Friday, August 13, 2010

Grandma's Recipe Box

When my Grandma Sophie died many years ago, the only thing of hers I wanted was the recipe box. Whenever I visited, we always cooked or baked something, and the recipe was usually on a card from the box. She kept it in a kitchen cabinet with her baking pans. The light-blue, square, plastic box had two parts to it. On the left were cards carefully organized into at least 40 categories. On the right were oversized cards and recipes that had never been filed.

At some point, I decided to organize the box properly. I bought a photo storage box and a lot of index cards. Going through every recipe, I set up the categories in alphabetical order and got rid of redundant or illegible cards. A lot of the recipes were missing something critical, like how to bake them or a key ingredient like flour. Most of the recipes were from magazines or the newspaper, but some were handwritten, either by Grandma or one of her friends. It felt like a history lesson.

Since setting up the box, I have worked on it. I add recipes as I come across them, mostly from the LA Times. Every time I create a recipe that I want to remember, in it goes.

I'm editing the box again. That means reading every recipe and deciding if it is something I want to keep. I did find several good recipes that fit the Pantry Project and that I hope to use. I'm not going to try to make everything in the box, but it's nice to know that the recipes are there if I ever do need them.

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