Treasure trove

I’ve come into possession of my grandmother’s recipe box.

Besides being the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, it’s packed full of the good stuff: recipes.  Handwritten recipes, typewritten recipes, recipes clipped and saved.  Some are of the “Jell-o and/or cream of mushroom soup as primary ingredient” school of 1950s cooking, but many are Southern specialties: country captain, cheese straws, and plenty of different theories on barbecue sauce.  I can’t wait to try this wild rice method:

(click for larger)

I love the colloquial voice and the sense of history in these recipes.

Sooner or later I’ll have to start maintaining my own recipe box to store all of the recipes I pry out of people.  I’ve got my eye on this recipe box by Rifle, but then again we have a woodshop in the basement.  Who knows?  And clearly this blog is becoming my virtual recipe box in some ways.

Sometimes I worry that I talk and think about food too much.  And then I remind myself that no matter who you are, if you’re human you have to eat food to remain alive, and that really it’s one of the most fundamental constants in life, and what’s so bad about dwelling on that?  Everything we eat is a culmination of millenia of trial and error in method, cultivation, trade, and technology.  There’s a history lesson in every meal, if you want it.  Cooking for people is one of the easiest ways to show that you care about them, and eating tasty food is one of the simplest pleasures in life.  And family recipes are flavored with memories as well as spices.  And then I stop worrying.

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4 Responses to Treasure trove

  1. Kayte says:

    Lucky you…I also have both of my grandmothers’ recipe boxes, and my great-grandmothers’ (3 of the 4) recipes which are handwritten and tucked in various boxes, books, and whatnot as that is how they stored them. Love having those…I also have each of their rolling pins, measuring spoons, cups, etc. as NO ONE wanted them…can you even believe it??? I use them all the time and think of them. BTW, this is an excellent Wild Rice method, seriously, most people (and restaurants) do not cook it properly…they don’t let it open to that fluffy white goodness that comes out when you cook it just right and the grains open…think of it like a milkweed pod and you want it to split open but not have it to the point where all the fluff flies away (gets gummy). Now you know, because I am just that picky about my wild rice, having grown up right near Minnesota and all. You do know about wild rice, right? Yes, I thought so. Very nice post.

    • allifer says:

      Now I seriously can’t wait to try it out, having gotten the Minnesota Seal of Approval. And old kitchen stuff is so much better – it’s sturdier, and there’s that sense of history about it. And let’s not even get into old community cookbooks, which are another one of my secret obsessions…

  2. Kayte says:

    I love those community cookbooks as well…I only have about 10 and they came from places where I knew the people so I really really love looking through them and reading the recipes as I can actually picture the person who goes with the recipe, etc. Might have to start looking at some that I don’t know the people as there are very interesting things in those that have come down through generations sometimes…it would also be fun to get to see some from different regions of the country as all mine are from the Midwest, so not a lot of variety of different regional foods. I see these at tag sales/garage sales for like a buck or less because they aren’t big sellers…no, no, no…I do not need another obsessive thing in my life…lol!

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