Friday, April 29, 2011


Another from the Bixby/Avery vaults.

The Lady Baltimore Cake supposedly originated at the Lady Baltimore Tea Room in Charleston, Virginia.  The  first documented mention of the cake was in 1906, when the recipe was printed in the the Post Standard of Syracuse, NY.  There was also a novel titled Lady Baltimore, written by Owen Wister and released in 1906. [Note that the scanned index card (below) makes mention "Owen Wister's Book (?) - Original].  From that book, here is a  passage about a character tasting the cake for the first time:

"I returned to the table and she brought me the cake, and I had my first felicitous meeting with Lady Baltimore. Oh, my goodness! Did you ever taste it? It's all soft, and it's in layers, and it has nuts--but I can't write any more about it; my mouth waters too much.
Delighted surprise caused me once more to speak aloud, and with my mouth full. "But, dear me, this Is delicious!"

Perhaps this was an early example of cross-promotional marketing?  The novel being released at the same time the cake becomes popular.  If I dig a little deeper, maybe I'll find a Lady Baltimore branded lunch box or action figure.

Owen Wister's Book - Original
1/2 lb. butter, 1 lb. sugar, 1 lb. flour, 8 eggs (whites only) 4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 pt. milk. teaspoon almond flavoring.
Cream butter and sugar, add milk slowly beat eggs, add flour to butter, sugar and eggs. Stir thoroughly and add teaspoon Essence of Almond. (over)*"

* Bake in two buttered pans 15 -20 minutes, moderate oven.

And, on the reverse of the card, we have the instructions for the FILLING:

3 cups sugar, 4 eggs (whites only) 1/2 gill boiling water*, lemon juice to taste.
Pour water over sugar and lemon juice and boil ten minutes. Pour hot syrup thus made over beaten eggs, beat until cool, Flavor with vanilla, add 2 cups chopped walnuts and 2 cups seeded raisins, make whole or in layers. Cover well with icing."

*NOTE:  A "GILL" equals four fluid ounces or 1/4 of a US pint. (thanks, kitty!)

The index cards don't specify all the baking details, or the ICING recipe (which is described as a "creamy merengue frosting, flavored with vanilla or sherry."  I found a link to a version mentioned by Amy Sedaris in her book "I Like You."  (It's also vetted by Martha Stewart, for whatever that's worth to you.) The modern version:

 (Thanks to 'The Old Foodie' blog for the historical info.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Another goody from the Bixby family archives!

"Cheese Straws.
1 cupful of dry, highly flavored grated cheese, cayenne pepper to taste and a scant half teaspoon of half butter and lard. rubbed into cup of flour.  Now, have ready a quarter of a cup of ice water - pour half of this into center of flour and begin to stir with a fork - use more water if necessary but use as little as possible.  Flour board a bit.  put mound of paste in centre, roll lightly  from you* quite thin. - bring four corners together and roll to wafer thinness. If to be baked at once a small teaspoon baking powder should be added. but if to be put on ice and baked just before serving, omit powder."

*We think this means "roll away from you" as opposed to the back and forth rolling that may cause the dough to stick to the pin.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


It's Easter.  And it's time to get your Babka on.

This comes from my Aunt Stephanie Marrinan, also made by her mother, Jean Hladchuk, of Ukranian heritage.  As it says on the recipe (below) , this is my cousin Jenny's favorite and she's been meaning to get this recipe for years.  If we're lucky, we'll be getting a bunch of recipes from Aunt Stephanie, who is an excellent cook and at one time had a catering company in Wycoff, New Jersey.

Thanks for Stephanie and Mike for the excellent photo essay (bottom) detailing the step-by-step process of making Babka!

"Babka - Jenny's favorite
4 cups flour
1 package yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) [melted]
1 1/4 cup milk [warmed]
4 egg yolks [beaten]
1 cup raisins
lemon or orange rind [grated]

Put your yeast in a bowl and pour over the warm milk and melted butter, add the sugar, salt, egg yolks, cinnamon and rind.  Whisk in a cup and half flour and raisins...then add the rest of the flour .  Mix with your large rubber scraper. Then put a little flour on your board and dump your dough on top and start to knead.  You will need more flour.  [Place back in bowl, cover and keep in warm place. Wait for dough to rise, about double volume.*] You can make one large round or two loaf pans.  350 degrees for 30-40 minutes."

