Mom’s Precious Recipe Box

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In honor of Mother’s Day 2017

Proverbs 31:15 (KJV)  “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Today I’m taking a trip down memory lane. My mom has been gone for many years but her heritage lives on in our family. She loved her family and enjoyed us getting together. The stove and oven were being used for days before a family gathering. She was a good cook and didn’t use many convenience foods but cooked from “scratch !!” Come with me to my mother’s kitchen………………

It was just a plain beige, unadorned box. It didn’t look special at all. It sat on top of the microwave and didn’t attract any attention. You would’ve walked right by it and not noticed.

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But………….It was filled with vast treasures. When the lid was opened wonderful memories began to wharf out. The sounds of laughter and the murmurs of happy small talk around the table could be heard. In my mind’s eye I could see the twinkle of the Waterford crystal bowl filled with colorful fruit, that was only used on Christmas morning, catching the light of the chandelier overhead. The sizzle of meat frying filled my ears. The smells-oh the smells !!!!! Sweet, cinnamon air rushed out. And the rich scents of favorite meals seeped into the room.


This plain plastic box was my mother’s recipe box !!!! 

After my mother passed it was the only thing I asked my dad for as a keepsake. And imagine my wonderful surprise when I saw that some of the recipes were still written in my mom’s handwriting !!! I knew my mom had purchased an old beat up typewriter at an auction. She brushed up on her 40-year-old typing skills from business class in High School and was in the process of typing out all her recipes. But she hadn’t finished and I was so glad !!! How precious it is to hold those old stained cards and see my mom’s writing.

My mom was a great cook and she had several prize recipes !!!!  Gourmet recipes they were not but when she brought them to family dinners she often had requests for the recipe. Family members asked for these dishes at holiday dinners. So today I’m sharing a few of my mom’s recipes that are becoming family favorites of our own.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This recipe is written in my mom’s wonderful handwriting and was served at meals often.

Mix together 1-6 oz pkg. strawberry jello with 2 cups hot water. Mix in 2-10 oz pkg. of frozen strawberries. Refrigerate to partially set. Then make first layer.

First Layer

2 1/2 c. crushed pretzels        3 Tablespoons sugar

3/4 c. melted butter

Mix first layer together and press into bottom of ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool.

While crust is baking – cream together in mixer second layer.

1-8 oz cream cheese-softened    1 c. powdered sugar

Fold mixture into 1-8 oz Cool Whip – thawed. Spread over cooled crust. Pour partially set jello over second layer and refrigerate until serving time. Enjoy-light and refreshing !!!!



Another recipe that was written in mom’s handwriting and enjoyed at family meals and potlucks was –


Old Settler’s Beans.

Fry 1# of bacon in frying pan. Crumble bacon and set aside. Using same pan – brown 1# hamburger. When almost done add 1 medium onion-cropped. Continue frying until onion and hamburger are done. Drain. Add mixture to crock pot. To crock pot add –

1 can of pork and beans           1/4 white sugar

1 can butter beans                     1 T. liquid smoke

1 can dark kidney beans-drained   1/4 c. catsup

3 T. white vinegar                        1/4 c. BBQ sauce

1 tsp. salt                                      1/4 c. brown sugar

pepper-to taste                            2 T. molasses

pinch of chili powder-to taste      

2 T. prepared mustard

Cook in crock pot 6-8 hours on low.



I grew up in Indiana and this next recipe is a winner on a cold winter morning. This is pure comfort food !!!! My mom would make this the night before and we would wake up to the sizzle of the skillet and wonderful maple and butter smells.


Corn Meal Mush

4 c. cold water             1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. yellow corn meal

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat water to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; stir in salt and cornmeal. Cook, stirring regularly, until mixture is thick.
  2. Spoon cornmeal mixture into a lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Slice cornmeal mush into 1 inch wide slices. Cook in melted butter until golden brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup. 

The last recipe I want to share with you today was a favorite of my dad’s. He often requested it as a birthday cake. I’ve never run into a recipe  like it. The canned baby food is a unique and flavorful secret ingredient. It makes the finished cake moist and saves having to grate all those carrots !!!!!!!

My Dad’s Favorite Carrot Cake

Cream together

2 c. sugar       4 eggs         1 tsp. vanilla

Add to mixture

1 can crushed pineapple – undrained         1 c. raisins

1 c. walnut pieces        1 c. oil         2 tsp. baking soda

2 c. self rising flour      2 tsp. cinnamon        dash salt

1 large jar baby food carrots

Mix well and pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes. Cool. When cool, frost with cream cheese icing.  Cream together –

18 oz pkg cream cheese-softened

1 stick butter melted         1-Ib  powdered sugar


I’ve put my mom’s precious recipe box on the shelve in the kitchen for now. But sometime soon I will open that plain beige box and let the wonderful memories fill my cooking space again !!!!!

What memories do you have of favorite foods or family gatherings?  Share with me and others some of those vintage precious recipes………


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