Friday, January 4, 2008

Dear Kay and Ann,

Let me just tell you what a saga you have unleashed here at Chez Stuff...You asked us to post one recipe box. ONE! HA! You DO understand you're asking folks who already have a stash of yarn to post just ONE recipe box? And then, just ONE Recipe? Well, let's take the tour of Chez Stuff and see what we can come up with here. First off all, in this lovely corner, I'd like to introduce you to the wooden recipe box that was filled with lovely recipes from one of my Bridal showers back in the year of the dinosaurs, aka, 1980 from the ladies in Manistee, Michigan. This box was lovingly put together from my childhood friends and their mothers and the members of my Dad's church.

Now, since I had started knitting back at the tender age of 7, I was well versed in the art of collecting stash. And this box very soon became far too small to hold all of the recipes known to my kitchen. I graduated to a large metal box, that sadly is no more, due to the flood of 2001, in the kitchen known as Southern California post divorce rental house when the winds blew the rain in UNDER the kitchen door and well.. it got wet and then rusted as metal boxes will do.

After drying out the recipes and temporarily storing some of them in an old girl scout cookie case box, we here at Chez stuff moved them into a photo storage box for the next phase of the recipe fill lifespan. But only partially have they wandered into the photo box.

Other recipes from generational hand me downs to friends who can also bake up a storm have migrated into two other books.

On the left hand side of the tour buss here at Chez stuff, you'll see the Holly Hobby[opps, make that Betsy Clark-Thanks Heidi! OY! I KNEW THAT! Duh! Proof that Blogging at 2:30 am will always mess you up!] version of the accordion pleated folder that carries many newspaper clipped recipes and other magazine cut out recipes from both Chez stuff and from the estate of Mom of Chez stuff sent in regular weekly snail mail letters. Making sure that daughter who resides at Chez Stuff knows all the newest ways to use a can of Cream of Mushroom soup.

Moving on, we find more recipes shared from Chez Stuff's former life as a Girl Scout Leader, and her former Girl Scouts, as those families also shared favorite family finds from their own recipe boxes. (No doubt those boxes and collections were smaller than here at Chez Stuff..but were copied and added into the vast black hole of the recipe kind we are wadding through on our daily tour this morning.)

Now, if the wise tourist is paying close attention you'll notice not one, but yet two more recipe boxes that have a nearly permanent placement on the lowest left of the CookBook Bookcase. Heaven knows the moment one of those recipes are tossed out, it'll be JUST THEN the Queen of Chez Stuff will ultimately require that same specimen for the culinary delights that evening. So, we keep them in the collection rather than 'thinning' the stash.

So, is that all of the recipe boxes here at Chez Stuff ? Well, sorta. Are those all of the recipes? Oh, HECK NO! You see, the photo box resides on top of the microwave alongside a small collection of other books,

The lower 2 shelves of the microwave cart also carries it's share of books, not to mention a couple of popcorn boxes that have been enlisted with the duties of multiple books to make it easier to slide them in and out for faster location of just the right recipe...(ya ya,.I know..who am I kidding?)

Then, this past Thanksgiving, when Mom of the Chez Stuff daughter was sorting out her kitchen books and things permitted the Queen of Chez Stuff to pack up this bag of 1930ish book and collection of other 1960's era books to leave the pantry of Michigan for the kitchen that only were built for warming coffee on the way to the Starbucks in Southern California. We're still sorting through them to determine their proper placements.

This would be the CookBook Bookcase aforementioned that is awaiting the proper placements of the periodicals in the paper procurement pouch previously perused. What, you say you can't see what's on those shelves? Well, allow me to provide you with a better view!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, we were on a quest to fulfil the requirements of Kay and Ann's recipe contest, weren't we? Well, I should mention that the 2 most prized possessions that I have amassed in the collection would be my Grandmothers' recipe books. Not their boxes, but their books.