*Will confirm this step. Appears in photo step ten (below).

Step one:  Gather your ingredients.

Step two:
Warm milk and melt butter.

Step three:
Add half of flour and other dry ingredients. 

Step four:
Add grated rind from one orange or lemon.

Step five:
Add other half of flour and raisins.

Step six:
Mix with rubber spatula.

Step seven:
Flour work surface and dump out dough.

Step eight:
Knead dough on floured surface.

Step nine:
Place dough back in bowl and cover.

Step ten:
Wait for babka to rise.

Step eleven:
Put in baking dish (or split into two) to prepare to bake.

Step twelve:
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Done!  Good Times!

"I always loved going to take the food to get blessed at Easter.  My mom, grandma and I would take a big basket of food to the Ukrainian church.  There was some embroidered napkin placed over the top of the food – it was the same napkin every year....There was usually some Farmer’s cheese(I don’t even know what that is!), kielbasa, a shot glass of salt, hard boiled eggs(without the shell) and I think a babka in the basket.  We’d be in some room with rows and rows of tables and lots of ladies with their food.  The priest would come around saying a bunch of stuff in Ukrainian with something that looked like a giant rattle in his hand and shake holy water on everyone’s food." Jennifer Marrinan

Big thanks to Stephanie, Mike and Jenny Marrinan for the wonderfully detailed Easter submission!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


John and Mary Suhar

This recipe comes to me from my mother, Cathleen Marrinan, and her mother, Pauline Sullivan.  My grandma's parents, John and Mary Suhar, were immigrants from Eastern Europe, somewhere around the historically flexible borders of former Czechslovakia and Hungary.  Once in the US, they settled in Pennsylvania where my great grandfather worked as a coal miner.  

Stuffed Cabbage was always a favorite of mine when I was growing up.  Since it's a slow cooking dish, I'd come home from school to the wonderfully tangy aroma in the house.   My mother reports feeling the same way when she would come home to find her mother cooking this dish for dinner.   A few differences:  my mother only used ground beef, while my grandmother used half ground beef and half ground pork.  My mom also took advantage of the availability of instant rice.  Of course, regular rice works perfectly well.  Just make sure the rice isn't fully cooked when you stuff the cabbage leaves.

Grandma Sullivan

"Stuffed Cabbage
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef  [and or ground pork]
1 large onion [white, half chopped, half sliced thin]
1 clove garlic - crushed
1 large head of cabbage
2 8oz cans of Sauerkraut
2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
1 package of Success rice [or regular rice slightly undercooked.]
[Add prepared horseradish, hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste]

In large pot boil head of cabbage until leaves fall off - pull apart gently.  Drain and cool a bit.
Brown beef with 1/2 onion chopped and garlic.
Boil rice for about 7 minutes instead of 10.
Fill cabbage leaves with mixture of rice and beef.
In large pot - layer stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce, sauerkraut and other half of onion sliced.  Add water to cover cabbage [reduce heat ] and cook for 2 to 3 hours."

From my mother. My notes scribbled in red.

I tried a vegetarian version for my husband, using Ives' Veggie Ground Round, which I pre-cooked in a pan with a few tablespoons of butter to give it some fat content.   It only required one pound of veggie crumbles as opposed to the one and a half pounds of real meat.  The fat in the real meat cooks down and is drained off, reducing it's pre-cooked weight.  Even with the addition of butter, the veggie version didn't have the texture to hold together quite as well.  However, as most of the flavor comes from the tomato and sauerkraut, the taste was still comparable.

My Aunt Stephanie, of Ukranian heritage, makes another variation of Stuffed Cabbage which is equally fantastic.   
To my great-grandparents, this dish would have probably been known as 
, whereas Stephanie's family may have called it 
.   Like the pancake, it seems most cultures have their own interpretation of stuffed cabbage.

