Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speaking of old things...

I don't know about you, but I love old things. I love that they have seen things beyond my own time. I like to think of the people that have handled them over the years, of when they were used and the lives that were touched by them. I love old worn books for their character, their rips and tears, their stains and missing pages.

My favorites are my grandmothers old cookbooks, the ones that have been used and loved the most. Their pages are speckled with batter and singed at the edges but carry their battle scars with the pride.

My Granny's beautiful handwriting, her notes and recipes, line their pages. Stray cards and papers, buried treasure pressed thin, come loose and fall like feathers to floor as I finger my way through them.

I love them for what they are, not just what they contain. I know that she touched them and read them and took pride in feeding her family their delicious recipes. I think about the stories she shared while standing over their pages; or the occasions that took place while they lay, quietly on the counter; Weddings, Christmas, birthdays.

I love them for what they have seen. I think of these things when I use them, to cook for the people that I love.


  1. That's so cool - my grandma showed me one she has that she got when she was younger still living in the south - mississippi - I copied the recipes out of it and they are the best. I mean really good - sweet potato pie, crawfish boils, and hush puppies recipes - real down and dirty southern cooking, its the best.

    I also have this real cool "how to be a good secretary" book from the 50's or 60's - cracks me up. Includes how to dress - how often to empty the ash trays and all that good stuff. Maybe I will have to dig it out and take some pics and put it on the blog.

    Another good post - glad to see you getting your mind off things and having some fun!

  2. I don't think my grandmother used a cookbook. I do have a couple of stained index card from when I asked her to share recipes. None of them has any exact measurements. This used to bother me when I was younger, but now I find myself cooking the same way, although I usually launch with a recipe and veer off wherever the creative urge takes me.

    I found someone else's granny's old stained cookbook with notes in the margins and scraps of paper tucked here and there at a thrift store one time. I wonder if her grandchildren ever wonder what happened to their granny's cookbook.

  3. I love old cook books, when the pages are flecked with batter you know that thts a good recipe. My Dad made index card recipes. One tht I will always remember is
    " red bugs in water, make red kool-aid!"

  4. Very cool!! I have my grandma's recipe books too. Along with some of her handwritten notes and recipes. She made the best chicken noodle soup. I was lucky to get her noodle recipe. That kind of stuff just can't be replaced, IMO.

  5. What priceless treasures you have been uncovering lately!

    Old cookbooks are really neat, especially when they contain hand written notes from someone who you either know, or someone who you do not know.

    ...and yes, my man does have kind eyes! It was one of the things that attracted me to him. :)

  6. What a wonderful tribute to your Gran. We have family recipes scattered all over Mom's kitchen, and I keep trying to think of ways to gather them, and carefully put them in a book, with the recipes contained on them neatly typed up for her with the originals preserved for the generations to come.

    I look at old buildings, furniture, and well, anything "old", and wonder about who made it, and what types of stories it could tell....

    Great writing here! Keep them coming!!!! :)

  7. What great treasures - we have a few recipes in Grandmas's writing too - my Mom made me a little scrapbook with all of our favourite recipes - I think she was flattered when I said I wanted some in her handwriting too...

    I have a similar 5 Roses cookbook at home - big piece of Canadiana there...