Thursday, March 11, 2010

Granny's Recipe Box

The recipe cards smell like Granny’s house. I had almost forgotten that smell. The last time I smelled it was last July when we went back and packed up her house.

How do you describe a smell. A person’s smell. It smells like the combination of her perfume (Estee), her hand lotion (Jergens classic), her face cream (also Jergens), and her powder (she used talc with a powder puff every day!). There is probably a smoke residue in there from her years of smoking. Funny thing though, I don’t ever remember smelling smoke on her, her clothes, or her furniture. I don’t know how she did it! Especially since she smoked at least two packs a day. She didn’t quit until she turned 81. Cold turkey when she did. The Doctor said she would get sick like all of her friends if she didn’t. Scared her to death. So she quit. But still, I don’t ever remember smelling smoke. And the cards don’t have a trace of it. They smell so good.

In the front of the preprinted cards is a stack of magazine clippings and hand written notes. Some in Granny’s handwriting, some in Mother’s. And after perusing all of the clippings, it’s a wonder anybody lived as long as they did!!! Most of the recipes start with, “Add some shortening to the pan, then a pound of ground beef, “ and end with, “mix in a cup of shredded cheese and serve.”

And the plethora of chili cheese dip clippings! Oh my gosh! There must be at least a dozen. Some duplicates. All basically the same. Dump a can of chili in some melted cheese and add more hot sauce. A half a dozen recipes for beef brisket. And almost all of these old tattered pages call for smoke liquid in the ingredients. I think I have heard of smoke liquid. Maybe. Can you still get it? And not a fresh herb in sight. Onion flakes galore! Half of the recipes are one skillet meals. And the most amusing part? They all sound delicious!

I found a great stuffed pepper recipe that I’m sure I can trim down with ground turkey and rice cheese. I also ran across the old recipe card with Maida Naden’s stuffed mushrooms. I remember those! Mother made them in batches at every party. I loved them. They were soooo good. But best of all, I found a copy of Mother’s sour cream coffee cake recipe! She always had it on hand during the holidays. Such a nice and sweet treat. I keep meaning to ask her for it, but keep forgetting. There is nothing diet about this recipe, but it is great comfort food when I am yearning for home.

Those cards smell so good. Mother said to go ahead and throw out the preprinted ones, and hers, and just keep Granny’s. But I think I will leave them all just the way I found them. The box is tin, so the smell will stay for a long time.

I am sure that Mother is under the impression that she is getting the box back when I finish copying the recipes. She should probably rethink that!

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