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Grandma Dotty’s recipes.

April 3, 2014

Grandma Dotty's recipes.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jay’s grandma Dotty passed away last week. We’ve been incredibly sad, obviously. She was a wonderful woman. I consider myself lucky to have known her & spent time with her. I’m only sorry that it was a quick 10 almost 11 years & not longer. Yes, I’m sad. I felt the same way about her I did my own grandmother. We are all sad, heartbroken in fact. It still feels like a shock. But if there’s any small bright side to this sadness, it’s that we’ve enjoyed looking through old photos and reminiscing with family.

One of the things I was given of Dotty’s was this baking book. It was stuffed with cut-out recipes & handwritten recipes, as well as torn-out magazine clippings for Norge ranges & a manual/warranty for a Frigidaire appliance (the ’59 series electric range Super model, S-9-59). Knowing my love for all things vintage/retro, there should be no surprise that I have been reading these every night before bed.

Grandma Dotty's mother's book, All About Home Baking third edition 1935

The book was published in 1933, but this edition is the third edition from 1935, which makes me think it was actually originally Dotty’s mother Sadie’s book, not hers. Dotty’s mother Sadie Geller came in here in 1912 from Galicia, Poland (which is now a part of Ukraine but was at one point Austria). She married Joseph Mandel, who was born in Russia, when she came here to New York and they had five children: Ida, Sarah, Dorothy, Milton and Libby. Dorothy is our grandma Dotty.

Here are three of the five children, Dotty with her sisters Sarah & Ida (Dotty is the smallest):

Grandma Dotty & her sisters Sarah & Ida.

So this book, printed in 1935, belonged to Jay’s great-grandmother. And she probably used it while her youngest children were still small. How cool is that?

I love the colored photos in this book, because they appear to be hand-colored black & white shots. Whereas the ones in other vintage cookbooks I have are simply color pictures.

Grandma Dotty's All About Home Baking cookbook.

Grandma Dotty's recipe book.

The inside of the book is very similar to the American Woman’s Cookbook I have that was my nana Agnes’s. This book seems to be pushing Calumet baking powder & other General Foods products, using that & Swansdown flour by name in it’s recipes.

And here’s a recipe for “Dream Bars” that Grandma Dotty wrote out.

Grandma Dotty's handwritten Dream Bars recipe

Dotty loved to cook. And knit, and crochet, and do quilting. Her knit pieces are amazing. I can’t imagine a person knitting so perfectly it looks like a machine did it! She stopped doing all of that that a few years ago. But in her later years, cooking was the one thing she kept doing. And was she ever good at it. One of her favorite things was to have all of us over for brisket, roasted potatoes, and some glazed carrots… maybe with some Boston Market chicken thrown in for good measure later on. One of my favorite videos Jay has on his phone is one where she’s eating one of my cupcakes, and she says “She does good work. It’s delicious. Everything she makes is good.” What a compliment from a cook like her!

The cookbook is filled with torn out recipes. And of course, there’s a recipe for matzoh balls!

Grandma Dotty's recipes.

And finally recipes for “date cupcakes” & a “large honey cake” that calls for 1 lb.(!!) of honey. Dotty loved dates, and I can see that also from the many torn out recipes for date cookies, date nut bread, and date bars.

Grandma Dotty's recipes.

I treasure these so much. So, so much. I was also given some of her vintage Pyrex mixing bowls & Corelle casserole dishes, as well as all of her vintage Wear-Ever aluminum cookware (including the still-working vintage coffee percolator) that she must have gotten when she got married in the mid-1940’s. That will all be featured in a post at some point- it’s a lot to photograph!

I sincerely hope I can do Dotty some justice; and that when I do make her  “Dream Bars” or brisket or matzoh balls, she’s looking over my shoulder helping me out.

SOUNDTRACK: Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold the World”
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  1. What a great story! Thanks for sharing! My condolences and no worries…you will do her justice. 😉

  2. Thank you all. I just really wanted to share how amazing she was, and how great of a cook, too. Thank you for the love.

  3. The cookbook and its contents are a lovely and fitting legacy for Dotty. It so happens I have the same cookbook on my shelf, given to me by my late mother-in-law years ago. It’s not a book I will ever give away.

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