GLEANING RECIPES FROM RELATIVES IN YOUR TRAVELS
By Mary Emma Allen
our travels, my family and I have always enjoyed
discovering new recipes. Some of these have come from
relatives we've visited, whether on short or longer
trips. I've been organizing some of these recipes for
our family heritage. You'll also recall family memories
accompanying many of these recipes.
Why don't you try this, too?
- These might simply be written on
recipe cards, possibly duplicating them and fastening them
by punching a hole in one corner and then holding together
with a ring.
- You can put together an album with
the recipes written or typed and a photo of the relatives.
Jot down some memories of your visits with them.
- Find a specially made recipe album
in a scrapbooking store. My daughter put together one of
these for her daughter.
Aunt Freda's Recipes
Aunt Freda and Uncle Charles, my dad's brother, lived in New
Hampshire, 275 miles from our New York State home. My
family, when I was growing up, visited them each summer.
Aunt Freda loved to cook and I recall helping her. She had
a French Quebec background and told stories about her
When she learned of my interest in cooking and recipes, she
wrote some of them down for me. I still have them, and my
memories, many years later.
Aunt Pat's Fried Chicken
Aunt Pat was a friend of Mother's who lived in Virginia. It
was a great adventure to travel that far to visit her and
her family one summer. We also stopped to tour Washington,
DC on the way.
Before we left, Aunt Pat decided to make Southern Fried
Chicken for supper. Time was of little importance to her,
as she and Mother reminisced about their days teaching
school together. So supper time kept getting put further
and further into the evening. Father became hungrier and
Finally Aunt Pat suggested her sister take us to the movies
while she plucked the chickens and got them ready to fry.
We children thought that great fun and snacked on popcorn.
The chicken was delicious. However, Father never forgot
waiting until 10 pm for his supper. I don't think he
appreciated the movie as much as we children did either.
My mom's sister lived closer to us and was a good cook,
too. I often spent several days with her on the Trails End
Farm, in Milan, NY, where she lived with my grandmother, her
brother and his wife.
When you entered the kitchen, you always knew Auntie had
been cooking something delicious. From her I learned to
bake bread, churn butter, and fry donuts, among other
dishes. Traveling to her home, although it was only about
an hour away, took us over winding country roads.
Aunt Margaret's Recipes
My husband's aunt lived in Ohio. We stopped to visit her
enroute to Texas, where my husband was stationed in the Air
Force. Aunt Margaret was of German background on her
mother's side, so many of the dishes she prepared reflected
I remember sitting at her kitchen counter, eating crackers
and cheese, while Aunt Margaret chatted. We learned stories
about growing up in Ohio and the dishes her mother made for
Niece Kelly's Recipes
My niece lives near Portland, Oregon, where my husband and I
visited her and family. She has shared recipes with me for
our family cookbook. While in that part of the country, Jim
and I also enjoyed explorations around the Columbia River
and Mt. Hood area.
Aunt Freda's Nut Bread
Mix and sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking
powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup sugar. Mix together 1
beaten egg and 1/3 cup softened shortening. Stir, with 1
cup milk into dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup chopped walnut
Bake in greased and floured bread pan at 350 degrees F. for
one hour or until inserted pick comes out clean.
(You can add for variation, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 teaspoon
cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.)
(c)2014 Mary Emma Allen
(Mary Emma Allen writes from her woodland home in NH. She
teaches workshops on writing family stories. Currently
she's compiling the stories about the generations of
teachers in her family. E-mail: