Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Preserving family recipes

A few years back my sisters and I realized that every time we wanted to make an old family favorite in the kitchen we were having to place a long distance call to my mom. We'd pick her brain and get things like, "Stir it till it's thick but not too thick", or, "Add about half a handful of flour". She had all these great recipes stored in the recesses of her mind from helping her grandma in the kitchen and then making it herself hundreds of time. But somehow we had missed the boat and knew nothing.

So we sat her down one day for an official interview. We thought of all the standard meals we ate as children and those special dishes that appeared each Thanksgiving. We quizzed poor Mom until she about threw the book at us. "Well, how much do you think is half a handful? Would you say 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup?"

After we had extracted all the information we could, we typed up the recipes, pasted them on 3x5 cards, laminated them and bound them together with a ring. Of course we couldn't resist animating each cover with a picture of of mom's head saying things like, "Get to work girls!!" and other famous phrases.

It took a little work to get this project done, but it was so worth it. My little recipe ring is kept right next to my stove in the recipe box and I use it regularly. I'm glad to have access to these simple recipes that are such an important part of heritage. I smile when I think of my great grandma standing over her stove stirring noodles made just the same way. I think it will be time soon to add some more.

Our recipes include:

Homemade noodles
Fresh Peach Cobbler
Kidney Bean Salad
Cranberry Salad
Pie Crust
Apple Pie filling
Pumpkin Pie filling
Turkey Tetrazinni
Bologna Salad
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corn Bake
Corned Beef and Noodles
Curry Chicken Broccoli
Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
Blueberry Torte


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

What a cute idea. We've collected some old family favorites, too, but I am particularly enchanted with the idea of posting a picture of your mom saying the sorts of stuff she would say. Great idea!

carrie said...


What a neat idea! My mom compiled a little cookbook of family recipes for me when I graduated from college.

Thanks for stopping by my blog--hope you like the cookbook!

Heather L. said...

That is so fun!

Cindy said...

I've eaten a few of those recipes, so I know your mom is an amazing cook. But bologna salad???

Sniz said...

Wow, what a great idea. I know I would use this too. I make things frequently that Mom made, but I just get recipes here and there. Hmmm. I think I'll do this too.

Monica said...

Bologna salad was like a comfort food at our house served on warm toast at lunch. Believe it or not, it is really good (but only when my mom makes it).

Catherine said...

This is a great idea! My mom (and dad) have put down a lot of their recipes on the computer for us. It would be nice to have them handy like that.

TX Poppet said...

What a lovely idea! Well done!

Alaina said...

What a fantastic idea! I would love to work on a recipe project to preserve the family recipes! One of these days....

mindi said...

Thta is a fantastic idea. I keep doing the same thing, writing it down and then losing it. I need to do this!