Love messages from Mom

By Don Bingham

It’s the time for the vintage song “M is for the many things she gave me,” with the spelling of “M-O-T-H-E-R”! The trendy list of Mom’s things we all have been given is headed by the timeless hand-downs of RECIPES. On a recent visit to the local gift shop, I saw a display featuring a collection of various styles of binders, albums and cards to store these recipe treasures. We have our family recipes stored in a colorful 8 X 10 binder, created by our daughter Jessica Faulkner. These are the most-used recipes we want to save and pass on to future generations, but they do not include the recipes in file folders, the junk drawer, the journals, and our “his-and-her” collections that are spread throughout the house!

Eloise Stowe (from left), Judy Roach and Sue Dablock of Conway share hand-written recipes that were passed down to them by special women in their lives.

There is something so special about the handwritten ones—the recipes on the back of an envelope or an index card, written by our moms or grandmothers. They are full of nostalgia, inspiring sweet memories of family and traditions.

One of our treasures is a small cutting board, with hand-painted lemons and the handwritten recipe of Mom’s favorite “go-to” cookies—the Lemon IceBox Cookie. At some point in the past, my mom painted and printed this recipe and used the old “decoupage” technique of preserving it for us. Even now, the recipes that were handwritten on cutting boards are a favorite craft means of recipe preservation, as shown on Pinterest.

Now that the official time for spring cleaning has arrived, we have enjoyed going through the boxes of our handwritten recipes; I’ve included some of these for your reading and cooking enjoyment. With Mother’s Day activities approaching, the recipes for Baked Oatmeal and Baked French Toast with Praline Topping are two great dishes to prepare ahead of time for Mom’s Sunday morning breakfast treat. We’ve also included the Brownie Cake; don’t let this one fall through the cracks. It’s so simple but unforgettable, and a regular request of our family. It’s done in a pie pan and cut into squares–so rich and delicious!

Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers. Enjoy organizing those handwritten treasures!

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups dry oatmeal (not quick oats; old fashioned)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup butter

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup milk (or 1 cup, depending on dryness)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup fresh apples, chopped (optional)

Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Don’t overbake. Pour warm half-and-half over dish before serving. 

Brownie Cake

Blend ingredients

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour, all-purpose

Then add to mixture:

2 eggs, beaten

Then add:

2 Tbsp. cocoa

2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup pecans

Blend mixture on low heat. Bake in a lightly greased pie pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Photos by Mike Kemp

Baked French Toast

1 loaf French bread, cut into 20 slices

8 large eggs

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup milk

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Dash of salt

Praline Topping (recipe below)

Maple syrup

Arrange sliced bread in a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Mix the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pour over the bread. Refrigerate overnight. Make Praline Topping and put on bread. Bake for 40 minutes at 350.

Praline Topping

1/2 pound softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and pour over top of bread before baking.

Don Bingham
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