Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gateau a l'Orange

Before us kids came along, Mom and Dad belonged to a gourmet cooking club. They would take turns with other couples planning and preparing a fancy meal for the others. I suspect this recipe may have come from those days...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Banana Chiffon Pie

This recipe comes from the back of an undated letter Grandma sent to Mom. The letter opens with a discussion about a recipe my brother Tom, a chef, sent to her to try. It doesn't say what the recipe is (although based on the rest of the letter, I think it may be a pumpkin dessert), but makes mention of the use of "WOW--20 eggs!!!" and then concern that with her poor eyesight she would be unable to be successful with the recipe:
"after breaking 12 or 13 eggs--I would mix a little of the yolk in with the whites--thereby preventing the 'whites' to attain the desired 'whipped' stage"
but that the recipe "sounds delicious." Instead, she decides to try her hand at a "simpler" recipe. She writes:
. . . "Browsing thru my boxes of cook-books, I came across a "Banana Chiffon Pie"--I'm going to tackle it in a day or two--substituting 'Pumpkin' for the Banana--and use 1-1/2 envelopes gelatin instead of the (1) envelope that it calls for."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Macaroni & Cheese

This is a very easy version of Mac & Cheese. No measurements, just use your judgment and your personal taste.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Home Ec Apple Coffee Cake

This was from Mrs. Volpe's middle school Home Economics class. I think this was the first project we all had to do in 6th grade:

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Molly's Strawberry/Pretzel Salad

In '92 I moved to Virginia as a military wife. I was very homesick. Grandma and Mom would often send me family recipes so I could make things that reminded me of home.

By October '94, I was living in Hawaii. My friend Molly brought this dish to a barbecue at my house and it was a big hit. Its a nice salad for warm weather get-togethers (think Grandma's pineapple-carrot salad). I asked Molly for the recipe and sent a copy home to Mom.

Not a year later we had a substantial fire in our quarters and, among other things, I lost everything in my kitchen. Including the small collection of recipes and cookbooks I had. While we were (eventually) reimbursed for our loss and replaced most of our kitchen items, there are some things you cannot replace. And there are some things you forget you even had.

And then you run across them in your mother's recipe box, over a decade later.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sweet Koulourakia

This recipe came from our school. One of the mothers made this for an Easter party at school and distributed the recipe.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

My cousin wrote to say that when he was in college, Grandma sent him a chocolate cake that weighed about 20 lbs and made him the envy of the dorm!

Here is a recipe for Chocolate Cake in her handwriting that I think may be the one he's talking about. Its clearly a well-loved recipe from the state of the card, so I think this must be it.

There is also another recipe that she used a lot that she got from a neighbor, who's name I don't remember. If anyone has that, please let me know and I will post it.

The White Mountain frosting on the card is not what I remember her using on chocolate cake. I remember her using chocolate fudge for frosting. Besides being delicious, she said it kept better in care packages. She would sometimes flavor the chocolate fudge with pure mint oil for variation.

One reader commented that the recipe was difficult to read, so I've transcribed it here:
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (she probably used Crisco or butter)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 2 T vinegar)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup hot water with a pinch of salt added
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beat well. Then, add buttermilk. vanilla, and the cocoa. Beat well. Add flour alternately with the hot water with soda/salt.
Bake at 350 degrees in 10" angel food cake pan. Takes about 50 - 60 minutes.

Doesn't even need frosting, but if you want some,
Grandma made fudge frosting with real peppermint oil.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wetback's Delite

I apologize up front for the terribly un-PC name of this recipe. This is in my teenage handwriting, but I don't remember writing it.

Mom got it from a neighbor lady (I don't remember who exactly anymore) and made it when Dad was out of town on business. He was the meat-and-potatoes sort. When he was gone we got "fun" food. We loved it.

Like many of Mom's recipes, this has been adjusted to feed an army (there were 6 kids in the house). You could cut this in half easily, as I think its really been doubled from the original. Also, I think I would omit the Accent. We didn't know how bad that was for us 25 years ago.


Grandma always baked these brownies and layered them with wax paper in empty Entenmann's boxes wrapped in twine.

Recipe Source...

Here is the famous recipe box, chock full of recipes from my mother, my grandmother and random family, friends and neighbors from over the years...

Here is my mom as a young girl: