I don’t know OLGA, but I love her. She was a mother and a cook. I don’t know what time she lived in, or why her box of handwritten recipes was discarded, and sold on ebay for a pittance. If she were my mother I would treasure her words and her labor with a tender grace.
I rescued Olga’s box because I knew it would be something special. I knew I would value it and do her words proud. Opening her tiny wooden box was like stepping into another time. A little treasure trove of tastes and smells.
There are several different kinds of recipes in Olga’s box. Some are handwritten in a careful, educated script that seems thoughtful and elegant. Others are typed on to file cards, the letters slipping and uneven. When the cook would misspell something, she would simply turn the card over and begin again.
There are a few clippings from a ladies magazine. It says “TESTED IN THE AMERICAN HOME KITCHEN” at the bottom of the paper. The tablecloth on the black and white photo on the front looks like something from the 1950’s or 60’s. It has a lovely cherry print tablecloth with a gorgeous peach crumble a top the yellowed paper.
Some of the cards seem to be given to her from friends or family. There are many different handwritings. Olga, Juanita, Lill Batts. My favorite, beautifully written, from “your loving daughter”.
Food IS Love! And looking through this box makes me think of the legacy of flavors and traditions we pass on to those we love.
Your box is not lost, Olga. I am not sure why it landed in my hands, but I hope some of your meals can live on with us!