Recipe Cards and Star Wars - Forever Together in My Mind

8/13/2012 11:22:00 AM

Tags: Recipe cards, Eggplant Parmesan, Food, Janann Giles

As I was attempting an extensive house cleaning I came across a book filled with recipe cards.  Like finding a high school yearbook or long lost love letter the cleaning was put aside as I read through the cards and thought about the people who had given me the recipes.

 Eggplant Parmesan Recipe 

First and foremost was a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan.  The card is has been splattered with water or grease but those stains don’t blur my memory.  It’s been years since I made this recipe but because of it I learned to appreciate eggplant; consequently I judge all Italian recipes by the quality of their Eggplant Parmesan subs.  I love Eggplant Parmesan, thanks to Susan and her recipe card. 

Star Wars and The Recipe Card 

When I got the card it was during the time Star Wars first flew onto the movie screen.  At the time Susan’s husband was a medical student at Emory University.  Susan and I met because we both worked in the same department at the medical school.  The card is smudged – almost beyond readability but I can just make out the recipe.  Enough so that when the weather cools down a bit I’ll make the recipe again and recall the wonder we all had at the special effects in Star Wars.  Sadly, the jump into hyperspace is not nearly as breathtaking when seen on a TV as it was in the movie theatre.  My grandchildren, and even my children, cannot comprehend the awe that was Star Wars when it arrived in theaters.  That magic was akin to the first time we melted cheese in a microwave oven.

 Memories flood back as I flipped through those recipe cards from aunts, grandmothers even friends of my mothers.  Cards that recalled my youth.  Cards given as wedding shower presents.  Recipes I carefully copied out of magazines. 

Mother decorating wedding cake 

My Mother’s First Recipe 

I have to stop my recipe remembrances to tell a story on my mother.  Mother, Jean Dunham Davis, was at one point a respected wedding caterer and hosted memorable dinner parties.  It seems when she was first married she could have used a few recipe cards.  She had no idea how to cook and every night made her new husband, my father, a sandwich using potted meat.  After a year her mother sternly took her aside and told her she had to learn to cook!  Mother said she insisted that “Clark loved potted meat” but my grandmother wisely advised her that his love would only last for so long.  Luckily for her marriage she took the advice.  

Recipe Cards are Better Than the Internet 

Recipes on my cards include brownies, Moroccan Chicken with lemons and olives, rum cake, yeast rolls and more.  As these recipes were being lovingly hand written and passed down through the generations who would have thought that one day with a click on the finger all these and thousands more could be found within seconds.  Yes, I can find so many recipes on the internet but what I can’t find online are the memories that went with the cards.  That’s more precious than the recipes themselves.

 Do you have a favorite recipe tucked away on a card somewhere?  Share your story with the Grit community.

Related Content

A Pip of a Name

Discovering a new word to me in a old book has led to rambling thoughts about food and reading.

The Hobby: Food

Food is part of all our lives, a daily chore that has to be done to feed a family. Now that the fami...

Library Food

I can live without television but I can't live without a library card. Even when I am not looking fo...

Make Your Own Mustard

We make relish and pickles, why not mustard?

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Christopher Otto
9/19/2013 10:13:31 AM
Janann: Thanks so much for holding onto these recipe cards and sharing these memories. They are, indeed, an important part of our history. And, too often, they are forgotten or tossed away during life's big transitions. I came across one such collection of recipe cards in a flea market a couple of years ago, and wrote about it in two-part blog: PART 1: and PART 2: ...

Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!