Monday, April 19, 2021

Recipes and Memories


Recipes and Memories

You may have noticed my recipe box in the background of some of my posts.  Over the years it has held many great recipes...and in the past few years I have been printing more recipes from blogs, websites, and copying from magazines - and those recipes don't fit on cute 3x5 recipe cards.  All of those are in a recipe binder, but this recipe box will always hold a special place in my kitchen.
In 1976 I was student teaching in my final year as a Library Science student at Kutztown State College in PA.  I had completed my Elementary School session and moved on to Governor Mifflin High School for my secondary experience.  It was a crazy time...John and I were engaged in the summer of 1976 and had planned a wedding for the summer of 1977...a month or so after my graduation from college.  My last semester of college was scheduled to be all Library Science courses...but courses that interested me and would be useful in whatever kind of library position I would have in the future.  With student teaching work behind me, I hoped to have lots of time to plan our wedding.  Sadly, halfway through the fall of 1976 my future mother-in-law became seriously ill.  We decided to move our wedding date up to January 1977...on the two weeks of semester break.  So, it was a busy and stressful time at student teaching.  I loved working in the high school.  The librarian who was my cooperating teacher was wonderful and taught me so much.  The students were fun to work with, faculty made me feel welcome, I joined in pep rally time, and the group of student library aides were so sweet and friendly.  The librarian and the aides knew that my wedding was approaching and on my last day of student teaching they surprised me with a little bridal shower.  
The gift was this beautiful recipe box from the librarian, and each of the library aides wrote out a favorite recipe and enclosed it in the box.  I was thrilled!
Over the years the box was filled with recipes from family, friends, and copied from magazines and books.  That recipe for Strega Nona's Magic Pasta is from a book called The Fairy Tale Cookbook that was in the library of the first school where I worked.  I think it is now out of print and I am so glad I have that recipe based on Tomie DePaola's book about the grandmother witch and her magic pasta pot.  You can find the recipe here  - Magic Pasta

Some recipes were cut out of magazines and taped or glued to index cards, some were handwritten by friends and shared with me after wonderful dinner parties...

The salad recipe was copied from a Parents Magazine back in the early 1980's - Bow Ties with Apples and Oranges
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread was shared by the Home Economics teacher at the school where I spent most of my career.  I would always catch the smell of this baking and drifting into the library.  The students loved to share their creations and I now make this recipe all the time.  My neighbors love it!
Not pictured is a card for Easy Apple Crisp - back in the early 1980's Bisquick sent out recipe cards to your address and this recipe is one I kept and use often - 

But, it's time to edit and weed this beloved recipe file.  And to make better copies of some of the recipes before they fade away.  This is my mother's cut out Sugar Cookie recipe.  She received this recipe from a woman she did housework for in the 1930's.  The woman, and I think her name was Mrs. Kushki, was the Penn State Extension Home Economist and my mom helped out at her house as an after school job.  We make these cookies every year and they are, in my opinion, THE BEST! Here is the recipe - 

This recipe was handwritten by my Aunt Mamie when she was in her 90's.  It is her recipe for Slovak Kolachi...or nut roll.  I need to copy this onto a card and put this someplace safe so it does not get stained.  You can see from my other recipe cards that I am not the neatest cook!  This is a treasure to have her handwriting and a keepsake to have forever.
Once I finish with this project of saving and weeding out recipes I no longer make it will be onto the recipe binder.  There are so many in there I make over and over...and some I have never made.  Watch for that in a future post. And until then...
How do you organize and save your recipes ?  Do you still have a Recipe Box?   Have you gone digital and saved recipes on 
your computer?  Please share your ideas and leave a comment.  I am linking up today with Between Naps On The Porch  
for Metamorphosis Monday!Thank you so much for stopping by
 Our New Vista.


  1. I enjoyed reading this blog post Ann about your recipe box and those past memories. I have a folder that I keep most of my recipes in. I also get a lot of my recipes online or from other bloggers. I have a lot of cookbooks that I enjoy using too. I hope you have a nice week Ann.

    1. Hi Julie - Thanks for stopping by! When we downsized I gave a lot of my cookbooks to the library and vowed not to buy anymore. Yeah...that did not work! I love reading cookbooks! Hope you have a great week as well !

  2. What an awesome box and memory! I do keep recipe cars but my box is just a boring old clear one. Many of them are stained. I also keep copies of recipes on paper in the box. I do need to get it o organized. I can't wait to see your finished project!

  3. You have some very special recipes, Ann. I know I have recipes that need to be sorted, not to mention more cookbooks than I will ever need in the years to come. It’s difficult for me to rid myself of them!

  4. Yes, Nellie - VERY hard to get rid of cookbooks! I could sit and read a cookbook like a novel. Now I keep an eye out for ones that look good at the library...where I can return them and not clutter up my bookshelf! Have a great day - thanks for commenting!

  5. Ann, that beautiful box would never leave my counter! I've never kept a recipe box, but I would find something to put in that box. I wrote my recipes on lined paper and kept them in a 3-ring binder for many years. Then I began storing them on the computer when that became a thing. I rarely cook from a cookbook, but I've always loved reading them like novels.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Jean - the box has never left my counter over the years. Glad to hear there is someone like me who reads cookbooks like novels! Have a great weekend!


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