Baking – present and past

I like to bake, and presently there are thousands of recipes on the web under a variety of sources including Pinterest. I love finding a recipe, hitting ‘pin’, and knowing where to find it when I decide to try it.

But, I’m also one who likes recipes that have memories attached.

After my grandfather passed away and I was sorting through things, I ran across some of my grandmother’s recipes in the back of a drawer. I packed them up and took them home with me – treasures to be sure.

To organize them and to preserve them, I put them in a small book.


Pictures in the book of my grandparents, their five children, and my grandmother and me.

Today we pin, print, scrapbook, catalog, index – we’re very orderly and use lovely paper.

Yesterday, they used the paper they had and they used it again and again.

This morning with the Christmas tree lights shining bright and carols playing, I decided to check my grandmother’s recipes for one that I remembered. Sure enough, there was one of my very favorite cookies – Angel Crisps. They are very much like a sugar cookie but the recipe calls for half white and half brown sugar so they are a little darker.

The back side of the page with the Angel Crisps recipe also had two additional recipes written on it – Gumdrop Oatmeal Cookies and Ribbon Salad. Waste not, want not.

Angel Crisp

Angle Crisps recipe

Although we don’t use peanut butter here on the farm, I love the peanut butter cookie recipe my grandmother used. A sheet of paper was torn off, and a note to her friend, Emma, was written requesting a recipe to be handed off at school from Emma’s daughter, Gertrude, to either my mother or one of her brothers.  Emma wrote the recipe on the back of the note and sent it back to my grandmother. Small town community – I love it.

Note to Emma

Peanut Butter Cookie Reipe

The most important thing about the Angel Crisps is not that they are delicious but that they hold wonderful memories of time spent in the Brookside Farm kitchen with my grandmother. You can’t buy those kind of cookies at your local bakery or grocery store.


Tomorrow afternoon when they return from their 4-H meeting, I’ll share some with the grandkids. Cookies for them from four generations past – now that’s a good thing.

Happy baking memories to you and yours during this holiday season.

Linked to Grandma’s Briefs Grand Social

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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27 Responses to Baking – present and past

  1. Debra says:

    Oh I love this post with the pics of the recipe pages as well as of your grandparents. You don’t happen to have a date / nut pinwheel one in there do you ? My grandma used to make them and while there are a bazillion recipes out there, many are quite different from each other, and I have a feeling she’d have been using some common recipe floating around back then.

    My SISTER’s mother-in-law is an extraordinary cookie baker and she just turned 90 and my nieces / sister have yet to compile any of her recipes! SHE comes here for Xmas dinner, though, with a very large tray of cookies. My sister brings the fudge that we always made and so I get off easy…I don’t have to bake much any more unless I choose to ! 🙂 Though I used to bake for most of the month in Dec when my boys were little….


    • Judy says:

      Your holiday sweets sound wonderful. I had a trip down memory lane and went through my book of recipes to see if I had a pin wheel recipe. I didn’t remember seeing one, but I kept looking and making sure I checked all the back sides of the pages. And, guess what – I found one on the back side of a pineapple oatmeal cookie recipe. So, I’ll email you the recipe. You’ll have to let me know if it is anywhere near what you were looking for in a recipe.


  2. And you make me hungry for some home made delights. Thanks


  3. Donna says:

    Recipes are wonderful. My sister just left after dropping my Christmas present of her home made bread. She makes it every year. She delivered it fresh out of the oven!! Yum!
    My husband made his first batch of fudge for the holiday ( we will probably eat all of it within a couple days). He will be making plenty more before Christmas. I need to make cookies soon. I am getting kind of hungry thinking of all these delicous recipes.
    I have old recipes that have special memories, too. I make a sweet and sour sausage for our family Christmas party. This originated with my deceased Aunt. I have the recipe in her handwriting which is several years old. I can barely read it but it brings back great memories of her and my family.


  4. Susan Adcox says:

    I love sharing anything with my grandchildren that goes back three or four generations, but cookie recipes are one of the best! This Christmas I’m going to try to find time to make pinwheel cookies with my grands. They were one of my favorites, but they are a bit of trouble to make!


  5. You’ve so perfectly expressed why cooking (and dining) as a family is SO important: making memories! All too soon your grandkids will look back on these recipes with fondness while sharing them with the NEXT generation; what a wonderful way to preserve family history!


  6. gertygiggles says:

    I also love to bake using family recipes and always have fond memories of where and whom they came from. Some recipes don’t need any alteration just the addition of another generation using them.


    • Judy says:

      I do smile when I see a ‘pinch’ of something or bake at ‘moderate oven.’ Just love the connection to history and those that helped mold us to be who we are today.


  7. Joyce says:

    Besides the great memory-inducing recipe, you also have the paper that your dear grandma held in her hand as she baked for her loved ones. If we don’t preserve these precious scraps, all that will be left to future generations are impersonal “pin boards!” I prefer doing things the way you do!


    • Judy says:

      You are so right about the paper. It is so thin, but the feeling I get when I hold it and look at her writing is unmeasurable. I also thought my daughter and grandchildren would be more apt to save a book rather than a box with assorted papers someone had to go through.


  8. gooseyanne says:

    Lovely post -those crisps look good enough to eat! How good that you saved the recipes and notes on them. Priceless memories.


  9. plaridel says:

    i totally agree. it’s a good thing, indeed.


  10. Pingback: Yankee baking « grandparentsplus2

    • Judy says:

      What a compliment to have you reblog this post which is so near and dear. My grandparents played a huge part in my life and in who I am today. In turn I work very hard to play a positive role in the lives of my two grandchildren. I hope your readers enjoy my post.


  11. sued51 says:

    And you know what else I love? The grease stains that indicate the recipes were used!


    • Judy says:

      Yes, I do too. I can just imagine her making the recipe and probably using lard as shortening. But with all the chores around the farm, everyone was trim and slim.


  12. Connie says:

    Love it! I have a few recipes like your too; they are the best with memories attached!


  13. Mrs. Tucker says:

    There is nothing better than an old handed-down recipe!


  14. This is beautiful. Such treasures you have and such warm memories attached to them. I love to see old, spattered recipes and consider the woman (or man or child!) toiling away, spilling here and there and splashing bits and pieces that will be enjoyed forever. Thank you so much for sharing this special post in the GRAND Social.


  15. Terry says:

    I love seeing your grandmother’s handwritten recipe….what wonderful penmanship! My daughter (mother of two of my grandkiddos) tells me that some schools have quit teaching “cursive”, as we used to call it! What a loss! Nothing to pass on but pinboards that were never held in a family member’s hands or written out with their own unique handwriting!


    • Judy says:

      Yes, I certainly remember the day when you could look at handwriting and recognize the writer. I love Pinterest because it keep me from accumulating papers and pictures in folders with labels, but it certainly isn’t personal. I treasure my grandmother’s recipes, and I’m happy that my daughter feels the same way so they can be cherished in the future. Thanks.


  16. Kaye Swain says:

    What wonderful family memories! And like you, some of my favorite recipes were handed down from my dad and from my grandma! I no longer have the originals but we are grateful to have the computer to share them with everyone. But seeing your originals sure took me back decades full of sweet loving memories. Thank you so much for a delightful visit.


    • Judy says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. In this age of smart phones, email, texts, Facebook, and Pinterest, it is nice to see something like that and imagine all the stories it could tell.


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