June 13, 2012

*New Feature*Grandma’s Recipe Box

My Great Grandma passed away five years ago.  Just two days before my Mother.  She’d lived to be north of 80 and had lived at home until her last few months.

Infant Mom, Grandma and Pap. I think this is probably Christmas 1958 or 1959

When we cleaned out her house the summer after she died, I was able to bring home some things of hers I treasured.  Calendars she and my Great Grandpa had kept with their little handwritten notes about what they’d done and where they’d gone.  Dozens of vintage hankies.  Tiny, perfectly sewn baby clothes that she’d keep for more than five decades.

I have three little glass bluebirds.  A lovely, vibrant picture. Afghans I passed along to my siblings so they’d have a bit of her.

And and I have recipe box full of recipes.  Recipes copied by hand and copied on old mimeograph machines.  Recipes clipped from columns written long ago by writers who are now, probably, dead.  Recipes upon recipes and my friends?

I’m sharing Grandma’s recipe box with you. Because I like you that much.  Grandma’s recipe box is full of great things.  Pickle recipes, pear butter, pepper relish, biscuits, more fudge recipes than you cn shake a stick at, helpful hints, a Mike Royko column containing John Bobbit limericks, her salmon patty recipe and you all?

My Grandparents made a menu plan.  My world spun a little bit when I found it.

You know, in high school, certainly unbeknownst to my Grandma, I made up a Bobbit song.  And, I make a menu plan.  Our connection.  I love it.

Today, we’re starting off with something easy.  A “tip” Grandma saved for “easy grilled cheese sandwiches”.

Easy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
(featured in a small, yellowed news clipping from some newspaper from God only knows when, but printed since the microwave became a household staple)

Makes: 1 Sandwich


two slices of bread

two slices of cheese



1. Toast the bread

2. Spread the slices of bread with mayonnaise, top with cheese and microwave for 30 seconds.



The bread still stayed a little crispy while the cheese got melty, but even though I used the mayonnaise sparingly it was a cheese and mayo sandwich and I’m not much of a fan, I guess.  If I were to do this again, I’d spread the bread with butter (why didn’t the original hint suggester use butter? because isn’t that what makes a grilled cheese sandwich?)  Minus the mayo plus the butter?  It would have been a fair substitute.  If you didn’t have a stove and were pressed for the extra minute it would take you to turn out a real grilled cheese sandwich, because, really, it took about 90 seconds for my bread to get sufficently toasted and then 30 seconds in the microwave and I’m pretty sure I can turn out a grilled cheese in a pan in three minutes.

All I can figure is that Grandma, and the hint suggester, were looking for more uses for their new microwaves because I can’t imagine this being a corner Grandma would cut.

But, never fear.  Grandma’s recipe box still has biscuit recipes.  A recipe for a fruitcake she (or someone) titled “Good” fruitcake (like, there was good and bad and this one was the better of the two).  While this recipe wasn’t a winner, I think it could work for a quick lunch before we ran out the door because I could make FOUR sandwiches in 3 minutes which would be a time saver (plus butter, no mayo).

But, can we talk a minute about the microwaved potato chips that are making the rounds on Pinterest? You’ll notice them accompanying my sandwich.

Source: foodgal.com via Jamie on Pinterest


Mine browned up more, probably due to cutting them by hand and having a thicker sliced chip but they were really good.  The only problem?  In my microwave, each batch took about 7 minutes.  And I needed to make five batches, which is a pretty big time commitment for potato chips, BUT they tasted great, could be seasoned any way you’d like AND come it at about 90 calories and 3 grams of fat (for 1 pound of yukon gold potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil split into five servings).

Somehow, I think microwaving plates of sliced potatoes for seven minutes each to avoid buying a $3.99 bag of potato chips is exactly something Grandma would have done.  She’d have approved of this little experiment.  I’m sure.




Grandma's Recipe Box, Recipes 2 Replies to “*New Feature*Grandma’s Recipe Box”


2 thoughts on “*New Feature*Grandma’s Recipe Box

    Author’s gravatar

    Every brand of microwave varies in how fast it cooks. But I’m glad you got the recipe to work in yours. It’s amazing you can make potato chips in a microwave, isn’t it? Once you make them, and experience the intense potato flavor, you never want to go back to store-bought. ;)

      Author’s gravatar

      It was a pretty big time commitment, but it was really worth it. They reminded me of handmade chips we got from a little restaurant outside of Chicago. AND, I only made enough for each of us to have a serving. Way better than buying one of those king-sized bags of chips. I also used a heavy, stoneware plate which could have affected the microwaving time as well. Love them! Thanks for the share. They’re a keeper. That sandwich? Not so much.

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