I am a descendant of recipe collectors both sides, my father’s mother and my mom; it is strong in my genes. But I am not sorry for this because their hand written recipe cards accumulate as my treasures and settling down with a pile of recipe sources to sift through has always been a comforting pleasure.
When I moved to Florida for college, my grandmother lived there. On weekends we watched cooking show after cooking show resting on twin beds in her bedroom after a morning of my helping her with shopping errands. At that time cooking shows were only aired on PBS, no cable food channels existed. After she always prepared a yummy and easy dinner for us, never what we had just watched, she was fast and recipe-less. She was usually critical of the programs and called them fussy, except Julia Child, who she loved. She was addicted to collecting recipes, though, mostly those she clipped from the newspaper. She had boxes of little pieces of paper and also notecards on which she had scratched a recipe from a friend or a box or anywhere she could find something that looked good to her. She left Florida to move back to Pittsburgh when it got hard for her to live on her own. I inherited her prized recipe collection and spent hours transferring them to typed notecards, then throwing away the newspaper because I thought this would preserve them better and also organize them, it was before computers and recipe apps. Now I actually wish I had kept the newspaper as well because she had made notes on some of them and I miss her. I still have the notecards, all of them.
Around the same time, I had a few years of big holiday baking projects. One of the recipes from my grandma’s collection was a favorite, walnut crescents. This year it became my muse. I think my grandma would love it.
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