Here is a snapshot of my Aunts Ada, Ruth, Emily, and my mom Elenor.  (The boy is Emily's son Ray.)  I'm guessing by Ray's apparent age that Elenor was 19 or 20 years old.  In the 1930s women were expected to develop a repertoire of recipes that they could prepare when called upon.  Some recipes were passed on from "Mom Mom", Elenor's mother.  Others were collected from friends, family, church, and so on.  Women kept track of these recipes in small metal file boxes that held 3 x 5 cards with handwritten instructions.  Here is a small sample of the cards from "the box".  Imagine keeping track of things without a computer.  There was also a pre-internet network where women would carefully write copies of their recipes and pass them on.  Oh yeah, and Elenor's first kitchen as a new bride after she married Ken, a newly ordained Presbyterian minister, was in the farm country of Ohio, with no indoor plumbing except for a hand pump at the sink.  Maybe that's why Mom was such a good camper,  She had lived it!


Selected from the File Box...


Apricot Mold 

Artillery Punch 

Banana Bread 

Bean Salad 


Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars 

Chocolate Cake 

Drop Sugar Cookies 

Eggless Chocolate Cookies (Mom made these especially for cousin Peter)

Erik's Help List (Was she trying to keep Erik out of trouble by working him ragged?  :)  )

Fruit Kuchen 

Hand Lotion 

Lemon Drops 

Magic Butter Rolls 

Meringue Kisses 

Molasses Cookies 

Mom's Limpa 

Oatmeal Cookies 



Peanut Butter Cookies 

Peanut Butter Whirl Cookies 

Pecan Butterscotch Squares 

Potato Salad With Franks 

Pumpkin Bars 

Rachel's Hot Dogs in Booze 

Rum Balls 

Shoe Fly Pie 

Spring Salad Dressing 

Sugar Cookies 

Swedish Meatballs.

Swedish Pancakes 

Swedish Snowballs 

White Cake 


Some of Richard's Favorites

Teriyaki Marinade (adapted from James Beard) 


Marinade - equal parts vegetable oil, sherry (nothing fancy needed), and light soy sauce (I have cut back a little on the soy), fresh grated ginger, fresh chopped garlic, and zest of an orange. I have used this on all kinds of beef. It tenderizes cuts like London broil, but it works on better cuts too. This also works with chicken. Marinate beef in fridge all day, but chicken needs less time. Cook on the grill and you will have no leftovers!


Richard's new way of cooking ribs.


This recipe works for actual ribs and for their cheaper cousin "country" or "southern" style ribs, which are actually shoulder. Pre-heat oven to 275ª. Rub the meat with your favorite pork rub, or make your own (salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, and a little cayenne if you want a little heat). Double wrap tightly in foil. Cook for about 3 hours. About 10 minutes before you want to eat, throw them on the grill (I prefer a beech wood fire) for a few minutes and baste with a little BBQ sauce - just enough to toast the meat on the outside and give it a little color and texture. Handle the meat carefully on the grill because it will be very tender. Enjoy!


Addendum - I recently bought a pressure cooker, and it also does a really good job with ribs. Three hours of slow method translates to about 50 minutes in the pressure cooker.