Here I go with my first blog.
I’m a graphic designer who LOVES to bake and cook. I wanted to start a blog for a couple of reasons. I really want to join an online cooking group that bakes recipes together every week and needed a blog in order to join. I also have a shoebox full of old recipes from my grandma that I’ve been meaning to sort through and try out for years and thought this would be a good excuse to get started. I have fond memories of baking with both of my grandmas. Each had very different cooking styles.
My grandma Edith was a perfectionist and a fabulous baker. If her recipes didn’t turn out precisely how she wanted she would take them into her backyard and feed them to the birds. (I’m sure she had a regular following of birds in her backyard.) While my grandma Sarah just went with the flow and was happy to cook with whatever ingredients were on hand. I once remember her making a recipe that called for consommé and she didn’t have any on hand so she just added a couple of cans of water instead. Or another time when when she substituted a jar of strawberry preserves for apricot preserves in a chicken recipe.
I always wanted to learn my grandma Edith’s recipes. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend a lot of time with her reviewing them because we were in different states. When she died I inherited a shoebox full of chicken-scratch notes, some might call recipes, and some old cookbooks. Most of the recipes are on torn pieces of paper with some measurements and some ingredients, but very few are as precise as her baking or are easy to interpret. I’ve tried making some recipes through the years and have a few that I have perfected. But most of them still need some experimenting to get right. I love to try out her recipes on my brother and cousins when they are around, because they remember how everything was supposed to taste and can confirm when I get something right. However, they are all out of town so I don’t get to try out recipes on them often. I did recently when they were all here for a family gathering and it was great to see their reactions and provided a kick-start for me wanting to start this blog.
My grandma lived in Atlanta and my family would visit her often. When we would visit Atlanta, she would have a deep freeze in her mud basement containing all of our favorite cookies. The cookies were always packed away in old metal tins that had once contained coffee or candy. I have two cousins that live in Atlanta who claim grandma only gave them cookies when we were in town and that she stored them away until we got there. I can still remember cookie-eating contests the boys would have while sitting in her kitchen. They could finish off a whole tin of cookies between them. (Maybe that’s why grandma saved them until we got there.) When she would come to visit us in St. Louis she would open her suitcase and half of it was taken up with tins of cookies that she had packed to bring to us. (I think she probably shopped when she was here so she could fill her suitcase up on the way home.) This past week a great deal of family was in town from that side of our family and it was a joy to bake for them and share some of the cookies that they all remembered having at grandma’s. I think that was a kick-start to get me started on this blog.
I have been baking with my daughter since she was old enough to understand not to throw the flour on the floor (although, I’m still not sure she understands that) in the kitchen. We love to bake/cook and create together. I hope this will be a way that we can continue to bake together and that I can continue to pass along traditions from both of my grandmas and new one’s of our own.
I’m looking at this as a way to recompose and archive the recipes. I’m also hoping to try out a bunch of new recipes from all of the new cookbooks that I’ve been collecting.