Welcome to the first of a new type of entry that we plan to do periodically!
Who is the woman in the title? Angie was my grandma and a very special lady indeed! She loved to read and collect recipes, she loved to cook and she had a strong affinity for kitchen gadgets! I got my love for all of those things from her and we often spent time cooking things together.
You were always more than welcome to join her in the kitchen – my sister and brother and her many nieces and nephews would agree with that statement I’m sure. If you were new to the family she would always welcome you in her kind way and it wasn’t long before she would start sharing some recipes with you. I seem to recall this happening when my sister-in-law and fellow blogger Karen joined the family – grandma almost immediately sat down with her to share some of my brother’s favorite recipes!
For her it wasn’t just about the cooking, it was also about the social side that went along with it. She and her sister would often tell us stories from their childhood about how cooking together as a family was a form of entertainment because they didn’t have the kinds of entertainment that we have today.
They would spend hours and hours making bread or pasta together while sharing stories and having long conversations as they worked. Many of these traditions are still carried on by us today even though they are gone and I consider that to be one of the greatest gifts they left us.
Shortly after my grandma died we discovered in the box of recipes that she used to love to review daily a tiny little notebook full of handwritten recipes with her name written on it. Based on the address written in it and the fact that she was still using her maiden name, we know that it came from the time before she was married at the age of 18. It contains many recipes she continued to make her whole life along with many more that I never knew about! I have no doubt that this little book is a collection of the recipes that she learned from her mother while she was growing up.
The recipes contain a list of ingredients, occasionally without exact measurements, and a procedure for each recipe that is often quite short or on occasion doesn’t seem to have all of the details you would need such as cooking time and temperature! Since the book dates back to the 1920s when stoves didn’t have precise thermostats, when a “temperature” is mentioned it is noted with words like fast or slow oven – fortunately, you can search and find a list of temperature equivalents.
We thought it would be fun to crack the pages of this family treasure from time to time and attempt to cook the recipes as written, factoring in a little guesswork when necessary. On the first attempt we will each interpret and prepare the recipe without comparing notes and write about our experiences. If after our first run we feel that there are changes we could make to improve how we did, we will take a second shot at it and write about that too!
We look forward to sharing our quest with you – Stay tuned for the first recipe from Angie’s kitchen which will be arriving shortly!