I’d never heard of the Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois and their Cookery Manuscript Project. Nor their the goal to preserve handwritten recipes 50+ years or older. Well, since I’m 50+ years myself, I knew I could dig up a favorite.
As a fan of all things History, the Library’s April Historic Recipe Road Show program intrigued me. With the pandemic keeping us home, we’re not sure if the program will still happen. But it made me think.
My mother was a marvelous baker of cakes, pies and cookies who now cannot. For my birthday I got not only a chocolate cake with caramel frosting but any kind of pie I wanted – I was partial to cherry or strawberry rhubarb. At the party the cake was served to guests but the pie was all mine.
And as for cookies, there was nothing like an after school treat of a chocolate chip cookie. Ours were (and still are) made with the recipe from the Nestle Toll House Morsels package.
But the recipe that I am offering to the CHNI is for Mom’s apricot cookies. This family favorite was always on the table at family reunions. At annual beach vacations, these cookies are rationed and bartered. Even flat people got cookies. The sugar cookie dough is from a Good Housekeeping Cookbook from 1942. Asked about the filling, Mom says she was baking those cookies since ‘before [my older brother] was born” and that the filling was “made up.” Precious words.
CHNI asks for stories and photos as well as the handwritten recipe, so I asked my family-at-large who helped me find the original cookbook and notes. This lead to my Aunt using our stay-at-home status to compile an e-cookbook with contributions bringing back lovely memories for all of us.
I hope I get to keep my meeting with the CHNI culinary expert, but if not, you can be certain I will submit a recipe. To submit, visit their website.