Source: Cathleen Marrinan via  Pauline Sullivan [nee Suhar]
Location:  Pennsylvania/New York
Date: 1950s-1960s

Friday, April 22, 2011

Raisin Sauce for Ham

Just in time for Easter... the Bixby family food archive brings you:

"Raisin Sauce for Ham  
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
5 cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon vinegar*
1/4  teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Cover raisins with water, add cloves and simmer for 10 minutes then add sugar, cornstarch, salt and pepper, which have been mixed together.  Stir constantly until slightly thick and then add remaining ingredients."

*Judging from similar recipes I've found, this should be white vinegar.   Also other recipes appear to use lemon juice and dry mustard in lieu of worcestershire sauce.

Initials in the upper right hand corner read (I think) "D. I. G."  Marcy (mother-in-love) Graham (nee Bixby) believes that this may origniate from the Gregg family on the Avery side.

And, as an added bonus for today's blog readers, here are some pictures of ham that my husband painted.  No extra charge.

"Ham" by Ben Tripp

"Glazed Ham" by Ben Tripp

Not too shabby for a vegetarian!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I can't remember where I first found this recipe, but I transcribed it into a small notebook that I carried around with me in1995-96.  Just out of college, this meal was a step up from my dinners consisting of mainly of egg noodles and butter.  I recall preparing this for friends in the little galley kitchen of my first Chicago apartment on Hermitage Avenue.   Living alone for the first time and having people over for dinner made me feel like an official grown-up.  Inexpensive and filling...tastes like independence!

2 Tbs olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups veggie broth
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
8 oz red skinned potatoes cut into 1/2" pieces
1 lemon
6oz torn fresh spinach (8 cups)
1/4 teasp cayenne 
1/4 cup fresh mint
salt and pepper.
feta cheese

Heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add veggie broth and lentils; boil. Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Add potatoes - cook uncovered until potatoes and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally about 15 mins.  Add cayenne, spinach, mint and generous squeeze of lemon juice. Cover and simmer until spinach is wilted and tender. Salt and pepper to taste.  (While seasoning, account for the salt content the feta cheese will add). Serve hot with feta cheese crumbled on top."

Nowadays, I'd be tempted to throw in a little curry or cumin with the cayenne.

Source: Corinne Marrinan
Date:  1995-96
Location: Chicago. IL

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


By my dad, Kevin Marrinan, as adapted from a recipe by Jackie Gallea.

Jackie Gallea, and his lovely wife Dorothy, have been friends with my parents for over forty years.  In fact, Dorothy was my mother's best friend in high school.  She married Jack, then a policeman in New York, and the couple would have my parents over frequently at their apartment. The Gallea's were/are both excellent cooks and Jackie's stuffed clams was one of his specialties. (With the surname Gallea, being of Italian descent , it makes sense that the stuffed clams resemble other recipes I've since seen for clams oreganata.) It was at one of those parties, somewhere between 1969-1971, that Jackie shared his recipe with my dad.  Dad adapted this to make it a little more dry than Jackie's original.

My immediate family prepares this every Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day without fail. We usually treat this as an appetizer to graze on all afternoon, usually in lieu of lunch.  We used to have thick clam shells that my father would stuff and bake and reuse.  After years of baking them and scrubbing them out afterwards, they started to crumble, so Dad's "stuffed clams" became "clam balls."  All the flavor with less mess!   And the leftovers are fantastic the next day.  (Mmmmm....cold clam balls for breakfast.... )

I've made these successfully for several cocktail parties.  Once, when feeling fancy, I bought fresh clams from Whole Foods rather then purchasing the canned version.  Big mistake. Fresh clams are a huge pain to clean and trim.  By the time I was finished, the pound worth of clams I had purchased was a half-pound, the other half was in the trash.  And I was kinda grossed out by a the slime.  Just use canned!

The recipe is easily adapted for dietary restrictions.  Someone isn't eating bacon?  Divide part of the mixture before making the balls and leave the bacon out.  The bacon provides a good variation in the texture in addition to the smoke flavor.  We tried substituted Morningstar soy bacon for my vegetarian husband, which worked out well.  You could also use smoked paprika to help the flavor along.  If you don't eat shellfish (like my mom) you can leave out the clams.  It's not quite as yummy or moist, but there is plenty of flavor in the rest of the mixture to make little toasty bread-balls of goodness.

