It sounds simple enough: we have changed the way we eat so it is time to clean out the recipe box.
We have been eating radically different for over a year and a half now. We don't eat grains, dairy, processed sugar & a great many other things. We made this change for health reasons and saw great improvement in the health issues we were targeting. That is reason alone to stay on track.
But during and after the move we got off track. Nothing huge, a trip to the Mexican food restaurant here and there, a natural soda when we went shopping, a dark chocolate peanut butter cup every so often (too often) and on it went. Last week we decided to put a stop to eating those things that were not contributing to our health. I felt the need for some new recipes and headed to the library for some cookbooks to inject some new life into our food. It is already working and we feel much better.
New recipes led me to my recipe box. It is a simple metal box I thrifted in Nova Scotia but it is filled with recipes that were given to me by my mom, some from my grandmother, some from old family friends, others gifted to me at my bridal shower some seventeen years ago, while still others are ripped out of magazines, cut out of the newspaper or written in my own hand with memories of a soup I made up on a snowy winter day. It is not steeped in ancient history but my history with a bit of friends and family sprinkled in for extra flavor.
So as I began to clean out this box yesterday, putting aside the recipes I know I will never make again, the memories came out along with those cards and cutouts. My daughter started to help and as she read through recipes looking for those key ingredients and tossing aside those with offenders, I found myself telling her to slow down, wait, not so fast. I was not ready to let go.
After we made it to "Z" she headed off to do other things and I was left there with a pile of recipes I would never make again; the Hot Chicken Casserole made with Stovetop Stuffing and mayonnaise, the Peanut Butter Balls held together with an amazing amount of powdered sugar then dipped in chocolate, the Raised Waffles with all of their yeasty, doughy goodness built up from time spent rising overnight. All recipes once loved, filled with memories and the kind of comfort only good food can make.
That is when it began to hit me and thoughts of my Aunt's Recipe Box came to mind. I had been given my Aunt's Recipe Box via my grandmother before she passed away. It is a sweet little box filled with family recipes that span decades, most written in the hand of my grandmother or aunt Syl, some newspaper and magazine cutouts, just like in my own box. I recently sent that amazing little treasure trove of family recipes to my cousin. She was delighted to have a little piece of her mom after missing her for so many years, I think we are coming up on almost 20 years since my aunt passed away. It all came full circle when I realized that a recipe box is a family history, a little time capsule if you will. A record of what was prepared, consumed, loved and brought the family together around the table.
So with that I tucked those recipes I will never make again into the back of my recipe box, an archive of where we have been, what we have eaten and who loved us enough to share a little bit of their kitchen with ours.
Do you have a recipe box?
I would love to hear about how it.