the home arts

A glimpse in time…

Recipe_cardsI recently bit the bullet and finally gathered my bulging, three-ring binder stuffed full of recipes and transfered them to recipe cards. The simple fact of the matter was the notebook was definitely unfriendly to transportation- even to the pantry. There was no way to glance in the pantry to see if the needed ingredients were present, let alone decide on a recipe, because they were constantly falling out! And where in the world to place said bulging notebook on my space challenged counters? I ask you. But no more.  They are all neatly transcribed, printed off from a fabulous digital kit from 2peas. I  loved the fun, retro vibe and colors of these. Maybe it was those retro-fabulous designs that got me to thinking about my mom and grandma…but it did.

These little scraps of kitchen goodness- something infinitely practical, yet so indicative of the cook that owns them. What a snapshot they are of the woman who penned them. Is she a ‘pinch of this’ and ‘a dab of that’ magician? A detailed ‘1 cup’ and ‘3 liquid oz’ scientist? What secret recipes are in there? A fantastic pasta sauce? A to-die-for Black Forest Cake? And then there is the handwriting itself…just who is this woman, with beautiful detailed cursive? The neat, small, carefully formed script? Some of the only actual traces of my grandmothers are these little time-capsules, written by their hand. And what a legacy they have left me! A smile spread across my face as I realized that years from now my daughter would be reading my handwriting in a recipe. It felt wonderful- a joining of an infinite circle of women, showing their love of family in the careful writing down of a nourishing tradition.

And that’s what it is, this list of recipes: some culled from adventurous books, whispered from a friend at a delightful get-together, an experiment gone deliciously right, or a memory of Great Aunt Edna’s apple pie. A tradition that has been around so long, so common-place, so mundane and everyday that we miss the glimpse of the amazing history embedded in them.  So pull yours out. What do they say about you, you mystery woman?


  • Elise

    Mine say, “She must not love us enough. We’re spattered with grease, dusted with flour, and our corners are bent.” But I say that it is because I love them that they are so abused…
    Some day I shall post the recipe card “holder” that I adore- one my dear husband made for his mama when he was six…
    Thanks for the heads up about these darling vintage cards- I’m heading there right now!

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