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