I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing a family history / family recipe booklet to give to Mom’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I put “family history questionnaire” into the Blingo search engine and found this really nice one at the Texas Cooperative Extension of the Texas A&M University System. Who knew they had such cool stuff on an ag website?
There’s a link for downloading it as a Word or Wordperfect file, which I did, and have now printed out a copy. I think I’ll answer all the questions, too, in case any of my kids or grandkids are ever curious about this stuff.
Mother and I went to Cici’s for dinner. I took along a large spiral notebook and the printout of the questionnaire, and told her my plan. She thought it sounded like a good idea, and we brainstormed about recipes to include. I also asked her the questions on the first couple of pages, just to get us started.
When we got home, I sent an e-mail to all of her descendents (and spouses) for whom I have e-mail addresses. I told them what recipes we thought should be included, and asked them if there were any others they’d like to see, or if there were any recipes from their own families that had become traditions with them and that they’d like to share with the rest of the extended family.
I think this will be a pretty fun project for both of us and give us some interactions that don’t have to do with food, television or doctor’s appointments.
I haven’t had a cigarette in almost two weeks. The only time I want one is when I go grocery shopping with Mother. And yesterday was the big, buy-everything-for-Christmas-dinner shopping trip. I really wanted a cigarette. But I maintained.
Today, I am doing early prep – making the pound cake, fudge, cranberry relish, and cornbread for use later in making the dressing. I cannot rely on Mother’s memory for any of the recipes. She forgot that it took three sticks of butter or that mace was one of the 7 ingredients in the pound cake she has made every year since I can remember. She looked it up on her copy of the recipe, since I was working off one I had copied from hers. She reminded me to grease and flour the cake pan. I told her I had made cakes before. She said, sarcastically but not being mean, just responding to the irritation in my voice, “Really?! I didn’t know!” And then called me a smart aleck. I am aggravated by the fact that she doesn’t want to do any cooking, baking, anything, but she wants to supervise my doing of these things.
After she mentioned that she didn’t remember the pound cake having mace in it, I double-checked the fudge recipe on the internet. Her handwritten recipe calls for three packages of chocolate chips, but it doesn’t specify what size package. She told me it was three small packages. But the recipe on the net closest to the one I have calls for three 12 oz. packages, whereas the small ones are 6 oz. each. I decided I would get more chocolate chips because if that is an error, then it will be an error on the side of more chocolate rather than less, so it won’t be too bad a thing.
I am typing this while waiting for Steve to return from the grocery, as I was in the middle of making the pound cake to realize I have no flour. And so I decided to start on the fudge while he was gone, only to decide that I also did not have enough chocolate chips. *sigh*
And in the background there is the unceasing sound of back-to-back old western shows – first Bonanza and currently Gunsmoke. I really miss being in a quiet house.