Gram’s Recipe Box

This past weekend, my mom gave me a tremendous gift, although at the time I didn’t know it. I thought she was asking if I wanted a little box. It was white, showed years of use, and was clearly a recipe box. I didn’t know what to think at first, then I looked inside. Where I assumed it would be empty, it was in fact full of recipe cards. They were my grandmother’s recipe cards.

Since Grandma Pat – or Gram as we called her in later years – passed away in 1982, I have fallen out of practice at recalling her memory quickly. She used to do this funny little story called The Crooked Mouth Family and I would laugh every time she told it. She also would softly say “purr, purr” when something was particularly tasty or special, something I have said myself from time to time. How I could have forgotten these special memories is really a testament to time wearing away at our minds. I was a tender 14 years old when she passed and she had been very ill for quite some time. It wasn’t an exact shock, but it’s never easy. It was the first death I was really cognizant of, being as my grandfather had passed away a few years earlier and didn’t make as much of an impression on me.

As I looked at those recipe cards in that old wooden box, so many of those wonderful memories came flooding back over me. I remembered the funny little rhymes and ditties she taught me, and I was especially good at remembering them. I remembered the red mittens she had made me which I treasured for years after they no longer fit, and hardly wore in the first place because it doesn’t really get all that cold here in California. I could remember her smell and her smile, her funny sense of humor and her playing Blockhead with me at the kitchen counter. Grandmothers are truly one of the most wonderful things in the world.

So, later that night after my mom gave me the box, I was thinking about it and what to do with it. I didn’t want to put it in a drawer or cabinet to be forgotten. It seemed like something I wanted to share somehow. Being the digital age – and having access to decent equipment and a husband who can help when pressed into service – I realized I could start a blog about the recipe cards. My first idea was simple: post a scan of the recipe cards with minimal commentary, as often as possible, daily preferred. As I sat in the chair at the hair salon waiting for my color to set and my friend to finish with her other customer, I set up a new blog via my iPhone. (My goodness I am getting pretty geeky, aren’t i?) 

Almost the most difficult part of this process has been settling on a color scheme and design! I wanted something that reflected Gram’s love of home, crafts, and family, while keeping it within the 21st century. Plus, WordPress.com, the host I use, has very few themes available that are not techie. I finally settled on one, posted the first few recipe cards, told a few friends, and hoped for the best!

I hope you will make some time to visit Gram’s Recipe Box. Since the site launched yesterday, I’ve gotten some great feedback from friends and family. Yes, I will be making as many of the recipes as possible and posting pictures and a blog post about my experience. My mother may be consulted often. My sister may be called into service. It’s a family treasure, after all. Hopefully, you will share the treasure with me!

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3 thoughts on “Gram’s Recipe Box

  1. I really love the new blog and have passed it on to others like Margie and Diana. I can hardly wait for the next post. I really like seeing Gram’s handwriting again.

  2. Love the new blog! The Coffee Cake that goes into a cold oven was in Grammie Hennie’s handwriting. So assume she gave it to Grandma Pat. And guess, what I could read it!

  3. I’m very touched that Gram’s memory will live on in a way that was very much her “way of life”. She’s probably looking down on you and agreeing with the way you are memorializing her.

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