The Old Recipe Box

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.

-ORB Banana Bread

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?







5 thoughts on “The Old Recipe Box

  1. I have a recipe box that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is small and wooden with a flower painted on the cover and held together with a rubber band. It was a wedding gift and holds family favorites from a long ago marriage. Through the years it is where I’ve stored many of my own favorites. You could say the recipe box is a bridge between my past and my present life. This little recipe box has recently become more meaningful to me. It is a happy reminder of the kindness and love of a former sis-in-law who lost her battle with breast cancer. I was touched by your post! Sandra

    • Thank you Sandra for stopping by the blog and your comment. I had tears rolling down my face as I wrote the post. When I talked to my daughter on the phone, I encouraged her to read it. The post about the recipes, she questioned.

      She just didn’t understand that it was memories, and laughter, summer days, childhood, and love. So much more than recipes.

      I’m glad you got it.

  2. Love this post! My mom has a similar recipe box, I will someday inherit…along with the memories and love that go along with them. I see so much heirloom type quality in those recipes!! For my wedding, my sister had every woman in our family jot down a recipe on an index card to start my own family cook book, that someday, long from now will be passed down along with my mother’s. I’m glad you did what you were meant to do with those treasures…make them, eat them, remember ‘them’!

    • Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. My sister-in-law put together a book when I got married with recipes from the women in my family. Aunt Freeda’s Dinner Rolls and Aunt Ethel’s Autumn Soup are still frequent favorites on the menu. I make dinner, think of them, and smile. It’s funny the wealth of memories a little slip of paper can hold.

  3. Pingback: February Fun | big white house on the hill

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