Kay made me do it. When I saw her recipe box, it brought back wonderful memories. The sense of taste is one of the strongest and it elicits many wonderful memories. Isn't that why we all love the holiday cookies?
My own mother died when I was 28 years old and I realized that there were many things I never got to do, like gather her recipes. I could always call her in the past. So I spent about 6 months in 1995 begging my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and even great aunts and uncles for family recipes. I received so many wonderful family treasures - my great uncle even had transcribed my great grandmother's recipes from "a pinch of this and a handful of that" into standardized measurements. I typed all the recipes into a cookbook during every free moment I had. I typed recipes into my laptop on the R train during my evening commute from Midtown to the end of the line in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn every night. I typed at home. I typed on the morning commute back to Midtown. I typed on the weekends. I typed on my lunch hour. I managed to take the family recipe box and create the Huffman Family Cookbook, making the family treasures available to the entire family. Every one of my brothers and sisters and extended family received a copy of the cook book. It's still my favorite to date. The cookbook I put together is pictured above with the recipe box. That's a picture of Grandma Lois and Grandpa Charlie during their wedding day on the cover of the cookbook. Almost all of the recipes in my Recipe Photo Album are from the Huffman Family Cookbook. Here are some pictures of the handwritten recipes
The top left is in my great-grandmother's handwriting. The middle left recipe was my Mom's favorite cookie - The Uncooked Cookie. The other two were Grandma Lois' recipes on cute cards from the 1970s.
I'll never forget the first time I made Mom's Sunday Roast Beef Dinner. It was spring 1995. I was eating and started bawling at the table. "This tastes so good. I miss my Mommy". I've never made it since... but at least I know I can, if I want to.
Speaking of family recipes, here's a picture of my Grandma Grace's Krumkake Iron which I inherited. I've never made them before, except the year Grandma showed me how to make them.
I made them on New Year's Eve as our dessert. They were a huge hit and they were a very happy visit with Grandma Grace (She's the one who taught me to knit). Even though my Grandma was Irish, she was fond of these Norgwegian Christmas cookies which Wikipedia says "are popular in Norway and the Midwest"
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Beat eggs and sugar. Add melted butter, vanilla and nutmeg. Add flour. In a separate bowl, whip cream. Fold whipped cream into batter. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased Krumkake iron over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from iron. Roll on Krumkake stick to shape. Cool.