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

1 comments:

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!