Grandma’s Recipes

Grandma’s mystery recipe notes

Here’s the last of my Grandma’s Recipes posts – maybe I’ll dig through her clippings again one day and find some more to share, but I’ll leave it here for now. These are pretty hard to top, anyway – Grandma’s mystery recipe notes. Or: potatoes and *what*?!

As I sifted through the pile, I set aside a few bits of paper with weird, seemingly random recipe notes jotted down on them. They were both really funny and, in some cases, potentially really worrying:

Casserole with potato chips?

Tuna, peas, and potato chips – can’t go wrong there, right?

And then there’s some that are just notes on whatever must’ve been convenient right then.

Tupperware party note

I especially like this one, and not just because it’s funny, though it is. I have to wonder if she actually remembered what she wanted to fill with cranberry sauce when she came across this note later. But really I just like imagining the Tupperware Party she was at, trading cooking ideas with friends and finding this one important enough to write down.

But these two had my mother and I practically in tears from laughing – what could they possibly be for? They’re two sides of the same card but sure seem to be two different recipes – or at least I really, really hope they are.


Lots of potatoes, lots of cheese, freeze. Very cryptic.

2 eggs whole

And this side is so vague it could be for practically anything sort of dough-based – but I particularly like how she’s specified that the eggs are to be *whole*.

Because that’s what could really screw the whole thing up if you got it wrong.

General Eisenhower’s Old Fashioned Beef Stew

General Eisenhower's Old Fashioned Beef Stew

Here’s another recipe found tucked away in my Grandmother’s recipe clippings (like last time, click through for a bigger image) – probably from campaign-time 1952, or thereabouts. Early enough for there to be this level of public interest but obviously before the election of that year. So if you ever wanted to eat like Ike, copy this one down and whip up his simple but tasty beef stew. Or, you know, something his people grabbed from somewhere to help form the down-home, simple-tastes, family-man image this article is so shamelessly promoting. I guess politics isn’t really as different now as we imagine, eh?

Disturbing 50s foods

Pork and beans disgusting mess

Have you ever been to the always entertaining Gallery Of Regrettable Food? I mean, who doesn’t enjoy being amused and repulsed by things someone once considered good eats? This pair of clippings from my Grandmother’s stash could totally be posted there. And that’s all I can really say about these, to be honest. They kind of speak for themselves in that way. MMMMMM.

The most 50s looking spread ever

Points for Perfect Pastry

Points for Perfect Pastry

A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to bake my grandmother’s famously delicious raisin bread. I’d actually been meaning to for ages, because my family has the notebook she wrote her recipes and cooking notes in, as well as an envelope full of recipes she clipped and saved from magazines, food packaging, pretty much anywhere.

The raisin bread was a giant flop. First it didn’t rise at all, then it did, then not again – in the end, the bread was too tall, too brown, and completely raw in the middle. Grandma clearly knew stuff about bread that I don’t know, and trying to bake from her handwritten recipe proved difficult in ways I didn’t expect at all. I don’t really know that much about baking bread anyway, I’m still in the early learning stages, so questions about yeast cakes vs. dry active yeast and the like had me confounded.

I tried again the very next day, having adjusted the recipe based on the first try, and it was wonderful! It made me want to dig through the rest of my grandmother’s recipes and, doing so, I found some real gems to share with you all. I have a little pile set aside that I’ll get through eventually, but first up is these super helpful hints on making the perfect pastry, brought to you by Robin Hood Flour (the pre-sifted flour, of course). (Click through to Flickr for a bigger version.) Not that I know anything about making pastry, the tips might be useless – but look at the fabulous artwork. They just don’t make ads like this anymore!