Savor Your Handwritten Family Recipes
For me, food is often about a “moment”, whether I am looking for a particular taste or creating something to share. There are definitely days when a peanut butter sandwich is “what’s on the menu” but more often than not there are days when I want to create something.
The creations that I make using a family recipe have so much meaning because they tie me to the traditions of my family and I feel a connection. That is especially important now when I no longer live near family and because some of my family have passed on.
Don’t ya just love using the handwritten family recipes that you have?
If you do not have any, try to get just one, even if you need to ask someone in your family to send you your favorite recipe…but NOT in an email! It may seem silly, but a year from now, you will smile because that handwritten recipe will mean something to you, but not because it is silly. Unless it is for a Chocolate Cookie Dirt Cake with Worms or something like that. Then you just might smile because it is silly.
Hmmm…that just gave me an idea to “make a moment” for my wee ones. They have seen the Dirt Cakes, but I have never made them. Well, except for the Tonka Birthday cake that had chocolate rocks, but that is not the same. Spring is a great time to make a Dirt Cake, ya know, the kind that uses crushed up Oreo Cookies (or the like) to make the dirt and you layer it over pudding, ice cream or some cake and use a gummy worm etc. Yah, those dirt cakes.
I have to go write myself a note…be right back…
Ok, back to nostalgia.
I do not have that many handwritten recipes in my arsenal so the ones that I do have are so cherished. Many of the ones that I have are written on little pieces of paper and are simple and straightforward, at least they probably were to the family member who wrote them.
I am usually left scratching my head over a portion of the recipe and find myself trying to think like my grandmother would have. Simple, no-fuss and no la-de-da techniques.
This handwritten recipe was from my great-grandmother. I inherited it years ago, but I cannot remember if it came from her or from my grandmother after my great-grandmother had passed away.
It is for a Candy Easter Egg and I had the recipe out this past Easter because I had every intention of making it, but I never did. Then my local paper had an article in it about making homemade candy eggs, you know those giant ones? I thought it was a neat coincidence because that had been on my agenda for the Easter holiday. Then, just recently my local paper had another article that was about handwritten recipes. They are a dying breed and that is so sad.
I love handwritten notes, cards and recipes. It just won’t be the same to pass on a printout recipe from my computer to my kids.
It inspired me to take great-grandma’s Candy Easter Egg recipe and finally give it a try. Yes, I am aware that Easter has passed. (I was not aware, however, that Memorial Day Weekend is this coming weekend. Yikes! How did that happen and why didn’t someone tell me? I need to spend a little less time paying attention to my list of “little known holidays” and more time paying attention to when the major ones happen.)
There is usually an air of mystique in deciphering family handwritten recipes as they are not usually written in the same detail that they are these days, especially like the online recipes. I wasn’t sure exactly what one part of the handwritten instructions meant, but I used my own knowledge to fill in the blanks and give it a try.
My mom always had a large chocolate candy egg in her Easter Basket (not her Easter Bonnet, although that sounds like a good idea), usually a coconut one. This recipe is for a peanut butter one. I ended up using sunflower butter because I was out of peanut butter and was putting off the grocery store trip.
I decided to make my “eggs” small and make a few of them instead of one big one. Partly because one giant egg-like ball of sugar scared me (I am a “salty” after all) but mostly because I must not have decoded the amount of sugar needed in her recipe incorrectly because my candy concoction was a bit soft and was not ever going to form a giant egg shape. But let’s just say that I chose to do this for artistic expression. It sounds better.
My wee ones loved these and said it was the best candy that I ever made. That made me chuckle. I do not make a lot of candy because I am a “salty” and it is often too sweet for me and my wee ones do not really need all that sugar. It is true what they say about kids and sugar. Trust me. So, this definitely stood out in their minds as a great candy recipe.
Well, it is from their great-great grandmother so they do have good taste.
(Don’t ask me what the white shape is with the green blob in the middle of that one chocolate. I wanted to recreate the little hard sugar candy flowers that often come on the candy eggs, but I was too lazy to put much effort in…obviously.)
Here’s me, Little Baby Aaryne, with my great-grandmother, the creator of this handwritten recipe. My daughter is named after her.
Me and my great-gma, her recipe and my creation…how neat is that?
To go along with savoring your handwritten family recipes, I wanted to share this with you as well.
I found this book of handwritten recipes last year and gave it to my grandmother for her birthday. I thought that she might enjoy looking through and reading some of them, even though she does not do as much cooking and baking these days. She did. Did I tell you that I love gift-giving? I do.
The author of this book has found these recipes while leafing through cookbooks as he works in his father’s used bookstore. Have you ever looked through your own cookbooks to find a scrap of a recipe stuck inside? How fun!
This may be a great gift for someone on your gift list.
Do you have handwritten recipes that have been passed on to you? If you would like to share, post a picture of your handwritten recipe to my Facebook page at the link below and tell us about it.
Revive family tradition and save the handwritten recipe!