My Ol' Recipe Box
This week found me digging in my kitchen cabinets for my stuffed, much used-and-abused recipe box. Why? Because I'm contributing to an upcoming group cookbook. And as always happens when I go through that box, I was immediately assailed with the memories which each and every tattered card evokes. Memories of the friends and family members whose handwriting is now fading. So, for a change of pace, my post today is about food. Hope you enjoy the following.
9 cups of chopped, fresh pears
1 large can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
5 cups of sugar Cook until thick and seal in hot jars
I have no idea why the recipe bears that name, since it doesn’t contain any honey, it was given to me by my mother-in-law, a wonderful cook. The combination of these three ingredients produces a unique flavor, delicious as a topper for toast or homemade biscuits (yum-yum). It’s one of my husband’s favorites
Catfish Charlie (9-day slaw)1 large cabbage, thinly slithered
1 large onion, sliced thin
½ cup of sugar
Sprinkle sugar on sliced cabbage & onions and set aside. Then combine the following in a small pan:
1/3 cup of sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. celery seed
1 cup of white vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
Bring this combo to a boil and pour over cabbage/onion mixture. Chill thoroughly (overnight is good). Stir well before serving. Keeps well.
Another of my recipes with an odd name, the above was my mother’s specialty and requires a very large mixing bowl. She and my step-dad were big on fishing and fish-fry gatherings, so I’m pretty sure that’s where the Catfish Charlie name came from. (Note: Splenda may be substituted for all or part of the sugar.)
Fresh Tomato Relish1 qt. fresh tomatoes
¼ large green bell pepper
1 small white or yellow onion
Chop into a tall container and top with
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. of white vinegar
DO NOT STIR. Let set overnight till ready to serve. Then stir
That recipe came from my mother-in-law’s sister, also a wonderful cook. We love fresh sliced tomatoes, but when I have an abundance, this relish is a delicious change.
All of these people are now gone from my life, but the recipes -- and the memories -- will always remain. I hope it’s the same at your house, and you have a recipe box of memories like I do. Bask in those wonderful memories, and use the feelings they evoke in your writing. The result will be true-to-life emotion and very real characters.