For the past few weeks we have been working on getting my grandmother moved from her manufactured home and into an independent living facility. With the move comes a lot of sorting and clearing out of things, selling things and throwing away. We're in the home stretch, and just the other day I set aside my grandmother's recipe boxes. I knew that I would want to look through them and that my mother would as well.
Today, I was tired of standing, so I sat down to glance at the contents of a few of the boxes. What a treasure trove I found! All sorts of pies, and desserts, sauces and salads, from years and years of domestic service were at my fingertips.
I couldn't help but wonder which recipes were made for guests, and what ones were my mom's favorites growing up. I saw a couple different pumpkin pie recipes: which one was the family favorite? There were recipes from a couple different women: who were they? neighbors? friends from church?
I remembered how my grandmother shared with me that as young as 13 years old she would feed the men that threshed the wheat on her family's farm. She used to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for my grandfather and had his shirts starched and ready each day.
My uncle and mom were raised on some of the recipes in those boxes. There were recipes clipped from the newspaper like "President Eisenhower's Favorite Cake," and others cut from old boxes of C&H Sugar.
I could get a sense of what she liked a lot- or at least what my grandfather liked that she would bake for him. Recipes that called for dates, figs, and citrus were prominent.
I didn't write any down for myself. It was just a quick look-through, but I look forward to writing some of them down and sharing them with my own family. Maybe I'll even surprise my grandma with a treat!
That was my little blessing for the day. It made me wonder what would be the recipes from my box that my children would remember and love. What will I pass down? I'm reminded of the sweet opportunity it is to create memories through the taste buds and at our family table!