Monday, November 05, 2007

kitchen history

Last night I went to my mom's for dinner, and as is protocol for these visits, she had a box of old stuff she had dug out while cleaning closets and such. This time it was all old cookbooks, recipe magazines and booklets, and boxes of recipes. It was fun to look through, but I restrained myself and only took a few things (I still have a large box of my old school papers taking up space in our office). I went through the 3 recipe boxes and pulled out all of the handwritten and hand-typed recipes. I don't know who half of them are mom just must have gotten them handed to her through the years. I recognize at least one as my Nonna's, and one seems to be my aunt Sue's, and a couple are my mom's handwriting. I just love the feel of handwritten recipes. They feel more personal and I like to daydream about their history and the person who wrote them and the family they made the food for etc.

I'm ready to break out my crockpot and try this one.

A classic! I have to make this.

Carrot Cake was my late father's favorite. I can't help but wonder if someone gave this recipe to him and if he ever used it. Or maybe my mom got the recipe to make it for one of his birthdays or something.

Like when I found a box of old letters my mom kept from all her brothers and sisters, these recipes reminded me how much I love all things handwritten. It's something that is becoming more and more rare in this age of electronics. To sit down and write someone a letter, or to jot down a recipe to give to someone shows so much care and thoughtfulness.

Maybe I should start a handwritten recipe mail exchange or something. Anybody interested?

Also in the box, there was a 1964 Joy of Cooking. Tattered and beat up. I fell in love a little with it, and couldn't leave it behind. Everyone should have the Joy of cooking, right? I love the little illustrations sprinkled throughout, with the tiny pointy-tipped 60's lady hands.

A cute way to serve fresh pineapple.

Peeling a turnip.

Cupcakes! So trendy!

The other cookbook I grabbed was one of those church lady fundraising cookbooks from my grade school. You know, where parents and parishioners submit recipes, and they pick art done by the school children to illustrate it. I remember being pretty upset that they didn't pick any of my drawings for it. I fancied myself a great artist at that age, you see. Anyway, looking through the book reminded me of all the people I grew up with. I recognized names of neighbors, friends parents, and teachers. What a neat little time capsule!

And of course I had to nab some of the crazier recipes from the boxes. There were tons of magazine clippings. These 3 caught my eye. Yikes!

That "Mysterious Orange Cake" features canned tomato soup! Gah!


Par said...

Wow... looks really old... good that it brings back memories.

Unknown said...

That carrot cake recipe must have been the defacto standard for the period as it's precisely the one my mom gave me when I asked for hers. While I've altered the cake recipe to suit my own tastes, the cream cheese frosting is unbeatable thanks to the heavy hand of sugar -- so make it, your stomach will thank you.