Mother’s Favourite Recipes

Cover of 1959 recipe book 1959 Mother's Favourite Recipes Bon Accord School

Mother’s Favourite Recipes 1958

In 1958-59, Mrs. Schick’s grade six class at Bon Accord School collected recipes for a mother’s day project.  Mother’s Favourite Recipes was the result. Homemade recipe books have a special place in my heart. Older ones like “Mother’s Favourite Recipes” are handwritten or typed on mimeograph machines or spirit duplicators and put together by hand.  The covers are usually manila-tag, or  in more sophisticated efforts, wallpaper samples or  oilcloth trimmed with pinking shears.

Cover - Favorite Recipes from the Ladies' Auxiliary to the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band

Cover – Favorite Recipes from the Ladies’ Auxiliary to the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band

Cover - Donovan UCW cookbook

Donovan UCW Cookbook (no date)

“Mother’s Favourite Recipes” was created by my grade six class for Mother’s Day in 1959.  I have dragged my copy around with me for over sixty years.  I remember doing the hand-lettered cover;  we had no stencils available and every letter was drawn by hand and coloured in pencil crayon. The twenty-three recipes reflect a diverse group of students rather than variety of ingredients.

It seems like “Mother” liked baking:  Chocolate chiffon roll, Pineapple slice, Lady Baltimore cake, Orange kiss me cake, Sour cream cake, Poppy seed chiffon cake, Matrimonial cake, Gingerbread, Quick sour cream chocolate cake, Cherry slice, Dreamland cake, Strawberry chiffon cake, Jamaican meat pie (the only non-sweet recipe), Thumbprint cookies, Chocolate bars, Coconut dainties, Peanut butter cookies, Chocolate chip cookies, Dad’s cookies, Sour cream cookies, and Doughnuts.

I remember my classmates’ first and second names and most of their birthdays.  Five of them were my first and second cousins, yet another bit of useless trivia that clogs up my brain and prevents me from being able to find my car keys.

I also recall the sharp economic, class and race distinctions that were present and never acknowledged.  While all the recipes are handwritten, not all students got to write out their own recipes.  Some students’ writing was deemed not good enough for the duplicating machine and students with “better” writing copied out other students’ recipes (making computer word-processing the great equalizer). The duplicating blanks were expensive and some students wrote on rulers.   Individual facility with mimeograph stencils varied, as did the amount of ink in the duplicating machine.  Some recipes have long blank streaks or illegible quantities and instructions because the machine was running out of ink. Some recipes are very long and I doubt if they represented that student’s culture or mother’s favourite recipe.

The recipe I included was the shortest one I could find in my mother’s recipe box. My Aunt Sadie Allen’s doughnut recipe was contributed by her son. Talking about Aunt Sadie’s famous cooking abilities yesterday with her grandson inspired me to re-visit this blog from 2018.

It’s the longest day of the year after the longest 10 years of my privileged life. I’m grateful. Cut me some slack and go hug your mother, father, kid, dog or whoever got you here today.

Mother’s favourite recipes