My Mother’s and Aunt’s Recipes

My Mother’s and Aunt’s Recipes

Previous Generation's Recipes

I have avoided going through a bunch of boxes since bringing them home in 2005 after closing my parent’s and my aunt’s houses. Recently, I’ve been facing some of them to finally process and deal with them. One such box was filled with my mom’s (photo above) and my aunt’s (first photo below) recipes. Additionally, there were three more file boxes than shown here.

These are a mixture of recipes cut out of newspapers and magazines, recipe cards given by friends (oh my, a whole parade of names I haven’t thought of in a while!), as well as handwritten, stained favorites of my mom’s. It is amazing what a blast from the past handwriting is! It was like no time had elapsed, and my mother was still here.

I ditched a lot of it, but went through and looked at every piece. I’m not going to eat meat, gelatin, cool whip, corn syrup, coconut, condensed milk, wine, sherry or rum, so that right there eliminated a lot of the recipes.

But I found some things that I remember strongly and taste like home to me. In particular, my long lost favorite cookie my mom used to make– an oatmeal raisin cookie I’ve wrung my hands over trying to replicate, but never was able to approximate. I now know that molasses is the secret ingredient, and I’ll blog the recipe soon.

I’ve taken some random photos of my mom’s cards below that I’m unlikely to blog further, but grew up on, and remember as good. You’ll need to replace Crisco, oleo, or margarine (“marg”) for butter in these, in my opinion. “Tab” means Tablespoon.  Along with the abbreviations, you’ll note there are not many instructions. If you are used to cooking, however, I don’t think this will deter you.

My mother really seemed to like soufflé’s, and put cheese on most vegetables. She had a whole array of cakes, and those “Cheese Dollars” shown in a recipe below were the addictive appetizer of choice for many a party. She had so many good recipes for punch, too, I’ll make a separate post for those. Additionally, I’m looking forward to making her Bayberry Tarts, which were another favorite she made at Christmastime, so I’ll blog those too if they come out.

Other recipes of my mom’s already on the blog? Here are some perennial family classics of hers that I’ve long ago blogged:

Cut Out Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting

Polly’s Mom’s Yam and Cranberry Casserole

In the last photo, I show you what I got it all this huge sorting effort down to for myself. Our youngest daughter wanted one empty file box with my mom’s tabs to start her own collection or recipes, which delights me. For each daughter’s Christmas stocking this year, I’ve chosen a small bundle of recipes I don’t need but I think they’ll like– chicken recipes and ice cream ones for our oldest, and tarts and pie ideas for our youngest. It makes me happy to see this cumulative effort of my matriarchs continue in bits to the following generation, and even to you blog readers!

I’m so grateful to my mom and my aunt for all their effort to feed our family well.


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 2 years ago

    Well these were my kinda women! The better sex cake my Grandmother would not have allowed! The cheese dollars are baked as round biscuits?
    Similar to cheese straws?

    By the way, your wonderful calendars arrived today and were sent out this afternoon. The UPS people were very taken with your art. Hope they arrive to the intended.


    • Author
      Polly Castor 2 years ago

      The cheese dollars are rolled into one log, chilled, and then sliced in cross sections to look like cookies. They are heavenly served warm an an appetizer. For my parent’s parties I always offered to serve them and therefore was enabled to eat more!

  2. Loree 2 years ago

    Nut and bolts were a “must have” especially at Christmas- Aunt Nat’s specialty in our family


  1. […] in early December when I sorted through all my mom’s old recipes, what I was most excited to find was my mom’s long lost oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. Along […]

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