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This morning I was going back and re-writing some of the posts I had written for this blog (I can never leave anything alone!), and that got me thinking about how much I have evolved my family recipes over the years and when and why I started doing that.
My grandmother, Nanny, died in 1994, and I inherited her handwritten cookbook that coincidentally, she started in 1966 – the year I was born! Nanny taught me how to make a lot dishes over the years, but I had never really read through her cookbook. As I started flipping through the pages, the first thing I noticed were the comments by most of the recipes. Some said “Great” or “Good”; a few even said “Grand!”. A couple of them also said “NO GOOD!!!!!” written in all caps with exclamation points. So, I had a starting point. As I soon learned, cooking my way through her recipes was not going to be as easy as I thought. Her lists of ingredients called for things like a #2 can of corn or a #3 can of tomatoes or Dime brand milk. Yikes! This was 1994! What the heck were those sizes?! Mama didn’t know, so I went on a quest to find out. I was surprised at how many of the older generation didn’t know. But Falba (who I called Aunt Falba),
a close family friend who lived with my grandparents for years, was able to translate everything. For those of you who may need the translation yourselves one day, a #2 can is simply a standard 14-1/2 oz. can, a #3 can is 28 oz., and Dime brand milk is sweetened condensed milk.
I’ve since moved forward with those recipes, always editing and changing. I use fresh ingredients now and not canned, with the exception of tomatoes. There is apparently no such thing as a really good fresh tomato in south Florida
Here are some of her recipes that I’ve updated and really made my own:
Pimiento Cheese Recipe