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Kara

May 09, 2024 at 06:24 AM UTC


Most of my grandmas recipes didn’t have amounts it was just add X until it feels or looks right, I think my mom tried watching her and noting amounts but not sure we ever got them for some things and sadly I didn’t get as much time to actually make stuff with her as she passed away when I was in Gr 9.

Janice Caggiano

May 09, 2024 at 02:43 AM UTC


MY HUSBAND, FROM AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN FAMILY ALWAYS SAID HE MARRIED ME FOR OUR FAMILY’S FRIED CHICKEN & CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS. WHEN I WAS LEARNING HS FAMILY’S RECIPES, HIS MOTHER WARNED ME THAT ITALIAN COOKING DIDN’T JUST VARY FROM REGION & VILLAGE BUT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE & THEY ALWAYS LEFT OUT ( ON PURPOSE!) AT LEAST ONE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT. SHE VERY GENEROUSLY SHARED THE FAMILY RECIPES SHE HAD FERRETED OUT FROM MANY FAMILY MEMBERS, COMPARING THEM TO BE SURE SHE HAD ALL THE CORRECT INGREDIENTS & THAT THEY ACTUALLY WORKED! JANICE

Amy

May 09, 2024 at 12:46 AM UTC


I’ve seen the concept behind the dividing line in my grandmother and mom’s recipes so it makes sense to me. The line separates the dry ingredients from the wet. You would mix all the dry together first, then start adding the other things.

Leilanor

May 09, 2024 at 12:06 AM UTC


For anyone who has a “fill the bowl to here” problem, I actually have an idea! If you get a kitchen scale, you measure the WEIGHT of the ingredients! (This would work best if you tare/zero out the scale between each step: empty bowl, then with each ingredient after). If you want, you can then convert the weight measurements to volume (cup, teaspoon, etc). Hope this helps someone!

Su Maneck

May 08, 2024 at 11:29 PM UTC


For me, the absolute worst was: My grandma and grandpa were both excellent bakers. Cookies!!! Gave me a life-long love of cookies. After they both passed away, I asked my aunt who had lived with them if I could copy down the recipes so I’d have them. She said there weren’t any…that they just knew them by heart. NO ONE else knew how to bake the cookies (and stollen). Years later, I found out that after my aunt passed away, my cousins threw out all the old cookbooks and papers with the recipes. So…they’re still lost to me, but I feel like I was stabbed in the back. It’s not like they were all original recipes, but I don’t have names for them!!!

Megan

May 08, 2024 at 11:03 PM UTC


The line on the tuxedo cupcakes clearly breaks it into dry and wet ingredients. And I immediately thought it must be some kind of marbled cake. But considering at least half of my recipes look like this I may not be the best to weigh in.

Kim

May 08, 2024 at 09:45 PM UTC


We have a cookie recipe that came down from my great-grandmother – called Grandma Cookies. They were made only at Christmas time. They are basically a molasses cookie with dates and raisins and cardamom. I can’t tell you the number of bottles of cardamom I’ve had to throw away because this is the only recipe that I used it for! The toppings are what caused me problems. There is a cooked powdered sugar glaze, then you put sprinkles on that. Well, as it turns out my husband’s family prefers the plain cookie without all of the toppings – actually that made it a bit easier! Ha!

Magic on Main Street: Baking Inspiration

I've seen a lot of discussion about Jade's baking mishaps on the blog/discord/Facebook, so I wanted to share more about the inspiration behind it!

Thanks to Joyce/Moon Shadow Press from my Street Team for this awesome image! As we've seen in this series (and in the short story, Family Bonding) Jade is very close to her family - both her nuclear/immediate family and her extended family including her grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. In the Midwest food is a big deal at family get togethers (I realize this happens in other areas too!) and favorite family recipes are a vital part of the holidays and extended get togethers. These recipes are often either a closely guarded secret, handed down with utmost reverence, or given out in broken bits that leaves the family member attempting to reproduce the recipe foam at the mouth and losing their mind. As someone who has experienced hardships while trying to reproduce family recipes and/or while attempting to document favorite family recipes electronically, Jade's situations are pulled from my firsthand experiences!

I specifically wanted to show you the recipe that has infuriated me the most. Behold:



Notice the following highlights:

  1. Torn edges and rips

  2. Mysterious stains

  3. Places where the ink has faded/run

  4. The fact that it is obviously written on a random scratch piece of paper of unknown origin

  5. The dividing line after the cocoa ingredient that makes no sense

  6. And the overall lack of instructionsCan you tell what recipe this is? (Originally this little piece of paper didn't even have the recipe name on it, but I previously rage wrote the name at the top of the paper, which is why it is folded over in the first photo.) For those of you that are amazing bakers who have your own trademark recipes I hope Jade's experience has given you a little empathy for all of us who struggle to follow what you tell us to do. And if you have failed at reproducing a family recipe in the past please know that you are not alone and you are probably in the majority! The answer to what recipe this is: this is my Mom's recipe for tuxedo cupcakes AKA black bottom cupcakes. They are very delicious and were a childhood favorite of mine. However, they are a sore spot of mine because one year for Christmas as a gift to my mom I typed out our family's most famous recipes and uploaded them to the computer. My mom was thrilled, but was surprised I hadn't included the tuxedo cupcakes since they're so beloved. I hadn't included them because this recipe had no title, so when I was pawing through her recipe box I found the scrap piece of paper, was mystified, and continued on. When I said I didn't include them because I couldn't find the tuxedo cupcake recipe, she pulled this ratty thing out and apparently thought I should recognize it based on the ingredients alone?? (She laughed hard when I pointed out the recipe lacked a title, and at the time didn't even have a complete set of instructions.) So, yes, I have a lot of sympathy for Jade. (Don't even get me started on the multiple recipes my mom has given me that require a specific bowl that was made in the 70s to reproduce, because she doesn't know the amount of ingredients that goes in, she just knows what it should look like in the bowl. My family hit up a lot of estate sales to find and purchase multiple copies of that bowl--again, made in the 70s--so we can actually recreate the recipes and just in case the original bowl should ever break.) Have you ever experienced family recipe hardships? Share them in the comments below!

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Jun 02