03 September 2008

A Braver Woman Than I

This is another contribution from Grammy's recipe box. I inherited this recipe box as a young girl when my Grammy passed away from ovarian cancer. Over the years, I have cherished its contents. Some recipes date back to my Grammy's mother El and Grammy's aunt Esther in the 1910-20's. If you use a recipe or cooking tip from Grammy's recipe box, I'd love to hear about it.

To see more of Grammy's recipes, click on the "Grammy's recipe box" label at the end of this post.

I recently posted how I am too afraid to make up the vintage recipe for homemade marshmallow that I found in my Grammy's recipe box. Well, there is a braver woman than I out there named Emiline at Sugar Plum. She took on the daunting challenge and succeeded! You'll have to visit her blog to see her amazing food photography that showcases her results.

Emiline wrote in her post about this vintage recipe adventure of hers:
"The recipe was simple and I loved the vintage(?) feel of how it was written. I'm not sure how old Grammy was when she made marshmallows, but I kind of picture her making these in the 50's, wearing cateye glasses and saddle shoes, maybe while watching I Love Lucy."
Here's how vintage the recipe truly is... it was written in fountain pen by my great-great-aunt Esther sometime between 1910 and 1930-ish.

The way I can date this recipe is that some of the other recipes my Grammy's box are actually dated with Esther's name in the top right corner. This undated recipe looks like those dated ones so that's how I can zero in on a date. I can imagine that Esther probably jotted down a lot of the recipes that her niece, Elsie (my Grammy) would have witnessed Esther making and fallen in love with. Elsie probably made this recipe from that time forward into the 50's (and beyond) as Emiline envisioned.

And those cat-eye glasses and saddle shoes Emiline envisioned? Well, I don't think Grammy wore saddle shoes BUT here is a photo of little me wearing my Grammy's cat-eye glasses! I loved her glasses (she had more than one pair) because she always got the really snazzy ones--some with little rhinestones.

As for watching "I Love Lucy" while making the recipe? Well, that would have been problematic because as that show was being watched by most households in the U.S., my Grammy was living in the Indian Valley nestled in the northern woods of California where TV signals didn't really reach until the 60's. She would have been accompanied by radio if anything.

Grammy probably also made this recipe at an earlier time when she lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the thriving and bustling 20's, 30's, and 40's. Here are two great photos of my Grammy Elsie outside her place of work at a grocer's in downtown Oakland in the 1930's. She's the one sitting on the curb in the first photo...

Yup, my Grammy was a stylish marshmallow-making woman! And now that honor belongs to Emiline at Sugar Plum. Way to go, Emiline!!!!!!


Emiline said...

That's so awesome! I love it! Look at those pictures.
I love how they dressed in the 30's and 40's.

I love the picture of you in her cat-eye glasses! So cute. Do they still make cat-eye glasses? Because I want some.

Thanks for giving the history of the marshmallow recipe. I linked from my post.

Lindsay Fara said...

great recipe, great photos. is there anything more sincere than the joy of a little girl when she gets to put on accessories that belong to one of her women? beautiful.

Joanie said...

Cindy, This is what I left for Emeline... guess next time I should read your whole post before I run off half-cocked to someone else's blog.

Hi... I'm Joanie, Grammy's #1 helper, youngest daughter and Cindy's Auntie. I can tell from the handwriting that this was a very early recipe when she was in her twenties, so about 1935 or so! Glad you enjoyed her recipe! She was such a wonderful woman... truly amazing! That's all I can say with too many tears.

Joanie said...

OH joy, I went back and hadn't posted my blog comment yet!!! Now you are the! only one that knows I'm half c(r)ocked

Catatonic Kid said...

Oh wow, great recipe! I just adore vintage stuff. So pretty - classic, really.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Seriously, how cute was our grammy? Now that I am thinner (and hopefully getting thinner? maybe I should go to Cindy boot camp to give myself a boost, whatcha think?) my mom says I look like her. I certainly don't look like the thin, more petite Boucher ladies...and remember that we are the twinner cousins? So let's say we both look like her. I love that cute grammy...even though I really never knew her I always feel a closeness that can just be explained by that fantastic eternal tie called family.
Oh, an my mom and I have TOTALLY made marshmallows before! Very interesting process!

gwendomama said...

Hi Cindy

In process of writing about making these incredible marshmallows (with vanilla beans!!) and would love to include your photos of the recipe card along with links to you and photos of my own making marshmallow process.
Please let me know if that would be okay!

Cottonpickinfarm said...

I love your recipe, and will be trying it out. One of my children reacts to corn syrup. We can't by him marshmallows at the store, nor graham crackers. We're not organic nazi's but we do make a lot of things from scratch so that he can have "snacks" like the other kids. I am excited to have stumbled onto this. Thank you for posting your Grammy's recipe.

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