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Kim Shook

Food and Recipe Ephemera

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I couldn't find a thread devoted to this and thought that this was the correct area - obviously if I'm lost just fix me up, moderators!¬†ūüôā¬† This actually might be a good thread to also put the posts about old menus that I started..¬†

 

Some great things I found at when we were cleaning out my grandmother’s house Labor Day weekend:

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This was special.  She actually wrote things in this:

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But this was the best ‚Äď two steno pads that were full of her handwritten recipes:

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This was loaded with things that I actually remember her serving, not to mention some of my great-grandmother’s recipes. 

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What a treasure! I have my Mama's recipe box, a small wooden box crammed full of 3 x 5 index cards in her handwriting, as well as newspaper and magazine clippings. Some classics in there.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Same here re newspaper clippings...their main source of recipes it seems.

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Some of those old recipe booklets can be collectible  ... or at least good for a laugh!

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Before I left home in my early 20s; I painstakingly copied all my mother's recipes in my own steno books, and I still have them.  Going through them reminds me of my childhood and  some of the things I loved to eat.  My favorite things in the summer were her macaroni salad and this jello thing I remember because I so loved the crunch - it was jello, with shredded carrots and walnuts, possibly even some thinly sliced celery.  The jello was just to hold it together and I would eat it straight from the bowl she made it in, and could  never get enough of it.

 

The Boston Globe newspaper had it's own version of social media 50 years ago, it was called the Confidential Chat where people wrote in under pseudonyms and shared advice, recipes, housework solutions and grocery shopping tips.  A lot of my mother's recipes came from there....

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When my grandmother died, the keepsake that came to me was her copy of the American Woman's Cookbook. It was one of those classic all-in-one books. like Joy of Cooking or Fanny Farmer, and I'd grown up with my mother's 1950s-era edition (the book has an interesting and unlikely history, which I'll come back and share after I've done work for the day).

 

My grandmother's was the wartime "Victory" binding, with an added section of rationing-friendly recipes. Throughout it I find her little annotations on recipes, sometimes making corrections/improvements to the recipe as written, and sometimes noting "good," "v. good," and occasionally "don't bother." In between the pages were a number of recipes cut from magazines and newspapers, and one in a letter from one of my aunts. Aside from the recipe it's filled with chit-chat about my uncle's job and the doings of her two small children, now - like me - in their mid-50s and parents of grown children themselves.

 

I also have a raft of recipe booklets from different sources, and find them occasionally interesting (or ghastly) to browse through.

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‚ÄúWhat is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.‚ÄĚ - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don‚Äôt know you‚Äôre a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.‚ÄĚ - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Many years ago a friend and I spent 2 or 3 days examining the DU cookbook collection in Denver. She was interested in the history of food and how it changed (or didn't) over time. At the time I believe it was the second largest collection in the country, and the shelves went on for what seemed like a mile in a series of collapsible shelving units. We wore gloves and could only possess a pencil. Much of what we looked at were the little recipe books from church groups, women's clubs, fund-raising books, including recipes for products like baking powder or shortening (Crisco). These were almost always printed on non-pH neutral paper and some of the older ones were disintegrating.

 

These recipes from our ancestors--handwritten, notes in their old cookbooks, clippings from newspapers--are like having your grandmother whisper in your ear as you make something from her recipe book. I still make my Nana's applesauce cake, though I had to make a few modifications to the recipe because there was no vanilla or salt, both of which I think are essential. And I add walnuts and sometimes the dreaded raisins (though I have no problem with them).

 

Think I'll get some applesauce and bake a cake. That was a nice little trip down memory lane--thanks!

 

Nancy in P√°tzcuaro

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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