Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Grandma's Box

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't inherently drawn to anything and everything edible. Food has fascinated me from my first memory; the magic and art of its adaptability, the way it draws us together, the intricate processes of its sourcing, how we each interpret it differently - there is something about it that has undeniably preserved my childlike sense of wonder. 

Our history with food as Americans, at least in my lifetime, has seemed to dull the sparkle of what once was nothing less than the purest of arts. I've heard my Grandma recite how she could awake in the morning and make a fresh batch of biscuits without laying a finger on a measuring cup. Who in my generation can do that? I can't even tell you what's all in a homemade biscuit. I understand that times have certainly changed since Grandma could sling Crisco and flour together and magically make perfect biscuits seven days a week. Women are no longer confined to simply domestic duties, we've seemed to part with the majority of our agricultural roots and well, life just moves faster now. Fast and convienent foods have taken center stage in our diets as a culture, leaving the days of kitchen DIYs a thing of the past. Rarely do you see my generation passing handwritten recipes to family, give culinary gifts at holiday celebrations and tucking our baking tips in to novels we lend to our friends. While the technological revolution has been a wonderful part of my generation, its obvious that our instant-gratification needs are spilling over to our culinary (or lack there of) creativity. We've become accustomed to having what we want immediately. 

In an effort to slow down in my own life, I have been thinking a lot about how my love for food could help me do just that. My Grandma gave me a box of old recipes that she's written and collected over her lifetime. From Wisconsin to New York to good ole St. Mary's County, Maryland, this box is a curration of culinary creativity spanning from people all across the United States. As I thumbed through the sticky, plastic sheeted recipe cards, I noticed that so many of the recipes take not hours but days. Days devoted to one dish. 14 day pickles, 90 day wine, 3 day ice box cake, etc. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around tending to pickles for 14 days. 

Here's the first look at some of the recipes I will be crafting from the box. 

Over the course of this summer, I will be making at least one recipe from my Grandma's box each week and sharing them with you right here. In between, I'll also begin to write down my own recipes and start currating a collection that I can someday pass down to my children. As a writer, I cling to the preservation of written word as not only a creative outlet but more importantly, as the purest form of pickling history. See what I did there? A little kitchen wit to get you excited for my summer behind the stove! 

Love these little vintage recipe cards I scored for $0.25 at at yard sale!

I hope you come by each week and check out what I've brought back from my culinary past. Who knows? Maybe you'll want to whisk through yours, too. 

In Good Taste,

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