I’ll admit it; I was a nerdy girl. When I was a kid, I spent hours going through my my mom’s recipe box. I’d categorize and catalogue trying to impose a system on all the newspaper clippings, pages torn from magazines, and slips of paper shoved in drawers.
As the only daughter, it was a given that the recipe box came home with me last month as we cleaned out the family home. I laughed to see my childish scrawl on many of the cards, there were my mom’s crisp rounded letters, too, and the old-fashioned script favored by my grandma. It made me feel close to them just thumbing through the cards.
Then I started noticing the names in the upper corners: Louise, Collette, Vicky, VaLoy, Karen, and Jean. Many of the kind women who peopled my childhood were there. Ladies from work, women from church, neighbors, and friends had shared their food, their recipes, and their lives with my mom and in turn our family.
Pinterest seems so cold and faceless in comparison to this outpouring of friendship and memories of potlucks, teas, informal parties, and simple taco nights. My mom was always asking for a new recipe, complimenting others on their cooking, and willing to try something new.
So last week in honor of my mom, I made her tried and true banana bread. Now it isn’t the banana bread my girls know; I always baked Pampered Chef’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread which is delicious but tastes very little like bananas. This is the one I grew up with—plain and simple.
As I pulled it out, I was surprised to notice it wasn’t just my mom’s recipe it was from a friend and neighbor who took care of us when we were little kids. As you can see, it’s well used. I substituted coconut oil for the shortening and halved the sugar, and made it up in mini-loaf pans. I can tell you, me and the MR enjoyed each bite.
Maybe our world needs some old-time potlucks and get-togethers where people share food and lives. The recipe box can always use a few new cards.
What’s in your recipe box?