For years I've had an idea for a very special project brewing in my mind. I posted about it last winter. My project outline is something like this:
- Get my hands on my grandmother's recipe book.
- Cook all the recipes in it (and take pictures of the process).
- Create a proper cookbook out of it using Blurb or Tastebook and give them as gifts to my family members.
When it was brought up from Tennessee for me this summer by the most reliable of couriers (Thanks Mom!), and I carefully, reverently, leafed through the pages, what I found was far more than a recipe book.
The leather-bound book, as it turns out, belonged first to my great-grandmother and begins with a clipping that she pasted in:
1920. 88 years ago this collection of recipes was begun. Sticking out between the pages of pasted-in clippings and scrawled measurements were thank you notes, shopping lists, and even a drawing done in a sweet child's hand; a note from my aunt to her grandma, my great-grandmother.
I was suddenly in awe of the history I held in my hands, terrified of tearing the brittle, crumbling pages, or of causing this new-found treasure to disintegrate altogether. How could I even flip through the book, much less cook the recipes from it? So I kept it in a padded envelope for a month. Safe. Protected.
Still, I could not resist the charm of its whimsical drawings and the very intriguing recipes I came across. I mean, something called "Knock 'em Dead Pie" is clearly just begging to be made.