When we cleaned out my grandmother’s house, there was really only one thing that I desperately wanted.
The majority of the recipes were truly hers – she literally made them herself.
I did get to take the recipes, but what I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet is that my husband and I closed on our new house on April 24th, and my grandmother died on April 25th. The recipes had been sitting in my parents’ house, along with most of my other junk because we all know there wasn’t more room for it here.
Moving into our house was a frenzy, as we also had a few days of funeral activities to attend. The recipes were inside a bag, which was inside a box, and until last week, I wasn’t even sure if they were at my house or my parents’.
I found them and decided to look through them last night.
This is just a bit of what I had to look through.
One of the first recipes I found is a cookie we would make every Christmas.
Seeing her handwriting on the recipe got me a little shaken up, but in a nice, warm and fuzzy way.
I couldn’t believe how OLD some of this stuff was.
And most of it was hard to make out. Some of it even written in pencil, probably up to 50 years ago, maybe more. You can imagine how much it has faded.
Most of the recipes had ‘age spots’ or stains on them, and I kept wondering what it could be. What was she making that day that she spilled on the recipe??
Hmmm, here is one for her mother’s date pudding.
I like dates, and I like pudding, but I don’t know if I’d like date pudding. Have any of you ever had this?
Again, more of her mother’s recipes that I can barely make out.
I’m sure you can see how old and discolored these papers are. Notice in the upper left corner a sheet of more recent paper…and by more recent, I mean probably from the 70’s.
Ooooh here’s an oldie.
Check out that paper disinegration.
Again, more old paper against new-ER paper.
This here was a good find. Her orange cookies were AMAZING, and she made an even better glaze to go on top. Again, a usual Christmas recipe, and one of my mom’s favorites.
I can’t wait to fill my new kitchen with Christmas goodies. Hopefully I can restrain myself.
This will be our first Christmas in our new house, and I am SO excited. I can’t wait to decorate, light Christmas-scented candles, and obnoxiously bake cookies that could feed a small country.
And then obnoxiously eat them all in one sitting. Yes, I can’t wait.
How cute is this paper?!
I love this one because it is either my mom or aunt’s handwriting, most likely from when they were my age. They were obviously planning a party, perhaps one of their wedding or baby showers, as the list reads chicken salad, lemonade, fruit salad, deviled eggs, stuffed celery, and…
Would someone actually serve dirty lettuce?
At one moment I started to panic because she had recipes organized and clipped together by paper clips.
I obviously took them apart, but I didn’t like taking them apart since she was the last to handle them.
I think this is really a true treasure.
Hand-written recipes in a very old recipe book. Most of these are written in pencil, too. The paper is so old it is practically crumbling.
OK – a recipe on a NAPKIN.
This takes the cake. Who saves this? Why not write it on paper!?
This napkin has seen better days.
It appears to be about 212 years old in napkin years.
There is one BIG reason that I looked through these recipes. I wanted and NEEDED to find a certain recipe.
For my sanity, for my mom’s, my cousin Lacy’s, and probably every other person who had ever came in contact with Mother Lovett.
We didn’t ever think we would find it. We didn’t even think it was written down.
And after about 5 phone calls to my mom earlier in the evening, telling her ‘I found this, I found that,’ I finally found what we all had been looking for.
This is HUGE.
Her pie crust was TO DIE FOR. I wish I could tell you in person because really, it was incredible.
And I found the recipe.
Then regained conciousness.
Then ate a cookie to make sure I was alive.
Not only was I alive, but I had found the recipe that has alluded us all for many, many years. Even if you were with her while she was making a pie crust, it was impossible to figure out her recipe. And if you asked for it, she said she just knew how to make it and couldn’t find the recipe. And to be honest, we rarely asked, because we were convinced she was immortal.
Another VERY old sheet of paper.
Wow, probably one of the oldest in there.
I came across this – a recipe was written on the back.
It was a subscription letter to my grandmother’s FATHER.
I don’t know if you can make it out, but they offered him a year subscription for $1.00.
A letter addressed to my mother right after she was born.
Can you see the date? You do the math.
There were a couple recipes from newpapers tucked in with the others.
Check out that date!
We found many, many old, saved items in her house. Some we deemed ridiculous, others reasonable. She lived during The Depression, so naturally she saved EVERYTHING.
Including a bottle of soy sauce that expired in 1978 and hairspray from the 40’s.
Not quite sure what she was planning on doing with that…
I love this last picture. This stirred the most emotion in me. I felt lucky and special to hold this, and at the same time my heart absolutely went out to the woman writing this. I want to frame these.
A letter written to a prospective employer – I guess today we could call it a ‘cover letter.’
There were two letters. One sent to ‘gentlemen’ at the local newspaper, and the other sent to a female at the post office. There was no resume to send, as my grandmother had been a homemaker since she got married – which I believe was her dream – to cook, clean and raise a family.
However, she was recently widowed, and it was time to find work.
My, my, how times have changed.
Her qualifications included typing, bookkeeping, answering phones, and following instructions.
Not much out of the ordinary, right?
But it was a few lines down that got me. She writes:
‘I am intelligent, have a pleasing personality and present an attractive appearance.’
I told you she was beautiful, right? She failed to include this part in her letter to the female at the post office.
Some things never change.
Us women have always had a bit of power over men. :)
61 Comments on “Treasures.”
WOW! Loved your story! I had an aunt who collected recipes like these…from newspapers and friends and such. She left them to me along with her cookbooks…I treasure them all….even 2…Mike Roy (famous chef at the time) cookbooks…signed! I also have a recipe or two on the “cute” paper you have! How strange is that? Thanks for sharing!
Would you please give us a written recipe for the Date Pudding? Mom made date nut balls at Christmas time, but never date pudding. My Brother and I loved the date nut balls. Now that she is gone, I can still remember the taste in my mouth…yum!
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I use to listen to Mike Roy on the radio when I looked as a book keeper at my business in LA. He had a fabulous recipe for pie crust using vinegar. Another recipe was a cake made with oatmeal and coconut with a brown sugar frosting including nuts. You wouldn’t happen to have those recipes would you? I use to make that cake for my kids when they were little. Thank you for the beautiful story of your mother and aunt. Time goes by so fast and I’m happy for you that you have a little bit of your mom’s history.