Thursday, April 2, 2009


I love and collect old cookbooks. But, the ones I have that I treasure the most are the ones that belonged to my mom and aunt.

I love looking through them and turning to the pages that are stained with drops of their cooking from years ago. I think the pages that are most stained are the recipes they enjoyed the most.

It's always a special treat when I am flipping through the books and I happen across a recipe that is hand written or torn out of a magazine or news paper.

I know these were the special ones that were made over and over. The ones to good to throw away.

I adore the recipe box jammed full of different flavors and dishes that my mom used to enjoy. The recipes handed down from her mom, sisters and friends.

I like to dream about the times my mom or my aunt would spend in the kitchen cooking for hours.

They didn't have microwaves back then and frozen food was just starting to become popular. So, most of the meals were made from scratch.
They didn't have Food Network back then so recipe books were well treasured. Full of ideas for something new to try and from getting to tired of eating the same things over and over again.

Yes, those old cookbooks, with pages turning yellow are full of memories. Full of dishes that were made for special nights. Maybe a first date, a birthday or anniversary meal. Perhaps a dish that was given to a neighbor who just came home from the hospital with a new baby.

As much as I love these old books and recipes it's not often that I will pull them out and cook anything from them. I used to think it was best to just leave the recipes in the past with my wonderful memories.

Though now, I have a desire to bring them out more and start cooking with them so I can treasures the same dishes they did. Enjoying the good old family recipes once again.

How about you? Do you have old cookbooks? If you do, do you cook using those recipes?


Jen @ said...

Wow - that is so cool! I love that you have it and treasure it! My mom has a pretty old cookbook from the 1940's that was my grandma's. I hope I get it someday.

I love history that is meaningful like that!


Colored With Memories said...

i love this post...

i have several of my grandmother's cookbooks and have made my mom hand write out some of my childhood faves too...

although i don't make them (we seem to eat much lighter)...i cherish them deeply!

Donna said...

Joanne, I love - love - love this post! I have a very special cookbook in my kitchen that my mom bought me when I left home in 1970... I plan to do a post about it sometime... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

Glenda said...

My sister got our mothers old cook book. I do have a few old ones. One was given and the other I found.

I found a recipe in a book and said, a pinch of this and a handful of that, and the was the jest of the recipe. That's how my grandmother made things.


Martha said...

And cookbooks didn't have pictures in them either!!!! So you couldn't see what it was supposed to look like.

I like old cookbooks as well -- some really good recipes in them.

And family cookbooks are the best old cookbooks!

Unknown said...

Old cookbooks are fun; I'm with you on the most stained pages are the best ones, bit!

Mumzie said...

I first started collecting recipes 4-H back in grade school. My first collection was contained in a little tin box like yours. Sometime in the mid 1990's it became out of control. Life was so simple back when everything fit in that little box. I have so many recipes, I really need to downsize and computerize...but then it dosen't seem so special. Mumzie

Debbie said...

Joanne...I have a very large collection of cook books too! So many, in fact, that I have given away many in the past 6 months to downsize. I also love the old ones too. I have one that belonged to my mom from the 40's and it has all the same stains you speak of. One page imparticular is a recipe for molasses taffy we made all the time as as kids. I loved making that and pulling the taffy by hand until it turned a caramel color. Great memories and a great subject to write about...thanks!:)

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

How I loved this post. While my collection of cookbooks is small, the ones I have do have memories for me. You really jogged some happy memories I have of mom cooking while I did homework at the kitchen table.
Hugs to you from me. I needed the happy memory this morning.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to meet you tomorrow!
Hugs, Susan

Cindy said...

How wonderful to have all those old cookbooks and recipes from your mom! They look so beautiful!

Thanks for the tip about the chocolate. I thought about that but the fondant was so much easier. I did it while I watched tv! I'm going to try the chocolate though because it will taste better!!!

Michelle said...

I certainly don't have books this old but I think you definitely should pull them out and start cooking from them!!