I’ve been working on reworking my mom’s cook books into something a bit more user-friendly.

The originals are two loose-leaf binders that she glued, taped, or otherwise affixed recipes she found in newspapers, magazines, from family, friends, along with many of her own hand-written creations. Over the years she added, subtracted, moved things around, crossed things out, made notes and comments… Things were spilled… They’re real, working books with a lot of history.

I was always a bit curious why she gave me the books and not one of her four daughters but the answer was pretty much right there – four daughters. One recipe collection. She took the easy way out. She didn’t have to choose which one of her girls got them.

The first thing I did when I got them was to scan them all and put them on discs for my siblings. I have the originals but everyone has a copy. And then when I started the recipe site, they went online, as well.

The problem with scanned images is they’re not searchable. Some pages could have a dozen recipes on them but if you were to type in “chicken” in the search box, only the index would appear. And clicking on a specific recipe in the index brings up the page the recipe is on – you then have to find it on the scan.

My goal is to change that by taking every recipe and putting it on its own page and adding categories and tags. It’s the perfect wintertime project.

I have already completed going through and creating the individual recipes. That was a long trip down Memory Lane! I actually went through every single recipe in the books. It gave me enough dinner and dessert ideas to last several years. Going through every recipe again and giving it its own page and tags shall take a bit longer, but as I said… it’s the perfect wintertime project.

Mom baked a lot of bread and one recipe that caught my eye right off was for Blushing Tomato Bread.


In true Mom-Fashion, I didn’t have all of the ingredients and I only wanted one loaf, but that didn’t stop me! First, I cut the recipe in half. I didn’t have tomato juice so I used tomato sauce and a squirt of catsup. I added a bit of water to thin, and then added some garlic powder and black pepper along with the salt. I mixed it in the KitchenAid for about 8 minutes.  Voila!

I have to say, it was a pretty damned good loaf of bread. Nice crust and a really soft, fine-textured crumb. I could easily see this baked in loaf pans as a sandwich bread.


So… off to toast some for breakfast… and then back to working on tags and pages and categories – and dinner ideas!