Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Ol’ Recipe Box by Ramona Butler

This week found me digging in my kitchen cabinets for my stuffed, much used-and-abused recipe box.  Why?  Because I'm contributing to an upcoming group cookbook.  And as always happens when I go  through that box, I was immediately assailed with memories, each and every tattered card evokes.  Memories of the friends and family members who    So for a change of pace, my post today is about food.

Pear Honey
9 cups of chopped, fresh pears.
1 large can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
5 cups of sugar
Cook until thick and seal in hot jars.

I have no idea why the recipe bears that name, since it doesn’t contain any honey, it was given to me by my mother-in-law, a wonderful cook.  The combination of these three ingredients produces a unique flavor, delicious as a topper for toast or homemade biscuits (yum-yum).  It’s one of my husband’s  favorites.

Catfish Charlie (9-day slaw)
1 large cabbage, thinly slithered
1 large onion, sliced thin
½ cup of sugar
Sprinkle sugar on sliced cabbage & onions and set aside.  Then combine the following in a small pan:
1/3 cup of sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. celery seed
1 cup of white vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
Bring this combo to a boil and pour over cabbage/onion mixture.  Chill thoroughly (overnight is good).  Stir well before serving.  Keeps well.

Another of my recipes with an odd name, the above was my mother’s specialty and requires a very large mixing bowl.  She and my step-dad were big on fishing and fish-fry gatherings, so I’m pretty sure that’s where the Catfish Charlie name came from.  (Note: Splenda may be substituted for all or part of the sugar.)

Fresh Tomato Relish
1 qt. fresh tomatoes
¼ large green bell pepper
1 small white or yellow onion

Chop into a tall container and top with 1 t. salt, 2 T. sugar, and 2 T. of white vinegar.  DO NOT STIR.  Let set overnight till ready to serve.  Then stir.

That recipe came from my mother-in-law’s sister, also a wonderful cook.  We love fresh sliced tomatoes, but when I have an abundance, this relish is a delicious change. 

All of these people are now gone from my life, but the recipes -- and the memories -- will always remain.  I hope it’s the same at your house, and you have a recipe box of memories like I do.  Bask in those wonderful memories, and use the feelings they evoke in your writing.  The result will be true-to-life emotion and very real characters.

Ramona Butler


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Isn't it great the way those recipes bring back so many memories? I'll need to start going through mine soon!