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, there was not a large selection of fresh herbs at our local IGA market, so I grew up making these with dry flakes of oregano, parsley and garlic powder.   Now I prefer to use fresh herbs and garlic.

So, without further ado:

Recipe transcribed by my sister, Amy Marrinan Davidson back around 1999.  Notes in brackets are my suggestions since then.


6 slices of bread grated
(Add seasoned bread crumbs if gooey)
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks of celery
2 Tbs butter/margarine [just butter for me, thanks!]
3 thick slices of swiss cheese (chopped)
4 cans minced [and/or] chopped clams
(drain juice) [reserve at least one can of the juice  to add if the mixture is too dry.]
- salt and pepper
- oregano (dry) [or some fresh, too]
- parsley (dry) [fresh, too, please!]
- paprika
- garlic powder
- parmesan cheese [grated]
- olive oil [2 tablespoons should do it]
- [cooked] bacon (optional)
- jalepenos (optional)
[- fresh garlic (optional)]
[wedges of fresh lemon]

1. Saute onion and celery in olive oil until transparent - remove from frying pan. [cool in large mixing bowl]
2. In the same pan, melt butter then saute bread crumbs.
3. Combine all ingredients and season [I add the clams last, so I can safely keep tasting the bread-vegetable-herb mixture as I go along.  If the texture is too dry, add more clam juice, or maybe a little olive oil.  If the texture is too dry, add more breadcrumbs.]
4. Make into balls [ approximately 1 and a half inch in diameter, placed on oiled cookie sheet] - sprinkle with paprika.
5. Bake at 350  25-30 minutes or until crispy and browned.
6. Serve with fresh lemon.

Source:  Kevin Marrinan via Jackie Gallea
Date: 1969-1971
Location: New York, NY

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Loren and Quincy's Test Kitchen: The Sponge Cake-Off!

 Qunicy & Loren (below)
Loren Tripp reporting from her Test Kitchen in Pasadena:

"Chef Quincy and I made these last night in our Test Kitchen.  We weren’t sure what pans to use, so we used identical 9” dark insulated round cake pans.  Q made Mrs. Batch, I made True.  We brought the eggs and butter up to room temperature.  We used unbleached flour (Not organic, though.) 

We used 3 medium eggs and about a tablespoon of lemon juice for Mrs Batch. The method was an odd process; you get a thick paste of batter, then you thin it with the hot water.  I was afraid Quincy would end up with scrambled egg strands, but that didn’t happen. The batter almost overflowed the top of our pan, perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come! 

True Sponge was a bit more of an elaborate process: beating the egg whites and sifting the bejeebers out of the flour and folding the dry into the wet.  The batter filled the pan about 1/2 full.  
We put both in the oven at 350. We cleaned up the kitchen to the tune of Kool & the Gang. I took True Sponge out of the oven after 40 minutes, as it looked done and slightly browned on top.  Mrs. Batch was struggling under her own mass in there; the edges looked lovely but the center was very liquid.  After 15 more minutes, I removed Mrs. Batch from the oven (Ben, there’s the opener for your next novel...)  and she had collapsed!  The edges looked nice, but the center had fallen; perhaps she is a two pan cake!  

(Photo Right:  Top Cake-Mrs. Batch, Bottom Cake-True Sponge)

The verdict:  First, I don’t have a standard Sponge Cake to compare these to, but I’m guessing it’s a slightly rubbery, holey version of a pound cake that we’re after.  True Sponge is dense with a moist crumble and delicate lemon flavor that is slightly overpowered by sugar. Mrs. Batch’s Sponge Cake fell, but from what we can tell, it’s a more rubbery, holey texture with a strong lemon flavor and not quite as sweet.  is a lovely crunchy crust over the fallen part, which is unintentional, but a nice nibble anyway.  Both are dense and very moist and have a cheery, bright lemon yellow color.  

I think we’ll try Mrs. Batch’s again, with one larger pan and/or 2 8” rounds.  Ada’s True Sponge Cake WINS, if only by default!"

Monday, April 18, 2011


No sooner do I post Ada Bixby's Sponge Cake recipe than I come across another entitled: TRUE SPONGE CAKE.

