Recipes from the heart

By Amy Neurohr, NDFB Administrative Specialist

I’ve accumulated a pile of recipes — literally a pile sitting on my kitchen counter. There are printed recipes from Pinterest, Facebook groups, recipes torn from magazines, and handwritten recipes from family and friends.

About five years ago I had a similar pile and compiled them into categories and then into a 3-ring binder. Some time has passed, and I haven’t been keeping it up, so it’s becoming unorganized yet again. With a New Year’s resolution of getting that recipe book arranged, I started going through my pile and all the loose-leaf sheets jammed into the pockets. Looking through the recipes has been quite the trip down memory lane. Memories from recipe cards written in cursive from some amazing cooks with information on making breads, hot dishes and bars are my favorite.

Take, for instance, the rhubarb cake recipe from my dad’s farm neighbor. About 20 years ago, we moved back to North Dakota, and she brought over the cake as a welcome. After living in Idaho for quite a few years, getting rhubarb anything was a real treat!  She also gave me the best tip: store buttermilk powder in the fridge. I still do this!

As a kid, I attended a lot of church potlucks. I always begged my mom to make my favorite dish – Russian Pistachio Salad aka Watergate Salad. Using the term “salad” implies it’s a healthy dish, but there’s nothing healthy about it. I asked her for that recipe when I was teenager which she wrote out on a recipe card. Now that she has passed, I cherish having the recipe in her handwriting.

Then there is the recipe for the Baby Ruth Bars handwritten by my best friend in elementary school; fifth grade to be exact. She lived on the same street as me and we made these bars every week. Every. Single. Week.  It was the first recipe experience I had making something in the kitchen, and it was my favorite way to eat cereal.

As I attempt to organize my recipe binder, I realize they are more important than ever to preserve. They aren’t just a pile of lists, ingredients, and directions, they are also memories of people in my life. People I hadn’t thought about until I pulled out their shared recipe. Families and lifestyles are more hectic than ever. Finding time to spend together in the kitchen is less common.

This New Year’s resolution has been a great reminder to make the time with family and use the recipes collected from Grandma, Mom, and friends. And to share the history of why the recipe is special so the connection can continue.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s