Treasured Recipes

My mom always kept a binder or journal of hand written, Xeroxed, or clipped magazine recipes in her kitchen while I was growing up. Perhaps your mom did too. Lola’s treasured and food-stained recipe collection included my grandmother’s honey cake for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), her aunt’s meatloaf, her sister’s Danish pork, delicious baked rice pudding (my favorite as a kid), and a host of other recipes worth holding on to. A treasured and tasty food tapestry, collected over a lifetime.

I love the stories, memories, emotions, flavors that get passed along through recipe collections like my mom’s, and I have been pulling together my own collection of beloved recipes for many years into a time worn and food spattered recipe journal that I keep in my cookbook closet. My collection includes my favorite chocolate cake recipe that my sister gave to me two decades ago (see Caleb’s White Trash Chocolate Cake in recipe box), a delicious frittata recipe that I also got from Niki, Mateo’s dad’s pancake recipe that he grew up with, and other carefully clipped recipes that I’ve collected over the past few decades. Every time I pull the journal out of the closet, a recipe or two tumbles out and floats down to the floor. I suppose I could do a better job of securing them, but I love the way my collection is brimming over with recipes that are so eager to be used, they fall at our feet…recipes that I will one day gift to my children.

I’m writing about treasured recipes because Caleb and I were recently gifted with a collection of child-friendly recipes that Sadie’s Montessori teacher, Elizabeth has held on to over the years. She knows how much Caleb and I (and soon Sadie) enjoy cooking together, and wanted us to have her collection. I was so moved by this gift, that I chose to dedicate this post to the subject of beloved, treasured recipes, like the one’s Elizabeth passed along to us.

My next post will include some experimenting from Elizabeth’s collection, which has now been added to my home recipe binder. So convenient that they were already three-hole-punched and food-stained…they’ll fit right in! I look forward to testing some of these recipes with Caleb and Sadie at my side. I think we’ll start out with the persimmon cookie recipe – perfect for this time of year!

Special thanks to Elizabeth for the gift of her treasured recipes. I welcome any stories about family recipes collected throughout the years. Please feel free to send some beloved recipes our way. We may even use them as a future Cooking with Caleb project!

Happy (Jewish) New Year and welcome to the fall season.


4 thoughts on “Treasured Recipes

  1. I am very proud of my recipe binder! During my second maternity leave I made it my goal to type up (or copy from the web) all of the “best of” recipes I have saved in my 10+ years of daily cooking. I put them all in Word documents in the same font, etc, and printed them all out, tabbing the different categories. Also in there is my mom’s meatball and stuffed pepper recipes, as well as the beloved Norwegian pancake recipe handed down from my dad’s family. Also recipes collected from my closest friends for my bridal shower. It’s such a treasured possession, and really marks my evolution as a cook!

    Good to check in with your blog again!

    • Thanks, Jeanne. I really like what you said about your treasured recipes marking your evolution as a cook. They really do form a time-line or history, don’t they? That’s great that you had a chance to pull together your saved recipes. Perhaps, I’ll be as organized as you one day.

  2. Dear Anya,

    I loved your piece about treasured recipes. What a wonderful gift from Sadie’s teacher.

    Missing Lola’s usual holiday phone call to ask for yet another copy of that Honey Cake recipe of her mother’s she gave me that she always seemed to have misplaced. Or maybe she really hadn’t and just liked to keep that dear tradition going.

    Happy New Year, dear Anya, to you and yours.


  3. Happy New year to you…I love these recipes….everything is on the computer these days and these written recipes are going to disappear 😦
    I have some my mom’s recipes on my blog….that is my way of preserving for “cooking with mom” and they will show up

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