The Old Kitchen Range was born in early 2012 when Gramma asked me to scan her grandmother’s recipes and create a book to send to all of her cousins. Our kitchen is filled with boxes of scribbled-on note cards, not only from Gramma (who is now 70), but also from her mother, her mother’s mother, her mother’s mother’s mother, and beyond. It didn’t occur to me right away that this was anything special, because they’ve always been around, but it turns out that there aren’t too many people my age who have access to 6 generations worth of family recipes at their fingertips. Below is an incredible photo of my Great-Grandmother, Helen, as a young girl; with her mother, Ursie; her grandma, Amanda; and her great-grandma, Delphina. That means this is an actual photograph of my daughter’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother. Totally mindblowing! Watching my daughter work in the kitchen with her Great-Grandma is so much fun for me, because I remember how much fun it was to cook with her when I was little (okay, we still have fun cooking together now that I’m big, too).
It annoys Gramma to no end that I’m an incredibly fickle cook. Even when I discover an amazing recipe that I love, I make a note of it, throw it in my will-make-again Pinterest folder, and then usually never think of it again. My efforts to preserve recipes that are less than spectacular are absolutely nil, because, well, why on earth would we care to keep recipes that stink on hand, and then accidentally make them again?
I was willing to bet, however, that Gramma’s recipe collection — fading fast and barely legible — is filled with both superstars and duds. So we set out on an adventure to go through the boxes of note cards at a steady clip, and to both archive them digitally as a nifty bit of history as well as evaluate their viability as edible treasures in our lives today. This blog is a testament to my grandmother’s borderline hoarder tendencies, my culinary ADD, and my gorgeous daughter’s “helpful” 3-year-old hands. Enjoy!