The provenance of the handwriting is uncertain at this point, but it's a more recent scrap of paper than Ada's version.

"True Sponge Cake
5 egg whites
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour sifted 4 times
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated rind 1/2 lemon
Beat whites stiff not dry, beat in half the sugar. add lemon rind, juice to yolks and beat until [thick] and lemon color.  Beat in rest of sugar, combining mixture.  Cut and fold w/ flour sifted with salt, pour into unbuttered pan, Cut thru mixture several times to break bubbles.  Bake 1 hour or more in moderately slow oven (325 degrees F) .  If in deep pan (350 degrees F)."


Due to eggs being larger today, a modern adaptation of this would probably call for 3-4 eggs, rather than 5.

If a word is in [brackets] then I'm not sure I've transcribed it correctly.  If you have a better guess, let me know!


Ada Bixby was my husband's "Grandaunt" on his mother's side.   Many of the recipes I'll be translating will be in her post-Victorian hand.   I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but I'm sure the rest of the Bixby clan will fill in some of the blanks for us here.  There seems to be no lack of stories about dear 'ol Aunt Ada!  Thanks to Loren Tripp for the scan!

“Mrs. Batch

Sponge Cake

Beat 4 eggs together very lightly – both yolks and white – Beat in two (2) cups white granulated sugar – 1 cup of sifted flour a little at a time.
Then add another cup of flour in which add two teaspoonsful of baking powder well mixed in flour. Lastly one cup (small tea cup) of hot water almost boiling.  Do not put it all in at the same time.  Flavor with lemon.  Bake in shallow tin in moderate oven.

Very nice.”

Date: early-mid 20th century
By: Ada Bixby “Maiden Queen” of
Location: Francestown, NH”

Eggs were smaller at the time this recipe was written, so reduce amount of eggs from 4 to 3.

Flour would have probably been unbleached.  Modern flour also has anti-caking ingredient, so for authenticity, use a unbleached organic flour.

A small tea cup of the period holds approximately 6oz of liquid, or ¾ cup.

Baking Powder typically did not used to include cream of tartar, but other dry acids that made them “double acting.”   Most modern commercial baking powders are double acting.

A “moderate oven” would be about 350 degrees by today's standards.

Athough Ada did not specify that she greased the pan, I would fall on the safe side of this and grease the pan lightly with unsalted butter and maybe flour, too.


"Ada Bixby’s Sponge Cake"

3 large eggs
2 cups white granulated sugar.
2 cups organic, unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ hot water (not boiling)
Fresh lemon juice to taste.

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat eggs lightly in a bowl.  Beat in sugar slowly.  Sift in 1 cup of the flour into the egg and sugar mixture a little at time.  Add the other cup of flour and baking powder.  Mix well.  Slowly add in the ¾ cup of the hot water while mixing.  Add about 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Spoon batter into (lightly buttered) pan.  Bake in middle of the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and/or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool for 30 minutes.

FINAL NOTE:  I have not tested this yet myself.  If you do, and you have suggestions on how the recipe should be adapted.  Let me know!  And send photos!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cookbook Suggestion

About 15 years ago, I bought a little cookbook called "The Secret To Tender Pie: America's Grandmothers Share Their Favorite Recpies" by Mindy Marin.  Similar idea to this blog, each spread featured a different grandmother's recipe and a story about them.  Very charming and it featured the best meatloaf I've ever tasted!

I just gave it a search on Amazon, but the book is out of print.  Some used ones are available:

About the author

Before I get started with the individual recipes, I’m going to try and put my relationship with food into context.

I grew up in the Catskills in upstate New York; a town of 700 called Eldred.  Although we were deep in the country, there were, oddly enough, not many thriving local farms.  Mostly dairy farms and apple orchards.  The produce at the local IGA was what we came to expect in the 70s and 80s: iceberg lettuce, brown potatoes, yellow onions.  (In fact, I didn't know there were different kinds of lettuce or onions or potatoes for a long time.)  Even with these limited resources, my mother was (is)  a terrific cook.  Maybe a little safe with the seasonings, but there was always a tasty four-square meal in our home.  We always set the table and sat down to eat.

