Treasures from the old recipe box

by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence


I don't know if it due to the lovely June weather we are recently experiencing in Minnesota or if it is because of the abundance of fresh crimson rhubarb and just picked plump strawberries at our local farmer's markets...but my hands keep straying to a faded old recipe box in my cupboard.

The pale and worn yellow paint of the old tin box gives away it's importance in my memories: three generations of hands have sought out carefully copied and annotated "receipt" cards for birthdays, Sunday "Preacher Dinners," quick recipes, limited ingredient recipes from the Depression and War years, exchanged recipes from the Ladies' Circles and darkened clipping from the Capper's Weekly Newspaper.

I am not hungering for the newest of Nouvelle cuisine...nor the latest "must try" ingredients. I want the tried and true as tested by 3 generations of cooks in my family. I crave the memories to transport me back to cherished times. I need to be that grubby little girl dashing through the doors into Grandma Smith's kitchen with a clutch of still warm eggs wrapped in my red kerchief. That little child who just "knew" that Grandma was going to work her kitchen magic again and I was going to "help!"

So, what follows are 3 of my cherished family recipes. Each are easy and travel well. One was Grandma Smith's "Rhubarb Dream Bars" from the Capper's Weekly paper circa 1935. The picnic chicken recipe is my Mom's from Good Housekeeping Magazine from 1969. And the last is from my brother Mark for his Salmon and Orange Salad that was in every church cookbook during the late 1980's. 

I have not changed or "updated" these recipes...they stand as a monument to their times.

Mark's Salmon Salad

Mom's Picnic Chicken Hawaiian

Rhubarb Dream Dessert

Enjoy yourselves! Pull out your treasured family recipes and see where the memories take you.