Sunday, August 23, 2009


What's inside this little metal box is more valuable to me than diamonds, and probably only to me. This is my grandmother's recipe box. It's stuffed full of memories, and not just mine.

I've learned that the woman may have been more compulsive than I - nearly every recipe in this box is neatly typed on an index card.

The first recipe - Dode's Date Cake - is from my grandmother's sister, who died before I was born. The next is a treasure indeed - Ruth's Chocolate Cake. Ruth was my grandmother's best friend for more than 70 years. Her chocolate cake was prized, and fought over with increasing energy as she lost her sight to glaucoma as the years went by. Her daughters don't have this recipe, but the cake is legendary at her women's club. Further in, Grandma Lee's Cottage Pudding. Grandma Lee would be my great-great-grandmother.

The true prize, though, is finally having her nut bread recipe. She made it for Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and Easter, and my birthday, and other special occasions for as long as I can remember. It makes two loaves, and it is wonderful sliced warm. It's even better spread with cream cheese. I don't know what you're having for dinner, but I'm having nut bread.

The recipe calls it "Mrs. Baus's Nut Bread" and I'm sad now that I have no idea who Mrs. Baus is. This is, and has always been, my grandmother's nut bread. So, sorry, Mrs. Baus, but...

Jayne's Nut Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 and 1/2 cups nuts (we use walnuts, chopped)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bake 45 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Think of her, please, when you eat it.

I'll be eating nut bread, and listening to her big band music while I find places for her things to live amongst my own. Here's to melancholy days - sometimes, they hurt just right.


Anonymous said...

I have my Gma's recipes and my Mom's (extensive) collection of recipes, including her old wooden recipe box. My childhood is still living in there, I think...

Suldog said...

OMG! My Mom has that exact same little box! She keeps recipes in it, but also little newspaper clippings of household hints, etc.

I swear, the exact same little box!