Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recipe History

When my paternal grandma passed away, I inherited two of her recipe boxes.

Much of what I inherited from my grandparents has been like sacred ground.  I didn't want to use things, change things, or get rid of anything.

Moving forced me to face some of these decisions.  There were certainly some things I got from my grandparents that I held onto simply because they belonged to them.  I was able to realize this and let a few things go when we moved.  Now I'm starting to see that I should use or enjoy the things I have from them rather than keep them as a shrine.

So several weeks ago, while Nora was napping, I sat down and looked through all the recipes in Grandma's boxes.  I was looking for one recipe in particular.  I never did figure out her system for organizing them (one box has alphabetical cards and one has categorical cards, but neither set of organizing cards seemed to match with the recipe cards).  Someday I may sort the recipes into a different order so I can use them more efficiently, but that's a task for another day.

Flipping through the recipes was like taking a walk in history.  My family history as well as simply past eras.

I thought it would be fun to share some (lots!) pictures of these recipes with you.  My family will probably enjoy this post a lot more than the general public, but I'm putting it out there anyway. :)

I love the assortment found in Grandma's recipes.  They are not uniform sizes or on identical recipe cards.

I love the ones that look super old and show that they've been used, like these:

I love reading Grandma's notes on her recipes.

"Very good"

"Warren likes - Easter breakfast 1980"

"No cholesterol" (she marked recipes that met my Grandpa's dietary needs)

"Very good"

"A&P Spanish Bar (almost)" (I wonder why she added "almost")

"good" and "Sally 8-19-71" (Sally is my aunt)

"This is good"

This might be the funniest note of all:  a tic-tac-toe game!

I included this one because it's from Mae Hund.  She was my grandma's mother (my great grandma), and my middle name is after her.

You may have noticed dates on several of her recipes.  There are actually dates on most of her recipes.

2-3-1980 (February 3 is Jared's birthday!)

October '84


July 1976

Apr. 1964 (And who knew you can make your own French dressing?)

July 7, 1968

Dec. 10, 1977

Feb. 27, '69

I loved reading the dates as well as the events for which the recipes were used.

For funeral dinner

For Beth Knobeloch's 4th birthday (She's my cousin, and she's now in her 30s.)

For "E & J Birthday '96" (That stands for Erik and Jessica--my brother and me)

I have always loved seeing my grandma's handwriting.  It's such a part of who she was.  Flipping through the recipes, I also noticed my mom's handwriting:

As much as I loved seeing all of the personal handwriting, I also love seeing recipes typed on a typewriter:

The backs of the recipe cards also made me chuckle.

Front:  Toffee

Back:  something about belts and wallets (maybe related to my grandpa's leatherwork?)

Front:  Chicken Noodle Soup Mix

Back:  cost of groceries
The back of this recipe had addresses (which I didn't include for privacy sake), and you can see it's written on a page from a planner.

Front:  quantities that various containers could hold (this was in with recipes)

Back:  paperwork from church ministry
Front:  Pineapple Cake from SEMGCO Home Service Department

Back:  Chocolate Picnic Cake and a Gas Energy Conservation Tip

Front:  Florence Kriegsman's Rhubarb Crunch

Back:  Church Attendance Record
Front:  recipe for a fruit dish

Back:  Lane Bryant's apology that their product didn't meet the customer's satisfaction.

Front:  Vanilla Sauce

Back:  Sign for selling Girl Scout Cranberry Steamed Pudding to help fund a trip to Mexico in 1973

Front:  Spaghetti for 200 people
Back:  Some sort of pyramid of people (with my dad on top)

Many of the recipes came from interesting sources.

From a cereal box

From the newspaper

This Orange Gel mold...
From Knox Gelatine, Inc.
From the Hints From Heloise section of the newspaper
From a Velveeta box

From a Parkay box
From Tang (remember that stuff??)
From the Dream Whip box

From a magazine
This recipe was submitted by Sharon Altman, mother of astronaut Scott Altman from our hometown.  My kids now attend Scott Altman Elementary School!
From Central Illinois Light Company

From a seasoning packet
From a newspaper insert

The back of the recipe above
This recipe is from a carton of Egg Beaters with Cheez

I loved seeing some of the pictures on the recipes:

I noticed that Grandma had several duplicates of many of her recipes.

Do you have a lot of tomatoes and want to turn them into berry-flavored jam?  I have four recipes for you.

Want to make homemade ice cream?  I have three choices for you.

And finally, you may have noticed some recipe cards with strawberries on them.  Grandma's kitchen was decorated in strawberries, and she collected all sorts of neat things with strawberry motifs.  Here are a few of her strawberry recipe cards:

I hope you survived this incredibly long post.  There really was no point to it other than to preserve some of what I found in my grandma's treasure recipe boxes.  I never even found the recipe I was originally looking for!