A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Category: BlackBox


Black Recipe Box

For the weekend coffee share this week I thought I would share a picture of our magic black box and my long standing project.

Ten plus years since her passing and she is affectionately known as Grannie. Not the box, the lady who gifted this to us.  Often spoken about as we go about our lives.  We wonder what she would think of us now, and how she would have enriched our lives if she were still here.    My wife’s mother and the first of our parents to go.   Sorely missed for many spoken reasons and many unspoken.  A bond between mother and daughter that had it’s moments.  Mostly though something that was rich and full of love.  A piece of music or a mother daughter scene in a film will take my wife right back to the sorrow and longing of hoping for another conversation or a moment together. 

I’m not sure she saw herself as a cook, but in my eyes definitely so.  Coming from a humble background with a missionary for a father who took his family and his teachings to China.  Circumstance and timing led to the family being interned as prisoners of war.  My thinking is that from these beginnings my mother in-law grew to appreciate simple food and simple cooking as a way of life. 

She left us a black box, full of recipes, index cards that had grown over time.  Not sure many go back past the 80’s, and some might not even have been used at all.  Just a recipe passed on from a friend at the church, these are the ones in the hand writing my wife doesn’t recognise.  The scrawl of Grannie very distinct on hers and at times very un-readable!  Some of the cards have my wife’s writing on, a period of her life when calligraphy was the rage.  These are the ones that bring her memories back as a child and has also made with our boys.

My hope when we first received the box was that it would hold the secrets to an alchemy that had been passed on from generation to generation.  That the hidden texts would be revealed to the person who believed in the sacred box, only the worthy would truly become a great cook.

Having now scanned the great works using my printer I plan to work through them.   Deciphering the sacred text without a Rosetta stone, typing them up, tweaking as I go, modernising the measurements and the ingredients.  An interpretation for the way we cook and food shop as a family now.

…..it’s a work in progress, with more to follow

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

220211 – 6 of 52

Impromptu – a start

Coffee and Notebook

I feel a bit of an imposter writing this, a strange feeling where I’ve just started to type. I know I want to blog, but the fear of putting something down. The questions in my mind around who, what, why when floating around in my mind forcing me to question the whole point……then it hits me. Just type and start.

6.45 the house is quiet aside from the quiet clunking of the radiators warming up as the central heating turns over. The boss has gone for a run, a welcome relief as the snow has gone and the outside is at a temperature where there should be no black ice.

I’m trying to focus myself more, I’d normally have grunted rolled over and put the alarm on snooze. Instead I’m in a state of fuzzy shock. I’ve started putting an alarm on in the corner of room forcing myself to get out of bed rather than pressing the snooze button. I’ve made it to Thursday, 4 days in a row! It’s a tiny change something I’m trying to take from Jame’s Clears atomic habits, small incremental changes.

I’ve started up on the black box again, the recipe file that we inherited. I’m starting to be ruthless, there are recipes I’m never going to touch like bacon and liver, liver loaf and a tinned salmon ring and salmon pudding. I’m determined to examine everyone and setting a target of one a day in terms of transcribing…..got to be achievable and a start.

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