Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family Recipes and Family Memories

The holidays with all the presents and decorations are always accompanied by food.  It doesn’t matter if you have turkey, chocolate pie, spiral ham with cloves, corn pudding, Mexican, Italian, or steak and crab legs, we all know when we go home for the holidays there will be food, the kind that doctors suggest we stay away from, and lots of it.
Many family holidays are the time when we make those old family recipes that grandma served at her Christmas dinner. The food we eat for the holidays not only satisfies our cravings for rich and savory cooking we try to avoid the rest of the year, it also satisfies our need for the nostalgic.
The food we eat during the holiday season brings back memories of our childhood and prompts the family stories that keep us all entertained and remind us of the good times we had and the new memories we want to create for the future.
As time passes the recipes for the food we remember from grandma’s table can fade. One way you might be able to bring back a family recipe to your holiday gathering is by perusing the cookbooks we have at the museum. Many of these recipes  have been passed down for generations and local groups like churches, clubs, and other organizations wrote them down to pass on to future generations.  And usually the name of the person who supplied the recipe is included.
This one is from the United Methodist Women’s cookbook, Recipes We Like:

Corn Pudding
1 (1lb.) can cream-style corn, 3 eggs slightly beaten, ½ c. milk, ½ c. half and half or light cream, 2 Tbsp. butter, melted, ¼ c. chopped pimento, ¼ c. chopped green pepper, 1 Tbsp. grated onion, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt, dash pepper
Combine corn and eggs; stir in milk, cream and butter. Add green pepper, pimento and onion. Mix well. Blend in seasonings. Pour into greased 1 ½ quart casserole. Set in pan of hot water and bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until knife inserted comes out clean. Makes 5 to 6 portions.
Provided by Mrs. Edna Leathers

This one is from Cook Book and History, Milford Kansas, City of Beautiful Sunsets:

Boston Brown Bread
1 c white flour, 1 c corn meal, 1 c rye flour, 1 c graham flour, 1 t salt, 1 t soda, 2 t baking powder, ¾ c molasses-sorghum, 2 c sour milk or buttermilk, ¾ c raisins
Add molasses and milk to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly; add washed raisins which have been coated with flour. Fill molds 2/3 full and cover with waxed paper. Place on a rack in a large kettle with 3 inches of water. Steam for 3 ½ hrs., adding boiling water as necessary to keep water level above 1 inch at all times.
Provided by Mrs. E. C. Cook

If you have been looking for the recipe for a food your grandmother served we just might have it as the historical society. The Historical Society has 8 cookbooks published by local organizations. These books not only offer great recipes but a history of the organizations in the area. If you’ve been looking for your grandmother’s recipe for bread or cookies we just might have it in one of these cookbooks.
So if you want to look for an old family recipe, or try a new one, for your family gathering this season you can come by the Museum and look at our collection of local cookbooks.  You can copy the recipes or we can photocopy them for you.  I hope your family holiday this season is filled with fun and good cheer. And if not, then I hope your family holiday is at least full of delicious food.

This is the cover of the United Methodist Women’s cook book published in 1988. It’s one of 8 locally published cookbooks you can copy recipes from at the Geary County Historical Society.