This is my mother's recipe box. Or, rather, this was my mother's recipe box. It is still very difficult for me to think of her in the past tense. This is the one thing, more than anything else, that I most wanted after she passed away. It is no ordinary recipe box. My father made it, I painted it, and my mother filled it with decades of culinary history. I had considered cleaning it up, and touching up the paint, but thought that I would leave it exactly as it was when it sat on her counter now that it has taken up permanent residence on mine.
This box was just one of the many craft items that my mother and I made to sell at our annual holiday bazaars, a tradition that began in the seventies and lasted for two decades. We always enjoyed doing crafts. She was the seamstress, I was the stitcher and painter, and for a while, my aunt joined us contributing her extensive designs of dough ornaments. As we became more experienced and mature, so did our offerings. Looking back at the early pictures makes me wonder how we managed to sell anything, much less sell out in the course of mere hours.
Here was are, ca. 1977, l-r me, my mom, my aunt.
Here is an assortment of our handmade items.
In addition to selling our handmade wares, we spent two days prior to the sale (always held the first weekend in December) baking cookies, candies, cakes, pies, breads and sweet rolls. When I look back on these energetic and productive days, I wonder how we ever did it.
The secrets to a lot of our sought after baked goods are contained within this box. One day I invited my aunt and cousin over for lunch and to sort through the recipes. It was like taking a walk back in time as each of us had own our memories of different recipes and how and when the prepared dish had been served.
I'm going to share both recipes and memories with you here on the blog beginning tomorrow. Tell me about the recipes from your past that have the most meaning for you.
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