Memories and Recipe Cards


Have you ever spent time going through old recipe cards and books? Part of my day was spent doing just that. I have a book at my house that is filled with old recipe cards from my husband’s grandma.

The book will be sent to my sister-in-law as she is the only girl in the family and it just seems like it should be hers to have and cherish. I did decide that I would also like copies of those recipes to keep; so I spent some of this snowy day, making copies of them.

It was interesting to see what kind of recipes our grandmothers thought were good enough to keep and to make for their families. I found cards for cookies, cakes, desserts etc. I grinned when I noticed the overwhelming majority of the recipes were for sweet things. Obviously, sweets have been popular for a very long time.

The recipes were from women named Tillie, Marietta, Alice, Darlene, Gerdena, Zelma and more. Even the names seemed to fit those faded cards that were filled with wonderful cursive writing. Some of the recipes were not even written on cards. I loved the one that was on the back of a bank deposit form.

I can just imagine those women, sitting together discussing what they should make for the next gathering. One of them remembers a recipe but cannot find anything to write it down on. After rummaging through her purse….she pulls out a bank deposit form and proceeds to write it on the back. I am so glad grandma did not transfer it to a fancy card but left it as it was.

Those women were prolific when it came to keeping recipes to use for future meals and treats for their families. They seemed to take great joy in providing food for their families, neighbors and fellow church members. I know my grandma did and I know my husband’s grandmas did as well.

Those grandmas loved to share their good recipes. I remember the big smiles they gave, when I would ask for a recipe from them. There was a joy in that sharing, there was a joy in the passing on of knowledge accumulated through the years.

There is something so valuable about grandmas passing on their knowledge….not only for making food, but of life. There is much wisdom to be learned from the generations that have gone before.

There is a wealth of information on raising children, serving others, being a person of compassion and just generally living life; that can be gained from those who have lived many more years than we have.

It is my prayer that you are all blessed with someone who has that type of wisdom. It is a wonderful thing when someone like that has a place in your life.

I am reminded of those who have gone before, every time I look through the cookbooks that my grandma used to own. Her handwritten notes, next to certain recipes have never steered me wrong. I have a feeling the heirloom recipes I gained today will also find a place among those cherished cookbooks.


My grandma’s old cookbook is aged and forlorn.
The pages are grease stained, each faded and worn.
The spine is collapsed and the cover’s askew,
revealing, in no way, what this book could do.
A barrel of cookies, sweet, fresh lemonade,
roasts, casseroles, salads this ancient book made.
It brought love and caring to both young and old,
delivering happiness not bought or sold.
Its owner and user breathed life to this book,
by sharing herself with each recipe cooked.
True gifts from her heart were delivered with love,
presented on earth for her Father above.
Her gentle, sweet kindness was blended with care.
A silent reminder that she had been there
to welcome your newborn…
to ease every ill…
true unselfish gestures of love and goodwill.
So don’t be deceived by the physical book,
but rather… rejoice in the wonderful cook.
Just cherish and honor each frayed, weathered page,
for pure, loving kindness has brought forth its age.

by Jane-Ann Heitmeuller

38 thoughts on “Memories and Recipe Cards

  1. susieshy45 says:

    What a beautiful post!
    The people who have gone before us, faced the same problems, laughed the same laughs, cried the same tears and felt the same pain as us. Surely they cooked like us- for others – so see smiles on the faces of their loved ones.
    The treasure troves of these recipe cards( which should probably) be laminated to protect are the best inheritance one can have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. says:

    I love the poem at the end. How is it that we become nostalgic during these snowy days? Is it because we are stuck and have nothing to do but think about the past? I’m glad God gives us those quiet times to sort through things. What a blessing even though I’m really done with snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      We are slowly going through my in laws “stuff” as they have moved to assisted living. It has fallen to me to sort and I must say it has been fun in a way. Looking through a lifetime accumulation of memories is very grounding!
      I love seeing the handwriting of grandmas, great aunts and those I have never met this side of heaven.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    What is it about sweets? I recently purged my stash and low and behold they were mostly dessert type recipes. No wonder we are all sick . I did put a family cook book together several years ago for my boys and their families. Called it “Momma’s in the Kitchen” with all our favorite good to go to recipes.
    Love your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Years ago our Christian School put a cookbook together as a fund raiser. When they sold them my sons were all in grade school but I purchased 3 extra for future wedding shower gifts. It is so much fun when they open that gift and get a huge smile. They always tell me they were raised on that cookbook….and I think they are right.
      Love the idea of a family cookbook!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthsoaper says:

    This brought back precious memories. My grandmother worked as a dispatcher at our small town police department. Several years ago when my sister was going through some of Grandma’s old recipes she discovered that they were written on the back of old traffic tickets. LOL. Apparently when it was time to purge the files Grandma found a second use for the tickets. (she never threw anything away) It was interesting to read the persons name, location, infraction and fines involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. says:

    I too treasure hand written recipes. How good of you to give them to your sister in law. and I agree with you about the wisdom of our elders. The older I get, the more I prefer the company of older people. The ways of life have changed, but the way to live life, has not. Lovely post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Maureen Helen says:

    Lovely story, thank you. I recently moved with my husband to an apartment and in the process let go of many treasures. It was a joy to give things to my children and grandchildren while we can still enjoy watching them treasure what we also treasured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Thank you Maureen! And I am so glad you stopped by.
      We are presently going through my in-laws things as they have moved to assisted living. I keep giving my mom in law reports as to who is asking for what and where their things are going. They also seem to enjoy knowing that their family is treasuring those items.


  7. Pam says:

    I enjoyed your post and the poem! I hate to cook, and have never been good at it, but I admire people who cook well and enjoy letting others feast on the fruit of their labor.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb says:

    Oh what a wonderful way to spend your day. Yes all those names and the various papers and cards used to write the recipes on. I noticed the top one says Potato Casserole…yum that sounds good!! What a lovely thought to give it to your sister-in-law. Very smart of you to make copies first. I love that poem, it brought a tear to my eye…I bet you make delicious foods too Faye!! Maybe you should insert your favorite recipe when you give this book to your sister-in-law, I bet she love that!! 🙂 I also noticed you said snowy…ugh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Deb says:

        Yeah we had snow twice last week too. On Facebook it showed me a post of mine from last year’s Easter and I commented on how much I was enjoying the 86° weather!!! Somebody please reboot Mother Nature, I think she’s hung up…lol. Have a wonderful weekend Faye…say hi to the girls for me please!! 🐓🐔

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Margy says:

    I scan recipes (cards or from books) and keep them on my computer and my ‘i-thing’. It is a good way to carry the recipes with me, and it is always nice to see the recipe just as it was written!

    Liked by 1 person

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