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.
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.
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.
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