Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Savouring Memories

Six years ago I wrote a post here about my collection of recipes handed down, shared and cooked by my grandparents, parents, friends, relatives  and colleagues - all with their own unique memories. My sister Helen came up with an idea a few years later about writing a book about recipes from the past.  Well it sounded a good idea at the time and my sisters and I got excited at the prospect of possibly publishing a book that could be handed down to future generations, but it didn't happen - life often gets in the way of good ideas and so it was forgotten about, abandoned.

However, it has always been there in the background for me and as a maker of Journals over the years I decided to turn this idea into a Journal for myself not only about the recipes but incorporating  kitchens of the past and the gadgets, utensils and kitchen paraphernalia that housewives have used over the years, me included (I have always been a sucker for new gadgets which often lay at the back of a cupboard for years before they see the light of day again).

So, armed with all my old recipes and cooking ephemera and a huge amount of research I set about making the Journal. The cover was from an old hardback book that I gutted (sorry book lovers but it was found in a charity shop and destined for book heaven anyway). I covered the front and back covers and then joined it together with rings.  I generally make my own signatures and sew them into a cover but for this purpose it was easier using rings as I was, and am still able to add other items as I go along.

I found photos of old cooking utensils and copied lots of my old cookery books and food advertising that go back for 70 plus years, to the time of my grandmothers' kitchens.

I've been busy making tucks and pockets, banners and labels in order to facilitate all my ephemera. 

Inside the actual journal I am adding a further three mini journals/signature that I have made, to cater for the many scraps of paper/recipes that I have collected since I married 48 year ago. This has evoked so many happy memories - like the shoe shop receipt for my daughter's first pair of Clarke's shoes aged 4 year old in 1977 - with a recipe hastily written on the reverse. The shoes by the way cost a mere £4.49!

Then there's memories of the Peanut butter and other cookies and jotted down on an American friend's scribble pad. I only knew her for 18 month before she returned home to the USA and now sadly lost touch.

This has been such an exciting venture for me and evoked so many happy memories. Each scrap of paper/recipe/photo has a story to tell. It certainly kept me busy during the dark dreary winter months and delighted I have something to show for it. I'll be hand-writing and using my old vintage typewriter on occasions for making my Journal entries.

And who remembers the days of Hostess trollies, fondue sets and pressure cookers let alone the electric carving knife, wall can openers, choppers, mandolin slicers  - to name but a few, although I'm sure many of these are still found in households today. And then of course there was the introduction of the deep freezer into our homes in the late 1960s which then was a revolution but one we couldn't be without today!

So, the adventure carries on. This is definitely a work-in-progress and each day I'm finding and adding new ideas all the time. Whilst I can't take credit for Helen's original idea, it certainly gave me food for thought (no pun intended!)

Be back again soon P x


  1. That sounds a wonderful project, handed down recipes are so special. Sarah x

  2. What a beautiful idea Pat. Your journals are always gorgeous, and this is so special. I feel guilty about my collection of odd scraps and recipes from the past. I should at least put them in something nice as you have, and honour them. xx

    1. Thank you so much Trish. Had a lot of fun doing it Px

  3. I have so enjoyed reading your post Patricia and remembering all the must have gadgets that we coveted back in the day - your journal is looking fabulous xx Hilda aka Craftycreations

  4. Thank you so much Hilda. Brought back lots of memories P x


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