Sunday, September 17, 2006

not a madelaine...although the possibility exists

One of the things that passed to me when the Playboy of the Western World went into assisted living was the small metal recipe box that belonged to his mother.

I set it aside to look through during a time when I was undistracted by other things, and today is that day. But when I went to open it I was just brought to a complete halt by all the possibilities and ideas that came bubbling up.

I am not a sentimental person but I am not immune to the feeling, either. I have nothing like this from my side of the family, nor am I ever likely to. What I mean is a personal thing. A womanly thing. A mother to daughter, women's culture type thing.

So now we come back to this small metal box full of recipes. It's come through a house fire. It's not real clean. It may contain horrors of german cookery that are better left uncooked, as I suspect it does. But it is also mine by marriage. I'm the latest Scrimsher housewife so it comes to me by right as well.
It's proof that I belong a family. That I have a place as a grown woman in it.

It just blows me away.

Heres your tomato pickle recipe. You want it, you make it.
pps: go see this right now. just do it. remember... I don't have a soundcard so if this is saying fuck the pope or bomb the uk or something i didnt hear it; i just saw it. and it's so funny looking that i snorked hot coffee out my nose and on my dog.


  1. That is really lovely. I hope my future-mother-in-law has a box like this. I also hope that since the Boy is an only child that i get first dibs on the recipes. She is an awesome cook and needs share the awesomeness with ME, dammit. Tho, i suppose i could just ask her while she's still alive. Eh.

    (Bleh, on the Tomato Pickle recipe. I don't think i can understand such a love of the things. Good to grow, but that's about it for me).

  2. That is an awesome and beautiful thing to inherit, even if dirty and filled with possibly disgusting German recipes. (Um, of course I mean German delicacies of course.)

    Lovely nonetheless.

    And also? In your last post I could just kiss the goonybird on his ridiculously blond head. How cute.

  3. hmmm....
    woudl you care to elaborate on the German food comment?
    Just curious...

    The George Washington songwas awesome though :)

  4. Loved "WashingTON," too bad you didn't hear the song because it's hilarious.

    But I do know what you mean about that woman passing down to woman thing, it's beautiful. My mom, still alive thank gods, passed down two or three cooking books (which I have never used) and I love them and will pass them on to my daughters-in-law some day.

  5. It's great that you're feeling all warm & fuzzy, but looking at those recipes, I have a sneaking suspicion. It seems that all of the older, handwritten recipes I've ever seen look like they're dont in the the exact same handwriting. The influence of old penmanship schooling, or a vast, rightwing conspiracy? YOU make the call!

    So, what recipes will you be passing down to your daughter?

  6. In my book if the recipe cards are besplattered , they are probably GOOD.....thats cool getting recipe hand me downs....thats tradition.BTW if there is a recipe for german lager soup .....burn it....the resultant horror resembles something you may pass in the toilet after a cheap beer night with Frobisher and Mr C

  7. Oooh excellent. I love those old recipie books, although they often full of things I'd never want to/be able to cook.

    And lager soup? Ew.

  8. Oooh excellent. I love those old recipie books, although they often full of things I'd never want to/be able to cook.

    And lager soup? Ew.

  9. how funny - i was thinking the same thing about the handwriting as Da Nator, but didn't mention it. I think everyone in the school system at that time has the exact same handwriting. :) so cool.

  10. I always save things. I have lots of old love letters from my past boyfriends and childhood and also my mom still has the poems and letters she wrote to my dad when they were dating.

    That's awesome!

  11. at the mere mention of german recipes , billy is repeating on himself already

  12. claire: you gotta get on that before all the valuable eats are gone for good. people are usually pretty flattered to be asked.
    christine: theres actually quite a few good things in it. and yes, he is a qtpie.
    minka: i will. see below!
    carmentza: you gotta use them. besides, if you never crack them, how do you know there isnt 100 bills tucked in the pages??
    danator: ive noticed that too! i think it was called the Palmer method...if you didnt learn it you got rapped across the head by a psycho nun or something so everyone leaned it.
    beast: it is cool. and i will beware of the lager soup. thanx!
    billy: oh yeah. like jellied calves feet and pickled pork ears and all that gleaugh. or turtle soup. escoffier has you boiling the entire shell for four hours....aaaaaaak!
    claire: yeah. nun enforced. cursive or DIE.
    awaiting: those i never save, except for the Bikers'. the other stuff, who wants to remember?!
    beast: yup. and heres why:
    -hot potato salad. ingredients include 1/3 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of mayonnaise. um, no. no no no.
    -sauerkraut with suspiciously penile sausages, karo syrup and about an ounce of caroway seeds all boiled in a crockpot for a week, with tomatoes. NOPE.
    -wilted salad. ever heard of this one? make a regular salad. then dice up and fry a pound of store bacon and DUMP THE WHOLE THING, HOT FAT AND ALL, all over the salad. then toss on I TABLESPOON OF WHITE SUGAR and 1.2 cup of cider vinnegar. OR NOT!!
    am assured by the older members of the Biker clan that these are all genuine german recipes eaten in germany by genuine germans.

  13. Enough said - although a good weiner schnitzel is nothing to turn your nose up at! You sentimental fluff!

  14. FN....eeeek those recipes sound foul , altho the wilted salad sounds hilarious , I think I might make that one at the table at my next dinner party......can you just see everyones faces he he he

  15. Yes, splattered recipes are usually the best.
    My mother wasn't one for cooking much but she did have a copy of a Delia Smith book. Everytime I use it I'm reminded of her favourite things in life: it smells of cigarette smoke and there is a library bookmark at the entry for stuffed cabbage!

  16. I can't see as those recipies are any worse than many southern U.S. recipies (particularly those found in Mrs. Nator's Nana's church cookbook). Remember, in the South, "salad" means it's made with Jell-O!

  17. g: with nockerln on the side, please!
    beast: i swear to you that is real. i've run into it four memorable times now. you cannot imagine the vileness.
    ara: stuffed cabbage is awesome. gypsies used to make it for us in portland and it was out of this world good and spicy!
    danator: ooo, yeah. like 'red velvet cake'. ever had a plate of that? if you close your eyes, its great. if not...its...really,

  18. Grrl, I didn't know it existed until I met Mrs. Nator. I had one made for her a local soul food bakery for her birthday before last. She nearly fell out of her seat! I think we all had to through out our bright red toothbrushes the next day, however...