My dad had his signature dishes, as well.  He was a cook in the Army and knew his way around a kitchen.  He made great pizza and his famous stuffed clams (which will be featured in this blog, without a doubt!).  He also made perfect scrambled eggs and omelets.  To this day, I can only eat breakfast eggs the way my dad made them: slightly creamy, not shiny, not brown.

When I was thirteen a summer theatre opened in the area and I got a job babysitting the theatre owner's four-year-old son.   They cooked in a communal kitchen, which was the center of the social universe so far as I was concerned.  Most of the actors came up from NYC, some even from LA. Some had unusual diets.  This is where I first heard the word “vegan.” I had my first run-in with soy bacon (fakin' bacon, I believe was the brand name), unrefined grains and fresh garlic.  Garlic to me was always in powder or salt form.  And my father has an unusual sensitivity to the smell of garlic, so it was always used sparingly around our house. I remember watching as one of the thespians took apart the papery bulb, crushed it with the side of a knife, trimmed a clove, chopped it fine and added it to some oil and balsamic vinegar (another first encounter) to create a salad dressing.  It was like magic.  Salad dressing that you didn't buy at the store in a bottle! Wow!  Another frequent visitor to the theatre was a restauranteur named Billy Durkin.  We celebrated the closing of a play with a grand lobster feast complete with corn on the cob, prepared on the grill with lobster infused butter.  From there on, my relationship with food started to change. (But I still love my mom’s cooking best.)

Eldred, NY is in a National Park Service area.  Zoning limitations meant that there would be no fast food restaurants within a half hour of our town.  Everything was mom and pop joint.  And sure there were great places that had delicious greasy foods, but no McDonalds or Pizza Hut.  Ethnic foods were also very rare.  Chinese food was the height of the exotic.  It wasn't until I went to college in Boston that I sampled more exciting cuisine.  For this, I thank my Aunt Eileen who lived in Boston at the time.  She would pick me up at my dorm just about every other weekend and take me somewhere new. It was with her that I had my first Japanese, Indian and Thai food.  It was with her that I fell in love with sushi somewhere in Harvard Square.  We took a few road trips out to Amherst in the autumn and attended farmer's markets where I took photos of the bounty in lieu of being able to purchase anything.  I wouldn’t have known what to do with it yet, anyway.  But it was inspiring.  With Eileen, dining out became more of an adventure.

Let me also say that, with all due respect to my grandparents, my parents did not have the best culinary role models:  I'm 75% Irish and 25% Czech.  Meats were to be fried or boiled and prepared with nothing more than a little salt or pepper.  Vegetables were boiled within an inch of their nutritional value.  My mother reports enjoying many of my grandmother's dishes, including the fantastic STUFFED CABAGE recipe that will eventually be featured here.   My paternal grandmother would make meatballs so big that they were raw in the middle and burned on the outside.  Liver would be pan-fried, curling up in a U shape, tough as nails.  With not much money and a lot of kids to feed, she did her best.   

There were the good moments, too.  Grammy Marrinan's Irish soda bread, for instance.  On St. Patrick's Day, she would make soda bread for all, wrapped in tin foil with a green yarn bow.  When she came to visit the rest of the year, she would bring a loaf of Jewish rye bread from Shelvin's bakery in the Bronx. The bread was so ubiquitous that my sister, at a very young age, distinguished our grandmothers by naming them "Gramma" and "Grammy-with-the-bread."  

I hope my many aunts, uncles and cousins will pitch in here with more details.

So, that’s me.  I want to hear about you.

I know what you're thinking:  another food blog?  Well, it's true.  It is.  But, more specifically, I would like this to be a place where we share personal histories as they relate to food.  In short, this blog is dedicated to collecting and preserving family recipes.  You know those little scraps of food stained paper stuck in your cookbook?  The one from where you called your Mom on the first Thanksgiving you ever hosted because you needed to know how to make her perfect mashed potatoes that you loved as a child?  Those are the kind things I'd like to collect here.  Eventually, I'd like my little corner of the interweb to be filled with special dishes and accompanying anecdotes from families of all different nationalities and traditions.  I also hope to include some contemporary classics.  Tell us about those new dishes you've invented or adapted that make you, and everyone at your table, very happy.  Enjoy!