Hi Friends! I've been going through my grandmother's beautifully beaten up recipe box for this series titled Millicent and Malia. And I've had a lovely light bulb insight: a woman's recipe collection is also her personal journal, written in code.
Some of Grandma Millicent's recipes are neatly handwritten on lined cards. Others are scrawled on scraps of paper. There are certain recipes printed on personal stationary and others in unfamiliar cursive… dishes and desserts quickly jotted down from friends. A few recipes are typewritten– with no errors. Even that feels like a marvel to me.
If you slow down and examine these rectangles of paper… there are clues about a woman's life here– just like you picked up and peeked into her personal journal.
Chicken scratched notes like "Allegedly served at Besty's Brunch"– was that written a moment of humor? Or a passing thought that the recipe-giver was trying to keep a prized recipe to themselves?
Certain names written over and over again– trusted friends who my Grandmother must have had long terms relationships with. Did they meet when their children were young? And continue their friendship as they transitioned from Mothers to Grandmothers? Did they share their pride as they children grew up as well as their grief as husbands passed away?
Millicent and Family in 1945. The war had just ended. Millicent was thirty-one years old.
Even the types of recipes– so many casseroles, penned in controlled handwriting– and then a shift to slips of paper with words hastily written in pencil entitled "Light Golf Lunch" or "Ladies Luncheon." Is this reflecting the change from being busy mother of three to a empty nest and a renewed focus on female friendships?
I'm left with more questions than answers as I unravel the gorgeous mystery of my Grandmother's recipe box. But it's delicious to daydream about Grammy Millicent's life.
To celebrate this magical journey of family and food, Keren Dukes from Free Pretty Things for You has created these free blank recipe cards for me to share with you– they are inspired by Grandma Millicent's recipe box. Keren did a fantastic job capturing it's essence.
Directions: The links will take you to the recipe cards on Flickr. Click Actions then View All Sizes. Select the size you want then click Download.
Note: For some reasons the colors will look different on Flickr but will print out pink and turquoise.
Thank you, Keren Dukes! Linking Up