Don’t be tempted to throw out those old recipes. Or even Grandma’s hymnal. Such treasures hold a legacy waiting to be tasted by a new generation.
These two recipes arrived with a note from my cousin the other day. Jolana often sends me Grandma Bessie’s recipes on old slips of paper or well-worn index cards. Some are typed. Some in Grandma’s handwriting. All treasures.
Yes, I know she forgot to write the amount of buttermilk to use in the recipe. And she misspelled words. (It runs in the family.) But Grandma was the best cook in San Luis Obispo.
My dad and aunt would rise early in the morning and make pie crusts before heading off to school. Grandma finished the pies, cookies, and cakes. Sent them off to all the fine restaurants in town.
It was one way Grandma Bessie support her little family. Grandpa had died three months before my father was born.
Old recipes, stories, and a hymnal
Years ago I started collecting Grandma’s old recipes discovered here and there and between the pages of her old books. My dad had many of them. Cousin Jolana did too. Jolana still sends me these treasures when she finds them. (She lived with Grandma for some time as her mom and dad missionaried in far-away Mexico.)
I interviewed my dad. Collected the old stories and photographs as well as recipes. My aunt sent me a cassette tape of her growing up memories. Grandma’s well-worn hymnal and several old Sunday school books became mine also.
Eventually these recipes, stories, photos, and hymns were woven into a book. Not very technical. Just typed, printed, copied, and held together with a simple binding. I titled it Bessie’s Best: A David Family Heritage Cookbook. Copies went out to my family and extended family.
That was in 1995. Modern technology begs me to update the book, but I’m not sure I will. Part of its construction is my spiritual legacy. Left for my grandchildren to do something with.
I will write a Volume 2 at some point. My dad’s recipes are begging me to compile them with the stories of my parent’s short-term missionary trips and favorite family stories.
Oh, before I go, here’s one more recipe from Grandma Bessie’s recipe box. In her spelling and grammar.
one scan eye glass of Aunt Dina molasses fill with water and wash out eyes let stand twenty min. and wash out with clean water and do night and morning for ten days and then rest for five days and do the same gain for ten days. sure good.
Grandma Bessie, my aunt, and my dad are all gone now. But my grandchildren can still get to know them by reading over a simple cookbook compiled almost 20 years ago.
What creative way can you pass on the life of faith lived by those who have gone before you? I’d love to hear your ideas.
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but all of your friends would be nice.