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Ye Olde Receipt Box

Friday - 09/10/2021 — Obsolescence. What a sad word in so many ways. I used to wish I had some of my grandmother’s recipes—she called them receipts—but come to think about it, she almost never used written instructions. A handful of this, a dab of that, a spoonful of something else.


I’d hate to think that this old recipe box of mine—that I was given as a wedding present back in the late 60s—has outlived its usefulness, but a number of life events led me to exile it to the far back corner of an unreachable upper cabinet.


First of all, I pretty much quit cooking anything that required more than five ingredients once my children left home. That meant at least a quarter of the recipes were out, including the 18-ingredient “Make-a-Meal Stew” that was a favorite years ago.


Vegetarian? There went all the meat recipes.


Then I changed to a wheat-free diet, so any recipe that called for wheat in any form was prohibited. You wouldn’t believe how many of these recipes involve breads or pastas. And all of them are what other folks would call reasonable (i.e. multi-ingredient) recipes.


End result? Does anybody want this box?


The good news is that both my daughter and my granddaughter have claimed it, so all those recipes written out by my beloved mother-in-law or shared by my good friends over the years won’t go to waste.


You know what the funny thing is? Most of my cooking now doesn’t rely on a printed recipe. It’s a handful of this, a dab of that, a spoonful of something else. What goes around, comes around.



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