I have been thinking about food lately. Food plays many roles in our lives, beside the obvious contribution to nutrition (hopefully) and energy. Entertainment. A reason to gather. A creative outlet. Comfort. The term "comfort food" has been traced back at least to 1966, when the Palm Beach Post used it in a story: "Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called "comfort food" - food associated with the security of childhood, like mother's poached egg or famous chicken soup."
In October, my sisters moved our Mom from her independent cottage to an assisted living facility closer to my oldest sister. In the process, I inherited three of Mom's cookbooks, which #1 Daughter transported to me when she came to visit for Christmas. It would be an understatement to characterize them as well-loved! The pages are sprinkled with splashes, evidence of cooking in years gone by!The non-descript orange binder is the greatest treasure of them all. The vast majority of the contents were painstakingly typed on a typewriter. Notes in Mom's distinctive spiky handwriting pop up in margins, on post-it notes and on random sheets inserted throughout the sections, sections such as Bread, Cake, Candy, Cookies, Dressing, etc. It is at once a snap-shot of the 1950's housewife, a record of family recipes, and a chronicle of family gatherings and the associated menu. Who knew she kept these details? In the midst of raising 7 children, when did she have time for this?
Mom is 92, and it would take a lifetime to execute all these recipes, so I began by asking her about cakes. Why cakes? Birthday cakes feature prominently in early family photos. February, April, May and October just for the first four! So, I asked Mom about her favorite cake ... maybe I should not have been surprised to hear it was NOT any variety of layer cake, but rather the Saucy Applecake!Where to go next? Mom says her preferred cookies were the Famous Oatmeal Cookies, a recipe from her Great Aunt Anna. I look forward to carrying on this fine family tradition, and you can expect to see them in a future post!
Who would have guessed that this little orange binder could feed my tummy, my heart AND my soul? Already I feel closer to Mom, despite the 1,900 miles that separate us. Sometimes our phone conversations have been as dry as a crouton, a by-product of the life of a 92-year-old constrained by the pandemic. Now, the cookbook presents a ready source of conversation topics.
I flip the pages slowly, so many of them sending me into a dreamy reverie of times gone by. Her famous Cranberry Salad recipe, a staple at our Thanksgiving table. A recipe for zucchini bread, a frequent summer treat to deplete the overabundance of Dad's garden. Punch recipes recall the graduation ceremonies of my older siblings, when I barely reached to their knees. It seems rosy from here, some 60 years later, and yet I am sure there were challenging times for Mom, managing a household with nine souls under her care (yes, including Dad). One of my sisters found this poem (author unknown) during the move process.
My life is but a weaving Between my Lord and me
I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily
Oftimes he weaveth sorrow And I, in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper And I the underside
Not 'til the loom is silent And the shuttle cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas And reveal the reasons why
The dark threads may be needful
In the skillful weaver's hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
During this time of Lent, I am reflecting on her self-sacrifice and her love. While my memories may lean to the physical, such as the food she prepared for us, I know she worked hard to look after our spiritual needs as well. Thanks, Mom, for feeding us -- tummies, hearts and souls.
Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme
where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and
enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an
easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join
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Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
Dear Angie, the cookbook is really a treasure. You can be very proud. Nice to hear about your Mom aged 92 years. Best wishes for health!ReplyDelete
It's amazing to read about sweet recipes of a long time ago. I love the foto of your Mom in sepia oldfashioned and lovely, rememberings on my own childhood.
Hugs... have a wonderful week. Happy MosaicMonday
...old family cookbooks are treasures! Thanks Angie for hosting the party.ReplyDelete
Lol, I have binders and books quite like that too. I have my own, now about 6o years old and I have my mothers too. And I love Oatmeal Cookies.ReplyDelete
The problem with the old recipes is the recipe ingredients. They have changed and the taste is no longer the same. :(
How cool to have such wonderful recipes and all those family memories too!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful cook book. I'm sure the saucy applecake is so good. It looks amazing. Is it difficult to make? Thanks for sharing about your mom and her cook books. Take care. Enjoy your day. 🦊🌻 angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcomReplyDelete
What a blessing to have your mom and her handed down recipes. A real treasure.ReplyDelete
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade
What treasures you received and such a blessing that your mom is still here to talk about the recipes and the memories associated with you!ReplyDelete
My, so wonderful that you have your dear Mother’s cookbooks.ReplyDelete
She sounds like a wonderful lady who took great pride in raising her family.
I bet Abe Lincoln’s Cake is delicious.
