Years after she left the Chicagoarea and away from family, my three sisters-in-laws received this letter filled with recipes.
April 6, 1979
Dear Betsy, Pamela, Susan, and Jan,
Since I have been, from time to time, asked for recipes, I though perhaps you would not take it amiss if I ran a sometime recipe service. Whether you actually use the suggestions or not is up to you. Knowing how different tastes run in food (and I should know, since I never seemed to be able to please the whole family at one meal) it will not bother me a bit if you never try out anything I send. Also, if you have any requests or questions I shall be enchanted to try to help. As you all know, besides handwork, cooking is just about my favorite occupation. The fact that Allan and I don't get enough exercies to hlep melt off the food makes me a little less extravagant where calories are concerned, But I don't think any of you including your husbands need to worry about that.
I shall give you ideas using smallish amounts and you may double or triple them according to your desires. Unless otherwise specified, margarine may be substituted for butter and reconstituted non-fat dried skimmed milk for whole milk, etc.
A Daughter's Perspective
My mother was an excellent cook - creative and abundant! As children (and there are seven of us) we never went hungry! Visiting friends were envious, cleaning their plates every time. She didn't worry much about what one of us didn't like and we were told to just eat around it. There is a story I recall about my father complaining there was something in his eye, and from the kitchen my mother was heard to say, "Oh, just shut up and eat around it." This woman - her wit, her ease in the kitchen, her endless energy in creating amazing food - will also leave me in awe.
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