Traditional Favorites Best recipes for family meals collected over 3 generations

Included in my blog are some of the best heirloom recipes from the collections of three generations of cooks.  These are the favorite family meals that I remember from my childhood, and that I re-created for my family.  Comfort food, and the memories of home.  Having them here will ensure that these recipes are passed on to my family, and by this same process, to yours too.

Mom's Recipe Drawer

Mom’s Recipe Drawer

My Mom (Joan / Granny) was a great cook, and many of my first recipes come from my panicked phone call to her when I was first married, when I said “Mom, how do I make _____ ?(fill in the blank)”.  Mom was always patient with me, and she handed down some great recipes.  Once she passed away, her collection of well-thumbed cookbooks, recipe clippings, and handwritten notes passed down to me.  Mom especially loved to bake, and I am having fun going through all of her collection.  However, I am afraid that we will end up gaining a huge amount of weight if I keep testing her recipes!

Elsie - My Nana

Elsie – My Nana

My Nana was my Mom’s Mom. She made a great Sunday roast, with lots of mashed potatoes to put the delicious dark gravy on, which she (unfortunately) served with mushy overcooked vegetables. Nana was very British, and all of her meals were variations on the meat and potato theme. But she really knew how to prepare those meats and potatoes! I am proud to say that I know how to make a great roast with gravy and mashed potatoes because of all the Sunday dinners we had at Nana’s. And Nana always made extra gravy and mashed potatoes for me, since I couldn’t resist having seconds then, and I still can’t resist even now. Nana’s sister, my Great-Aunt Vi (Violet – isn’t that a pretty name?), taught me how to make the best Yorkshire puddings once when we visited her place in Drumheller. Yorkshires and gravy are almost as good as mashed potatoes and gravy. No wonder I have a fight with my weight! Nana was also known for her Christmas fruitcake. This is the kind made with real suet (beef fat) and dried peel, and the cake was full of molasses and rum. Too bad I didn’t like fruitcake as a child. I always liked the lighter one, and I have fiddled with the recipe over the years to get it where everybody likes it. But, I have Nana’s original recipe, and I will include it in this book, along with the lighter one, to be true to her history and contribution to this book.

Dawn Irene & Granny b-w

L to R: Irene, Dawn, Joan


My Aunt Irene was 11 when I was born, and I always felt like we were more like sisters than Aunt and Niece. Irene is also a wonderful cook, and even more of a cookbook collector than I am (I didn’t know that was possible)!  Thanks to her, I was introduced to southern cooking, and some of the recipes in this collection come from her.



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My Recipe Shelves

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My Recipe Drawer

I discovered that I, like my Mom, have an aptitude for cooking and baking, and it is one of my favorite hobbies.  When I am stressed about something, I just need to get into the kitchen and bake up a storm.  Before I know it, hours have gone by, and I feel much better.  I have been collecting recipes for years.  Like my Mom, I have my own collection of books, clippings, and hand-written scraps of paper with recipes shared by friends and neighbors through the years.  It is to the point that, when I want to make something that I know I have the recipe for somewhere, I spend more time looking for it, than I do making the dish! My girls are both grown up now with their own families, and they are both good cooks in their own right.  Even my son inherited the cooking gene, and he often prepares an entire meal for us when we visit.  But like me when I was younger, my kids often ask me how to make this or that, or for a copy of a favorite recipe.  I have been meaning to put together a cookbook for years, so now is the time.