Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recipes of Love.

May 2 was a tough day for us as a family.  The Husband was out of town on business- 4 hours away.  He got a call no one wants to get.  His grandmother, Alice, had passed suddenly.  It was a shock to our family.  Alice hadn't been ill at all.

The next few days were a whirlwind.  Travelling to NE, helping the family plan services, going through Alice's small, quaint apartment, and remembering a feisty lady who we all dearly loved.  In the nearly 11 years that I have been part of my husband's family, Alice had become my grandmother as well.

She was spunky in all sense of the word.  Wasn't afraid to tell it how it was, whether you wanted to hear it or not.  Loved to play card games & dice games, though she had certain games that she would only play with certain people.  She lovingly referred to me as her "Little $hi#" after I surprised her one evening when she was not expecting me.  It was our little joke for years.  I loved all the talks we had.  She was opinionated, stubborn, and one of the most caring people I have ever known.  Not a birthday, anniversary, or special event was overlooked.  We always received a card in the mail and a phone call.

When going through Alice's apartment with the family, there were many tears shed as we would find something that would touch our hearts.  Often it was photographs (and there were MANY!), or words that she had written.  We found birthday cards for 2 of her great grand kids, not yet sent- but already filled with her love.  One of those was for my son- whose birthday is today.  Alice was at his birth & was the first to hold O, when he was just minutes old.  
Alice & Owen 5/18/07
We found many trinkets and treasures that held memories.  We discovered things that made us laugh through the pain, and sometimes wonder what she was thinking.  But, when her kitchen cabinets were cleared out, I jumped at the opportunity to have this:
Alice's recipe box
I love recipe boxes.  Especially ones that have been filled with recipes from years ago.  Recipes handed down over generations, ones from newspapers, now yellowed with age.  Recipes written in the familiar graceful scrawl of a woman we loved.  Sometimes there is a random note, or words of wisdom.  I didn't know for sure what I would find in Alice's recipe box, but I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.  
 I found this notepad, which had the date 1960.  There were several recipes on brittle pages, worn with age, and stained with evidence that these were recipes she called on often. 
 This recipe for "Idiot Rolls" from a friend of Alice's.  The notation on the back said "So easy an idiot could make them"  It made me chuckle, knowing this was something Alice would say.  

 Many many recipes of all the baked goods that her family remembers her making- prior to an injury that left her limited mobility in her dominant arm.  Recipes with notations of how good they were: "!!!Excellent!!!" Gingersnaps, and "Delicious" chocolate crinkles.  "So & So's favorite". Some more visibly older than others. 
 newspaper clippings so old they were almost brittle to the touch.
 Easy Rye Bread that apparently appeals to men.  I wonder how many gentleman callers she had when the smell of this baked good was wafting out her windows?  And was she trying to impress someone when she came across this several years ago??  The thought made me smile.  
Tips and tricks on how to get rid of mice, ants, and roaches.  Because, simply, you never know when you will need advice like this.  
 We also came across a few of these- stacked neatly and tucked away in a corner. Only one was written in.  
It was to be my Christmas present this year.  

The recipe box has become a treasure of mine.  I love it as much as I love my own grandmother's- which I received when she passed several years ago.  Timeless treasures that I hope someday will continue to be passed on.  

We love you & miss you Grandma Alice.  
I feel the need to make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie.  According to the recipe card, it's my husband's favorite! :)


  1. What a fun recipe box!! I love those kind of things too! What a neat lady!

  2. This was a lovely post. My grandmother mails me handwritten recipe cards from time to time and I love them. :)

  3. P.S. My husband is a HUGE Husker fan. He's got the tattoo on his arm to prove it. ;)

  4. I am very sorry for your loss :(