I don’t know how my proper English grandmother would feel about being represented by a recipe for spirits. I found it in her notebook recorded in a lovely but substantial hand. Substantial enough to be read many decades after it was written.
The ink is faded of course. Real ink like the kind that used to come in bottles and inkwells. The pages are soft with age and worn off at the corners. I touch them carefully for fear they will disintegrate into powder.
The pasteboard covers are separating at the spine. The original brown was probably dark but is now a dusky shade. She wrote “Cook Book – Mrs. Boudiette – 467 Holley Street – Watertown NY” on that cover – referring to herself in properly modest fashion without her first name.
This inscription tells me something about the age of the notebook. Grandma lived on Holley Street long before they moved to the tall brown house on West Main where I spent the happiest hours of my childhood with her in her kitchen during the 1940’s.
I run my finger over the letters she wrote. My hand touching the place where her hand had been. She died when I was only seven years and three days old but she has been deeply entrenched in me ever since. Everything good that has happened in my life began somehow with Gramma.
Only two dates are entered in her notebook. November 1, 1927 after her recipe for Apple Jam. March 9, 1931 on the page with Tasty Salad.
Other entries include “How to Remove Ink from Clothes” and “Receip for Tanning Hides.” Bless you Gramma for that.
And here is her Dandelion Wine.
Alice Jane Rowland Boudiette’s Dandelion Wine (In Her Own Words)
6 quarts fresh heads of dandelion blossoms in stone jar or granite. 1 gallon hot water poured on the blossoms. Put aside for 3 days and nights, then strain through a cloth. Now add 3 pounds sugar, juice of 2 lemons and 3 oranges. Add one-half yeast cake. Pour mixture into a stone jar and let it stand 4 days and nights. Then strain again through a cloth. Bottle. Let stand in bottles with corks set in loose until it stops working. Otherwise it will blow off or break bottles. After it stops working cork tightly and store where cool.
Shared by Alice Jane’s Granddaughter — February 21, 2015 – The picture is of me and Gramma in her garden when I was two and a half years old. Find my books at amazon.com/author/aliceorr.
Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.