Not everyone is lucky enough to have journals written by their ancestors. So, I encourage you to look around and find family history objects. You may already have these in your own home. Perhaps you’ll find hand written letters, old fashioned toys or gardening tools. Research what you find. The easiest question I pose is: Who did it belong too? Then I try to find out about this person’s life.
In my family, we have the silverware. It comes out during holidays. When I was young it was my job to polish it and I loved feeling the monogram on each piece as I gently rubbed every utensil. I wondered what it was like for my father and grandmother to sit down to meals with the same silverware.
My husband’s family has the “Family Cookbook.” We use it all the time. I am not the greatest cook so I am blessed to have hard-copies of many of my husband’s all time favorite foods from his childhood. Each time we sit down to eat something made from this cookbook we talk about who the recipe is from and how it came to be important to the family.
My sister-in-law was the one who compiled this “monster of a cookbook.” It was made as part of my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration and distributed at the anniversary reunion. Each recipe is attributed to the person who created it, found it, or made it so many times that the recipe was identified with them. First, the person’s affectionate name is noted, their given name comes next, and their relationship to the anniversary couple is also noted.
Let’s see what we can find out about one of these cookbook folks.
There was Dorothy Louise Ostendorf White. She was born in Beatrice, Nebraska in 1914. Throughout her life she lived in Portland, Monmouth, Wilamette and Corvallis; all in Oregon. Along the way she worked as a well respected public school teacher. She married Leland White and they were married in 1946. I haven’t been brave enough to try her recipe titled; Dorothy’s Mystery Pudding (1967). I am going to have to ask if there was an earlier version.
See what you can find out about one of the creators of your family favorite meals.