The Recipe Box

Meal PlanningIt’s raining heavily outside this morning, and as I was sipping coffee, looking at my list of what needs to be done, and thinking about this blog, I decided it was the perfect morning to do a little meal planning combined with a trip down memory lane. One of the best gifts I was ever given was a recipe box, with cards in it that had been filled out by relatives with their favorite meals and recipes.

It’s a small treasure, and one that has been loved into battered condition over the years. Some of the cards are, well, less than readable but I can’t bear to give them up. Recipes in my great-grandmother’s own handwriting are precious, even if I will never make a Golden Salad. Then again, there are the recipes for things so complicated and unusual I don’t remember why I ever thought I’d have the time to make them. Or the card I found with no title, just a list of ingredients…

My favorite is the recipe my eldest daughter drew for me when she was about four years old. A pictogram, and as you can see, she has always had that terrible sense of humor. I have a bunch of my mother’s recipes in there, on smaller cards, so they fall down and get lost, little surprises to find later. I rarely use the box for much, but I plan to make my Great-Grandma Lily’s Ground Beef Stroganoff today, so I pulled it out and leafed through it.

I have so little time to cook right now, and this last week it has simply been too warm to cook much – or eat a hot, heavy meal. Every time I do this, I think I need to cook more, and then reality catches up with me. But I think I know what to put on the grocery list, at least, so we can run out this morning in the cool rain and take care of that. I’ll tuck the cards safely away again, to revisit old friends and memories again the next time I remember to take the time.

Scroll past the recipe cards for the Ground Beef Stroganoff recipe…

Ground Beef Stroganoff
Great-Grandma Lily’s Ground Beef Stroganoff
Cat Soup
The Eldest Daughter’s recipe… run, kitty, run!
crustless quiche
What was I thinking? It looks like maybe a crustless quiche? Oh, dear…
Autographed by a baby, which one, I can't remember.
Autographed by a baby, which one, I can’t remember.
sticky popcorn
Sometimes the simplest ones are the best.
recipe box treasures
My mom’s tidy handwriting. I never did reach that level of readability.
Great-aunt Vivi's recipe... I love her purple ink!
Great-aunt Vivi’s recipe… I love her purple ink!


Great-Grandma Lily’s Ground Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c chopped onions
  • 1 c cut-up celery (I always omit this, no celery fans in my family)
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 1 can water or broth
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 small can mushrooms (I usually use sliced, fresh, and saute with the ground beef)
  • sprinkle of soy sauce

Brown meat, onions, and celery. Add soup and water and simmer 20 minutes. Add water as needed for desired consistency. Add sour cream and mushrooms and heat through. Serve over rice or noodles.