia?':D
Lots of seafood recipes. :(
The baked goods though, MMMMM. Especially that Funny Cake. :D

SignGurl said...

This post hit home for me. I was lucky that I had the foresight to ask my paternal grandmother for some of her recipes before she died. None of them had ever been written down before. They were only stored in her head.

My favorite of all times is a squash roll recipe that she only made on holidays. They are slightly sweet and have a beautiful orange color. I make them every year for Christmas and I cry as I make them while missing her.

I must go find a tissue as my eyes are leaking...

Kittie Kate said...

I'd like to have one. They're treasures.

I have none, because they got lost in the floods.

Diesel said...

Isn't that what the internet is for?

Theresa said...

That box looks like it must be full of yummy things. I've got a book called 1080 Recetas de Cocina, which is the cooking bible over here in Spain -everything turns out just perfect with it. :)

Lizard Princess said...

O man- now there's a big project! I need to re-vamp my recipe box so badly that I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.
It would be great if there were a computer program out there that you could type out your recipes and they would automatically go onto 3x5 cards. If you know of any, let me know!!
I went for so long without a printer (or 3x5 cards) at home that my box is stuffed full of random scraps of paper. It's a sight to behold!!

the Zombieslayer said...

I have a request for you.

Post some of those recipes. I'd love to see them. I get a lot of recipes from fellow bloggers.

cathy said...

Before leaving England I bought a notebook and got my mum and gran to write some family favourites in it. Thanks for reminding me. It's about time I added to them for my own girls :)
Mum's sherry trifle is always popular.

rose_michelle said...

I was just going through my recipe box to make copies for my future "SIL" (my husband and her fiance have litterally know each other since diapers and are closer than brothers!) Then I stopped to browse blogs and came across yours! Don't you just love all the memories they bring back!?!

Jocelyn said...

The 55 is terrif! I love little family scraps that are representative of so much more. And I totally get into recipes and how they're transcribed as a reflection of personality and character.

Big yummy on you.

Joeprah said...

The two best recipes in the world are the pancake recipe I have which is tasty and like thicker crepes and also my priced poppyseed cake recipe which is a czech standby, I am addicted to both! Peace Limers!