Recipes are like Memories

My grandmother-in-law passed away this fall and it was only this spring that we were able to take a closer look at some Garn's recipe boxof  her special belongings. The only request I had was to be able to copy some of her recipes from her large box that she kept on her kitchen counter.

Luckily she had a stack of blank recipe cards in a kitchen drawer. I went through the recipe box reading and picking out recipes that I thought we would like.

The box itself was falling apart and recipes were so crammed inside that the lid would not close properly. I love sharing recipes and enjoyed perusing her past and seeing how time has changed through food.

Her categories were simple enough, casseroles, soups, meat, vegetables, cookies, cakes, etc. but her recipes told interesting stories. For example, how could a woman who painstakingly hand wrote such detailed instructions for gumbo, making sure to note several times to use only fresh ingredients from the farmers market, also have a recipe card marked “favorite cake of all times” which has two ingredients, a box of yellow cake mix and a stick of butter?


I got a few laughs reading through this so-called time capsule and loved reading her little notes on the top or sides of the recipe cards for adaptations or different ways to prepare things. The first recipe under “vegetables” was Homegrown Vegetable Soup. I got a kick out of the fact that the very first ingredient for the soup was a pound of browned ground beef. I guess vegetable soup doesn’t exactly mean vegetarian.

Some I copied just for fun and some sounded so delicious I cannot wait to try them! Others were recipes of special family dishes that she would make for gatherings and holidays.

Recipes are memories and I wanted to make sure to keep some memories alive. Her frog-more stew and peach cobbler were among the top two that we want to become part of our own family tradition.

copying down some recipes

Copying down some of her recipes.

I doubt I’ll ever try this particular recipe, but for those of you curious about her all-time favorite cake recipe…here it is!

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter

Mix together and press into a 9×13 inch pan saving 1 cup of the mixture. Pour a can of canned cherry pie filling over the cake mixture and then sprinkle the remaining cake mixture on top.

Put into a preheated oven and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and top. Cool then cut into squares and serve.


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