Recipe Memory Box

As I was going through my mom’s recipe box last week, it occurred to me that today’s young cooks probably seldom use recipe cards and probably don’t own a recipe box. In this day and age of food blogs and cooking web sites and electronic cookbooks, recipe boxes probably went the way of the cookie jar.

I’m not judging. I have recipes stored on the websites of Food Network, Allrecipes, Weight Watchers, and probably others I don’t even remember. And don’t even get me started on Pinterest. But still, it was fun to see those recipe cards in familiar handwriting with notes written on the back and splotches of food all over the cards. I spent considerable time trying to figure out the various handwriting so that I could see from whom a recipe originated.

Many of my mother’s recipes are named after the contributor: Jen’s Party Pork Chops, Beckie’s Wonderful Pie Crust, Leona’s Refrigerator Pickles, Grammie’s Apple Pie. Many of the recipes were copied in one of her grandchildren’s handwriting.

It’s kind of sad that our grandchildren and great grandchildren won’t have the same opportunity to look at our recipes and try to read our handwriting and wonder if we ever actually made the Coquilles St. Jacques recipe that’s in our box. As for handwriting, do kids even learn cursive anymore?

After perusing Mom’s recipe box, I moved to mine, where I found a recipe card from my mother-in-law for “My Mother’s Cream Pie.” She gave me that recipe some 20 years ago, and I have never made the pie. I asked Bill if he remembered the pie. “Candy Pie!” he immediately said, which is what he and his siblings apparently called it. “I didn’t know you had that recipe. Can you make it?”

So I did. As it was baking, I went on the internet to see if anyone had ever heard of a Cream Pie. After some sleuthing, I found what others call Sugar Cream Pie (a sensible name since the recipe basically consists of sugar and cream). It originated in Indiana, which is where my mother-in-law, Wilma, was born and grew up. It all fell into place.

Bill took one bite of the pie, smiled, and said, “Wow, this takes me back to my childhood.”

That’s the way I felt all last week. Food memories.

Wilma’s Mother’s Cream Pie

Ingredients
1 c. sugar
4 T. flour
1 c. cream
1 T. butter

Process
Mix sugar and flour together; stir in cream. Pour into unbaked pie shell and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.

Nana’s Notes: As I researched the pie, I noticed some people added vanilla and/or sprinkled nutmeg or cinnamon on top before baking. I wanted this to be just like Wilma’s pie, so I didn’t do that. Next time I might add vanilla and a little cinnamon. The pie was sweet and very good. And simple — four ingredients!

Do you have any food memories from your family? Did your mom have a recipe box? Do You?

5 thoughts on “Recipe Memory Box

  1. Just the other day I was remembering sitting in the stool in Mom's kitchen in Dillon and watching her make that Coquilles St. Jacque recipe. She was usually such a simple cook, and, as I recall, that was a complicated recipe.

    It's so funny that the pie was the McLean favorite. The sweeter the better as far as they're concerned! I am a little surprised it didn't involve chocolate.

  2. I have recipes everywhere. I have a recipe box, a notebook with recipes cut from magazines and glued to the pages, 4 folders filled with recipes printed from the internet, recipes saved on the Food Network web site, recipes pinned on Pinterest, and cook books that I love. Beckie gave me a recipe box filled with recipe cards 37 years ago and I love looking at the recipes she wrote out for me. And nothing brings Mom back more than looking at a recipe in her handwriting.

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