My Nostalgic Find

  • A most wonderful and nostalgic find in my recipe box a few afternoons ago; I decided to post it today and you will see why.  62 years ago today in 1957,  my grandmother-whom we always called Nana-wrote down a recipe for Easy Chocolate Frosting from the back of a Baker’s Chocolate box. Nana always wrote down on her recipes what the weather was, the date and often what the occasion was-someone’s birthday, a family picnic, or holiday-but also where she was living.  I was only four years old on this date. What I found quite interesting is that Nana wrote the word “enuf” for “enough”.  Why? Maybe to save space? Being a Latin and English teacher herself (she inspired me to go into teaching) I wondered about this. Apparently, she made it for my brother’s 10th birthday, however, his birthday was not until March 26th. Mmmm…maybe she wanted to try it out first? Or wrote his birth date on her recipe card after his birthday?   
  • If you look closely, you will see chocolate spatter stains on her recipe card. I turned the recipe card over and found the real chocolate on the card. Yes, it is an actual “lump” of chocolate frosting!  For the last 45 plus years, I have kept her original handwritten recipes in plastic sleeves to keep them. To see the chocolate preserved as well was so much fun to smell and touch reliving my four old self’s curiosity. Yes, all the way back to January 31, 1957.  Perfect.

        The picture is Nana with my grandfather whom we called Pop. You will meet and come to know them in the forthcoming book titled ‘Corn Silk’.  The flour sifter I have had Nana’s flour sifter since I married in 1974; Pop gave it to me one winter day in 1974 when I sat at their kitchen table copying Nana’s recipes.  Nana and I spent many of my childhood hours cooking together. Always she would give me a blank recipe card that was printed at the top -“From the Kitchen of Cora Godbout.” She would always tell me to cross out her name Cora and write my name Nancy over it.   Her flour sifter still goes on being used all these years since I had it. Yes, cakes, cookies biscuits and more have been made because of her recipes and flour sifter. And the spoon? Yes, it was hers too engraved with a fancy “ G” on the handle. It was often used for “tea precisely at three” *.  Three o’clock in the afternoon was always tea time with Nana accompanied by whatever baked goods we created together. Pieces of my family history were made through each of Nana’s handwritten recipes that she wrote with her soft pink fountain pen along with the grinding sound of her Bromwell flour sifter blending memories along with Gold Medal flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder and Arm and Hammer Baking Soda and of course Morton Salt.

* From the poem “A Quilt Whispers” published in the poetry collection ‘Journey On: Beauty and Grit Along the Way’ by Anna Blake Godbout.

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