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Dr. Judy

Down The Rabbit Hole

by Judy Richardson | Published February 19, 2022

Going Down the Rabbit Hole.

            A friend of mine and I were texting and sharing recipes today when I wanted to share with her a recipe of my grandmothers for Poor Man’s Cake. I retrieved it from the battered old recipe box I got at a bridal shower in 1965. I found the recipe and shared it, but soon found myself falling down the rabbit hole lured by the box of recipes and memories it contained.

I found the first ones from friends of my mothers. I remembered the one from aunt that basically said, buy a box of Cinch cake mix and follow the directions, Stuffed in the box along with traditional 3 by 5 cards were dozens of recipes scribbled on the backs of scraps of paper, old grocery lists and even a blank report card from my years at Tech High as an administrator. I even found one on the back of an absentee list from my days as a teacher at Nathan Weeks Junior High.

I was truly down the rabbit hole by then. There was the recipe card written by my first grader for stuffed chocolate cupcakes in very clear printing. Another was a recipe for Fire House Bread. It was favorite one of my husband, Darrel. You baked it in one pound coffee cans, and it came out in round loaves. (When was the last time you saw a metal, one pound coffee can?) There were many more that brought back good memories of dinners, and celebrations through the years.  My mother, mother-in-law, Dorothy Richardson, and my good friend, Marilyn Browne were major contributors.  I even found a couple of recipes on Old Thresher’s note pads, from my trips with Chuck Wendel to that yearly event.  

So here it is, well past noon on a day I planned to work on my poetry book. Like Alice, I have fallen into the well documented trap of the memories of my past.  

My friend suggested I put my recipes in a notebook with some notes on what I remembered about the how and when they were used, or who created them. Egad! Another project for me stacked on the kitchen table me further away from my To Do list so faithfully followed for about 20 minutes. 

I have always resented the time it takes one to cook a meal and how quickly it is finished. I have never had the reputation of being a good cook. My contributions to pot lucks were most often veggie trays or salad fixings. As my friends often said, “Judy can bring the salad.” My children all learned to cook for themselves as a matter of self-preservation.   And all of them have become good cooks. 

Sitting here looking at the stack of recipe cards and piles of scraps of paper, I can see I will not escape from this particular rabbit hole for a while. It is certainly more than a day’s work. Better get started.

Just in case you might be interested here my grandmother’s recipe

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