Recipes take her down Memory Lane

Published 1:05 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

For every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal, I include Lime Delight, a congealed salad, which is a family favorite. Somehow, I overlooked it on Thanksgiving this year. Since several people told me they missed it, I made a special effort to get it on the table at Christmas.

Every time I prepare it, I have to hunt the recipe. I know it is in a certain recipe book, but it is not in print. I have several versions—one is neatly typed, and another is scribbled by hand on the back of an envelope. When I start to search for it, I know it is going to take a while because it is jammed somewhere in the book. I thought about what my husband once said about my Bible that had numerous notes and papers tucked in it. He said I was the only person he knew who used a Bible for a filing cabinet. I think it is like so with my cookbook. I couldn’t help but smile when I pulled out the book with a dog-eared cover and filled with recipes from friends and members of the Lillian United Methodist Church back in the mid-1990s.

As time passed, my mother and I added some of our favorites scratched on note paper, cut out from newspapers, ripped from the back of boxes, torn from cans, and written on some blank pages provided in the cookbook. Some of the recipes are taped to the inside of the cover, while others are loose.

My easy pie recipe, labeled “Magic Lemon Meringue Pie,” is in a small book that I slipped between the pages. We know it at our house as “Lemon Ice Box Pie.” It is our favorite holiday dessert.

Jotted on half a piece of theme paper is a cousin’s husband’s recipe for Banana Pudding. Seated at her table while everyone enjoyed that delight but me (bananas hurt my stomach), he dictated and I took down the recipe. Its base was Eagle Brand Milk. I shared it with a friend, but left out the bananas, so she wound up with a banana-less, but sweet, pudding.

Years ago when I was a reporter at the Star-News, the editor put me in charge of our first holiday cookbook. Among the recipes readers submitted was one for an Eagle Brand Milk-based fruitcake. She sent it to us written in ink on lined theme paper. After it was typeset for the cookbook, I saved it. It is now among the variety of loose recipes in the cookbook.

A three-page newsletter from a favorite county home economics agent with holiday tips (how to flameproof a tree and how to thaw a turkey), and some luscious recipes (Fresh Apple Nut Cake, Date Nut Pudding) fell out of the book when I opened it.

By now, you know why I need time to find Lime Delight. Once I open that book jammed with all those loose recipes, I get lost looking them over and reminiscing about them.

Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.