For as long as I can remember, food has been a big part of my family and I am not talking about just at our family reunions or at dinner time. I grew up watching both my Mother and my Father prepare meals, talking about our ancestors, their food and, of course, getting to enjoy the wide variety of food our family prepared from recipes hand down for many generations. So it is easy to imagine that, as a young girl living in Temple, Texas, and headed off to college, my Mother Betty, would give me some recipes to take with me.
In those days, handwriting recipes on note cards and then storing them away for safekeeping was the typical thing to do. Some people placed these cards into storage boxes or Rolodexs, but many people simply put the cards away in a drawer in the kitchen. But Mom did more than that, she gave me the very special gift of my very own recipe book, filled with those same family recipes. My Mom took the time to assemble the cutest spiral bound booklet with clear pages for storing the individual cards. I always loved the cover illustration, depicting various ingredients, utensils and of course, apple pie. The deep red tones of the artwork were very satisfying and comforting to me. My Mom's handwriting on each of the recipes, took that comfort to a whole new level. To a girl far away from home, this recipe book was something I could call my very own and now, I could use it to prepare a meal that felt like home, all the way in Norman, Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma. My Mom was always so crafty, and this little book was simply adorable and adore it I did!
Over the years, my little recipe book has seen much use. I have added to it, so of my very own favorite recipes, as well as recipes shared with me by my close friends. These days, it seems we print a recipe and add it to the book, but the look at feel of print just has no match to Moms handwriting. As one might imagine, spilled ingredients and paper index cards do not always bode well together and so many of the cards show signs of wear, tear, spills, smears and fading. As time has passed, I have often said to myself that "one day" I need to transfer the recipes to another book or format before I lose some of the cards, or a spill makes them illegible or worse, I lose the entire book.
Well, that "one day" has finally arrived. Just this week, as I was using the book to prepare a meal, I watched as the plastic spiral binding, holding the entire book together, disentegrated right in my hands. I knew it was finally time to figure out how to make sure this special gift could continue its journey into the future. Obviously, I will be rebinding the booklet, but I wanted to memorialize my Mom's recipe book, not only for me, but for her and also all the friends who have contributed over time. I decided that a website would be just such a vehicle and so www.bettysrecipes.com was born. It is important to note that the website is not meant to be fancy or commercialized, nor is it meant to "publish" the recipes for commercial use. I have chosen to intentionally, scan the recipe cards, as they are and without correction. These cards have character, which is very comforting to me, and retyping the instructions into an all digital format, simply does not have the same, comforting feel. In the future, I may input the recipes digitally, but for now, it is perfect for me, to simply see the recipe cards.
I have many more recipes that have not yet made it into the website, but for now, what you see here is the majority of Mom's book. I hope to continue to add to this website, as I find new treasures in food. I want to take the time to say that you to both my Mom and my Dad for teaching me about food and giving me this gift, which I will continue to adore forever.
I love you both!
Mom's recipe book, in its unbound state. Time for new binding.
A vintage family portrait from my Mom's side of the family. The baby in the photo, is my Grandmother. The senior lady in the photo, my great-great Grandmother, was the person who introduced our family to Palachinkas. Our family is of German, Hungarian and French dissent.
My Mom, Dad and nephew Arty
Please note, that one must pay attention to each recipe, as not all of the recipes contain complete instructions. Some instructions are omitted, simply on the merit that some aspects of the preparation are "understood" or a "given." So I encourage you to digest the entire recipe first, before you commence preparation, should you choose to follow what is written.
Food is still a major part of our family. Here is my Dad, at the local market promoting his Yardbird Jerky, an all natural, chicken based jerky.