Here is how this whole idea started:
This index card, in my mom’s unique, neat, cursive-print hybrid writing, caught my attention lately when I found it in the binder where I keep random recipes clipped from newspapers, magazines, and printed from the internet (an extremely non-technical form of carbon dating allows me to pinpoint 2001 as when I first began taking advantage of free printing at work… which, incidentally, happens to be the year that I had my first full-time job, and probably coincides roughly with when I stopped buying my own pens, paperclips, and post-it notes).
Anyway… the card caught my attention for a few reasons:
- I can not remember my mom making rice and beans for me, ever (but I actually didn’t really start to like beans until my mid-twenties, which is around the time she died, so I am not holding a grudge).
- I miss “recipe cards.”
- I miss my mom…
- …because she was my mom, and I loved her and she was awesome… but also because she knew great and interesting things like the existence of cumin before cumin was a standard pantry ingredient (it’s yellowed with age, but I believe that line above was highlighted. And I think if you are taking the time to highlight something on your hand-written recipe card, you are pretty serious about it).
This led to thinking about other recipes that I have in my possession, and the amazing collection of cookbooks I’ve amassed over the years. Yes, I buy those modern, beautifully-photographed cookbooks, but I also have a number of bound-together recipe collections from people who worked in my aunt’s office or members of the Slovenian Women’s Union. I have a particularly vague photocopy of a cookie recipe from my husband’s grandmother, and one of my most prized possessions is a transcript of a 1994 episode of Donahue that my mom purchased because she and my grandma were so excited to make their own Wendy’s Frosties (but actually not, because due to copyright issues they are referred to as “Wednesday’s Frosty” throughout the episode).
So why not collect these online? I’m beginning this project for myself and my family, but also for anyone else out there whose grandmothers had iceboxes and afghans and whose moms were masters of soup-based casseroles (and, apparently, rice & beans). I have plenty of material! And, I’d like to think, the support of the women who taught me about cooking and inspired this project in the first place (though I’ll be honest, the excerpt below was actually referring to making homemade pierogi, not writing a blog, which is something my grandma would not have known the first thing about!)
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