How wonderful to have a binder of some of your mother's favorite typed recipes, Angie, with her hand written annotations, as well as some of her cookbooks! The saucy apple cake sound delicious. I love vintage recipes and when I see them I pin them onto a "heritage" recipe board on my Pinterest to save them to try. The most wonderful thing is that your Mother is still able to converse with you at age 92. Savor those precious moments with her on the phone, as I know you do.ReplyDelete
It certainly is a blessing to have in your care this legacy of your Mother's RecipesReplyDelete
Mum's cooking is the best. My mother also has a hand-written cookbook with all her recipes collected over decades. Such books are to be used and treasured for many generations!ReplyDelete
PS: Thanks for hosting, Angie!ReplyDelete
What a lovely post! I wish I had such a treasure trove of my grandparent's recipes! My grandmother was quite a cook, unfortunately when my grandparents died, my father got rid of everything without asking us kids if we wanted things, very sad. I have a binder like your mom's orange one! I hope one day that after I die, someone will find it and pass it on from generation to generation!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post! It makes us all wish we had these good memories of the special recipes that have been a part of our lives. I pulled out some old recipes for bread when the pandemic started and have enjoyed making those. Happy Monday!ReplyDelete
A lovely post, Angie. You tied it together nicely. The cookbooks are true treasures to have on hand, especially since they bring back memories and sparked conversations with your mom. My mom gave me all her old cookbooks, a whole set of Better Homes & Gardens from 1963. I just looked at one and see she noted a cookie crumb coffee cake on page 20. I don't remember her ever making it so will have to ask her about it. :) Now I've got something to talk about. Take care and have a good week.ReplyDelete
These old recipe books that are handed down from previous generations are the best! Now that my mom has passed, I cherish the recipes that are written in her handwriting...so special!ReplyDelete
WOW! Loved this blog. Did you find her Sauerkraut Soup recipe as Bridget wants it? Can't wait to peruse the recipes when we come visit.ReplyDelete
I always wondered how my mom managed to do everything while raising five kids by herself - my dad passed when I was 11 and the youngest was less than a year old. Moms from that era were definitely Super Moms.ReplyDelete
Loved this post Angie... I actually have one of those binders, originally made for me by my daughter when she was about eleven or so. It’s gone through a few versions (adding and subtracting) but I still have the original with her notes. I have my moms old cookbooks, my grandmothers, and Bill’s grandma...its so touching to see the notes in their own handwriting.ReplyDelete
I just made cinnamon pancakes with diced honeycrisp and caramel sauce. Very similiar to your saucy apple cake! Yum.ReplyDelete
Angie, I love your post. Reading about your mom and her recipes makes me feel all warm inside. I cherish the few handwritten recipes I have of Mama's. And lucky me, the Husband inherited his mom's, dad's, and grandmothers' handwritten cookbooks and recipe boxes, too. Big hugs.ReplyDelete
Lovely post Angie, having your Mums cook books is very special, I have my Mums too.ReplyDelete
That cookbook reminded me of the ones my mother compiled.ReplyDelete
What a sweet post!ReplyDelete
Cookbooks are so wonderful and I used to collect them and have a whole bookcase full. My very favorites are the one from my Mother--who went on her final journey 10 years ago---still living on her own and full of spunk and vinegar---at age 95. Another fav is Bob's cookbook he inherited from his mon. All hand written, in a ring binder and all in order. I have made many dinners and desserts out of that book. Good memories.ReplyDelete
What a sweet treasure to inherit those books with your mom's handwriting and notes in them. That cake and those cookies sound delicious. Happy cooking/baking and happy memories to you. I love food!ReplyDelete
What delicious memories!ReplyDelete
How to bake a cake, recipe is excellent, thanks Angie.ReplyDelete
you know i am a foodie too, and i LOVED this post. those books are a treasure trove of recipes and valuable notes your mother left behind!!ReplyDelete
we've come a long way since then, because of pinterest, most recipes are not even written down!!
loved the needle work!!ReplyDelete
I can see how the recipe books would evoke lots of memories Angie. I am a foodie second to being you know what. Sue says I'm forever thinking about food but it's just planning ahead.ReplyDelete
Oh what special recipe books, so many wonderful times and memories shared.ReplyDelete
All he best Jan
What wonderful treasures! I have the red cookbook which is an original from 1955. I learned how to make so many cookies from it. I hope you and your family are doing well. Stay safe. KitReplyDelete
What a lovely post. Your mother's cookbooks are a treasure, full of delicious recipes and memories. My grandmother was the cook/baker in our family, I wish I had her cookbooks now. Take care, have a happy week!
I haven't done a mosaic in ages. It's been busy, though.ReplyDelete
I love the cook book recipes! I was explaining typing classes to my grandie the other day. Both of us took them in gr. 11. She sorta smirked, but I explained how different typewriters were.
That cookbook is a treasure. My mother had one similar and my grandmother. Who knows what the future holds. Heather cooks using her ipad propped up for the recipes.ReplyDelete
What a treasure of memories your mother's cookbooks are. It is truly priceless. Enjoy making some of the recipes and have a great week.ReplyDelete