Craving Snail Mail & Recipe Card Give-a-Way

Recently three things happened that made me decide to offer another giveaway. The first was I received a wonderful hand-made card from my friend Carol. The only other people who send me snail mail are my Mom, and that is somewhat by default since she doesn’t use a computer (my Dad has to print out these blog posts for her to see which is beyond sweet of him-thanks Dad) and my friend Alexis who lives in France. I fully accept that a big part of the problem is me – you have to send mail to receive mail. The irony is that I used to be a wonderful letter writer. In the past I wrote reams of letters. When I look at the boxes of letters I received in return (yes, I keep all my personal correspondence) it is like piecing together a map of my friends and my lives. Truly something I miss and which can’t be replaced by any number of emails or postings on my facebook wall. The second thing that happened was I read this blog post. Over the last year and a bit as I have been writing posts for this blog and scampering all over the house to unearth the various recipes I want to share (full disclosure here my “filing system” is a bit like a squirrel who hides nuts–things are stored all over the place-the difference being that unlike most squirrels I can usually remember where I’ve put something) I have become acutely aware of how important these beloved recipes are and the myriad of forms they take. Some of the recipes I’ve shared are from books whose spines are cracked open to that particular page with notes scribbled into the margins, others are hand written onto cards, dashed onto the back of an envelope or a sheet of torn out notebook paper, several are xeroxed and dog-eared after being scrunched in the back of the silverware drawer. I know where each and every one of them resides but that doesn’t mean that another person could ever find them. After reading Elissa Altman’s post her words resonated with me for the next several days about the importance of history and the stories behind each of each recipes/cookbooks we use.

“Cookbooks [and recipes] tell us who we are, what we’ve done, and how we’ve lived. We’d do well to remember that, to hang on to them like family bibles, and to pass them on to others who’ll cherish them.”

The third thing which led down the path to another give-a-way was I realized was how utterly unsearchable this blog was. Unless you were looking for a recent post or you’d had the foresight to print out a copy there was no way you could find any of the recipes. I’ve electronically fixed the problem (if your computer is on) by adding a recipe index. There you’ll find links to all of the recipes in this blog, which will be update as I add more. It doesn’t however solve the problem of what to do if your computer isn’t on.

So to that end I decided to hold another give-a-way which will be a set of  hand written recipe cards of all the recipes found on this blog (to date) for two readers. Yup, I’m going to copy out each recipe twice and send it off via snail mail to two randomly selected people who make a comment below about where they keep their favorite recipes. All you have to do to qualify is leave a comment below so I know you want to be entered into the giveaway. You have until midnight on Wednesday, March 7th to enter. I will then randomly choose the two winners and contact them by email to get their snail mail addresses. Good luck!

"envelopes for give-a-way"

*For those of you with long memories you may remember that I intend to turn the recipes gathered in this blog into a book someday. I’m still planning on doing that, but it may not be soon so this give-a-way is for the meantime.


Filed under In between

15 responses to “Craving Snail Mail & Recipe Card Give-a-Way

  1. Marisa

    Please enter me into the recipe giveaway drawing! I too have recipes everywhere – journals fr high school and college – in fact that is where I have your lentil salad and oatmeal bread recipes. Just recently I have adopted an old binder and started filing my tried and approved new recipes. Note I said file – I’m hoping to persuade Luke to organize it for me some day for brownie points….

  2. Some of us old dogs have already printed out ALL of your posts and placed them in a three-ring binder. (I’ve had three computer meltdowns over the years so trust nothing to the net.) And regarding those delicious waffles of your last post, one story comes to mind about my Mother. She knew how to make bread as a young girl but her Grandmother taught her to make one ‘company’ dish before she married – and it was chicken and waffles. She made a cream sauce, added shredded cooked chicken, and poured it over the waffles. At meal’s end, she put a pitcher of maple syrup on the table and presented more waffles for dessert!

  3. alexis

    keep them in an index file box according to category

    will write by snail mail soon

  4. Emily Sexton

    Hello Cynthia!!! I have recipes folded here and there. Left in cabinets or nicely folded into books with other recipes! I love to put them in a “safe” place…making me search the internet for another recipe when I cannot find the one I’m looking for! I would LOVE a hand written copy from you…I always wanted to design greeting cards and I am very saddened that snail mail is becoming a lost art.

