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Saving Mama’s Cookbook

My Mom came to America from Germany in 1929 and one of things she brought with her was a new cookbook.  In it were recipes that her brother, my Uncle Aloys (a baker) had written down for her.  I am the youngest of her seven children, so by the time I came around Mom’s cooking was pretty much American.  This cookbook was always in the cabinet where we knew recipes that she liked could be found.  When she died and we had to go through her things, I took home her cookbook.  That was in 1993.  My first granddaughter was born the same day that my mother died.  I have always treasured that this demonstrates the real circle of life.  But, I digress.l…..I put Mom’s cookbook in a file drawer, only thinking that I needed to treasure this remembrance of her.

Recently I dug the cookbook out and decided I need to share what’s in it.  By the time I got the book, it had pretty much started to disintegrate.  I don’t know what happened to the front cover or the front part of the book.  I think I will eventually publish and print the book, but I decided to create this blog so that I could write about the things I remember and my musings about what are in the book.

I plan to scan the recipes, transcribe them so that they can be copied, write some musings about them and welcome your comments about them. At some point, I hope to get some help from someone out there to translate some of the recipes.  You see, there are some recipes that are in German handwriting.  I never learned to read the language; in fact, I only understand a bit of the low German that she and Daddy sometimes used.  I always had a hard time reading her handwriting because it was in traditional German handwriting.

Most of Mom’s recipes are desserts, and all of us certainly inherited her sweet tooth.  They sure look yummy to me.  Mom collected recipes from Jessie Young’s “Homemaker” magazine, Kitchen Klatter magazine, Grass and Grain weekly newspaper and Cappers’ Weekly.  I found other things like household hints in the cookbook, too.

I think I will just progress through the book in the order I found it.  I hope you enjoy this journey, too.


2 responses »

  1. What a great idea for helping to remember….”I Remember Mama” was a TV show at one time I think, so thanks, Mary, for getting this started. I do remember the cookbook…and I believe one of the recipes in it was a yellow cake that Mom would make for Sunday afternoon “Coffee” and was handy when relatives came for a Sunday afternoon visit. Before we had electricity we had an “icebox” and Dad would often go to Frankfort on Sunday morning and get a block of ice that would last the week. Sometimes he would get extra ice and then we would make homemade icecream, the recipe being in Cookbook I’m sure. Otherwise Mom would make jello with fruitcocktail and we would have that with our cake.

  2. I am going to try to add an entry every day. Of course there are a lot of cake recipes, so maybe you’l see it come up on the blog one day. Stay tuned……


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