On the left side, is my Grandma F's notebook. She hand wrote out all of her recipes, and on the right side is my Grandma B's Betty Crocker cookbook that this family was pretty much raised on. Inside are all her hand written notes on what she liked and didn't care for so much . When my cousin gave it to me. it was held together with some very old rubber bands. She recommended that I put it together in a 3 ring binder with plastic pages as she had done with another old BC book to preserve them. And that's what I did with both of them.

Right after something got spilled on it, one of the kids decided it was a good place to 'decorate' and the ex-husband wrote some driving directions on the back of one of the recipes. Ya. justifiable I tell you! Time to hit up the plastic pages to preserve what was left....

The two newest in the library of volumes here are thanks to the Food Network! OH BABY! Miss Paula how I loves ya! And your sticks of Butter and your ya'lls!

Oh, Shocker here, I've gotten sidetracked yet again! (Big surprise - huh?) Ok, back to picking out just ONE! recipe from the box. Well....I pulled out a couple of recipe cards to pick from...

Determined that two of these, I've already posted here on the blog (peanut butter cookies and the roll out sugar cookies), so they were cut from the contestants...

Went through the 2 church cookbooks that I've contributed family recipes in the past for (in hopes that I would never lose a copy of a good recipe if I've had it printed up in a cookbook form)...and the left just 3 more to pick from.

(bonus, if you click on the pictures, you'll get 2 extra recipes)

Right about that time, I looked down into the box of cookies my mom sent for Christmas, and realized this was the last time she is ever going to make cookies to send to us. It was the perfect choice! Cream wafers! At age 80, she said she just can't be the family cookie baker anymore, so with that, we can all savor these last few.

And with that, I present to you the family all time favorite cookie of the holiday season. My Grandma B's Swedish Cream Wafer cookies!

Mix thoroughly:

1 cup soft butter

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups flour

Chill at least 1 hour.

Roll out 1/8" thick and cut into 1 1/2" rounds. Transfer onto waxed paper heavily sprinkled with sugar, turning rounds with spatula to coat both sides. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Prick in about 4 places with fork. Bake until slightly puffy but not brown. Bake at 375*F oven for 6 - 8 minutes. Put each 2 cooled cookies together with Creamy Butter Filling.

Creamy Butter Filling:

Blend together 1/4 cup soft butter

2/4 cup sifted conf. sugar

1 eg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

Divide and add food coloring. (we use red and green for Christmas)

Thanks Kay and Ann...for giving me this adventure down memory lane to remember some of the world's greatest bakers and family as I flipped through a lot of recipes to pick just the right one for today's posting! Hope you all like it!

This would be Grandma and Grandpa, Dad, little brother "T" and me with the first fish I ever caught! [the fish in question? Ya the little one on the stringer... I made my Mom keep it until my Grandma got to the cabin that day so she could have it! I wouldn't let her cook it for anyone else but Grandma! OH, and when I caught it out in the little metal row boat, Mom says that I got so exicited that I nearly tipped the boat over with her in it! Dad said he could hear me giggling all the way in to shore.]


Jennifer said...

Aw - what a lovely walk down memory lane. Your mother's cookies look lovely and scrumptious - so much so that I cried when I saw them. Great fishing picture, too.

Heidi said...

Wow. That's an impressive collection of recipes! (btw: That's not Holly Hobbie but Betsy Clark. I used to collect Betsy Clark stuff in high school!)

Have you ever thought of designing a Notre Dame dishcloth?

Anonymous said...

Yea!! Someone else has as many cookbooks and stashed recipes as I do. Some of my collection come from combining my collection and my mom's (which meant there were duplicates)As my kids moved into their own homes I made them each cookbooks with all the oft requested recipes. I'm now starting to train the next generation to cook and knit.

Unknown said...

Was the picture taken in Michigan? I have read your blog and you say you were raised in Michigan. I live in Michigan and have many memories of fishing here when I was a little tyke.Thanks for sharing.