  5. Ellen Saxe

    Hi Cynthia,
    I am one hell of a fellow recipe squirreler; however, unlike you, I do hide things from myself until myself uncovers them years later and thinks, “did I really believe I would get around to that”? Life seems so much shorter now, time more precious. However, Cynthia, your recipes seem absolutely worth the effort to have and to hold, and yes to make or bake — As I know from experience, having baked your yummy “world’s best chocolate cake”! I hereby promise that if you send me your handwritten recipes, I will put them in a special and honored place, and then I pledge to add my own favorite recipes to the bunch. Come to think of it I have a few, too!

  6. Renee Griffin

    I too had recipes in several different places around the kitchen. Last year I took the time to save all my favorites on my computer. I scanned in hand written cards, photocopies and newspaper clippings in files under “My Recipes”. I have all saved at .pdf files so they can be opened by anyone. Now I can just print out a recipe and toss the food stained sheet in the trash when I am done. I’m not a neat cook!
    I have also used the Documents to Go app to save all the files on my iphone. Now when I get a compliment on a dish I’ve prepared, I can pull up the file and email the recipe while I still talking to the same person. With my phone in my hand I can check the recipe while I’m still in the grocery store to be sure I have all the ingredients I need. I also download and save recipes from the Food Network to try later.
    I wish the rest of my documents were as organized as my recipes.

  7. I keep most of mine on my laptop, which I back up frequently. Pre-computer recipies are in a binder somewhere; few of them are gluten-free so I rarely consult it. I also use my MIL’s cookbook – she had the foresight and generosity to compile her recipies, along with anecdotes (eg “this is the cake my mom made me to take on my honeymoon”) and had it printed & bound. I treasure it.

  8. Kendall

    For someone, like me, who doesn’t cook much because I married someone who enjoys it more than I do, I am an oddball in that I enjoy watching cooking shows! That guilty pleasure began during hours of nursing two daughters. My main kitchen contribution over the years, besides always doing the dishes and being thankful for my husband’s delicious efforts, is collecting and organizing recipes. I download some from those tv shows, print yours Cynthia, clip them from magazines, and gather from friends and family. Since they’re all different sizes, I make collage-like 8.5 x 11 pages of color, recipes, and pictures, insert then in plastic page protectors and keep them in categorized 3 ring binders: Appetizers, Soups, Pasta, Fish, Etc. And it’s handy to stand the single pages upright in a page holder (sold at stationary stores) when in use. If the plastic protectors get splattered, they are easily cleaned. One more thing: the binders have built in pockets at the front and back, and that’s where we keep recipes that we intend to try. Seasonally split, Fall and Winter in the front and Spring and Summer in the back. If we like the recipe, it gets a place in the binder. If not, it’s off to the recycle bin. This may all sound crazy and time-comusimng, but it works for us! I guess I don’t get to join the party of squirrels!!

  9. yay cynthia! what a great prize.
    i have a recipe box which my grandmother painted for me. she also included a number of classic midwestern recipes (cake with jello poured over the top anyone?) significantly less adorable is a binder i’ve started using. i’m not exactly a tidy cook so the wipe off pages are great. and the size is good for pages i rip from magazines, just hole punch and insert. nothing is in any order at all but at least i have a pretty good idea of where it is.

  10. alexis

    Will write you soon via snail mail -Thanks for the thaoughtsdans les mots de Georges Sand à toi de coeur

  11. Sally

    What a lovely post and such a fantastic giveaway! Please enter me for the prize too! I used to work at a wonderful publishing company that reprints The Settlement Cookbook among other historically significant American cookbooks. I used to sit at my desk at lunchtime and peruse The Settlement Cookbook and it was one of the company’s best sellers.

    • Jessica

      My mother had a small notebook with family recipes (more from my Dad’s side of the family than her own since her mother didn’t cook). My sister and I both replicated this when we were leaving home and this remains the foundation of our recipe collections. However, the days of neatly handwriting recipes on loose leaf paper are far behind me and now the notebook is bursting with photocopies and random notes (as are most of my cookbooks which serve as a secondary filing system). And, often, I find myself just going back to the source of a remembered favorite–such as my annual appeals to you for another copy of the recipe for molasses crinkles or green sauce.

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