Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Recipe Collector

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: recipes, cookbooks, Recipe Box,

Jean TellerTwo shelves of my kitchen bookcase are crammed with cookbooks; more recipes reside on part of a third shelf, although those are mainly folded photocopies thrown on top of each other.

I’m a self-confessed recipe collector, even though my cooking skills are rather rudimentary, and I’m often reluctant to take the time to cook. But I just keep adding recipes to the collection.

A close-up of a few of my cookbooks.

Under my computer table reside two boxes, filled almost to the brim (I have to leave room for future additions, don’t I!) with photocopies, labels, cardboard squares from a variety of boxes, clippings from magazines, recipe cards – every type of medium for recipes that one can imagine. Also under the table are three sacks with three-ring binders, a three-hole punch, sleeve pages to go in the binders, even colorized category pages. All intended for my major project of organizing my recipes.

Yes, you read that right. I intend to organize all those slips of paper piling up on my book shelves and in those boxes under my computer table. Who knows, I might even finish the project before I retire!

Boxes filled with disorganized recipes.

Now that you know one of my deep, dark secrets (she says laughing), I’d like to ask for your help. Nope, not for my collection – it’s past the help stage, believe me! No, for some of our Recipe Box readers who have made requests that haven’t received very many responses. It could also be that the responses we did receive just didn’t seem to match up very well with the request. Anyway, I hope you can help these folks. Just e-mail me at

And if you have any requests, please let me know too! That file’s getting a little thin these days. Please include your name, full mailing address and phone number; we publish only your name, town and state. The full address is so we can send the packet of recipes your way, and the phone number is only used if we have questions.

Oh, and when sending a response, please include the same information. For the responses, we also only publish names, towns and states.

To remind everyone, when a request arrives, it is published in Recipe Box. (Check out Recipe Box Secrets, an earlier post on this very topic.) After a couple of months, we publish one or two of the recipes sent to our offices in response to the request (we also publish recipes here on the website). Eventually, all of the responses are sent to the person who made the request. We do it this way so we have recipes to publish, and we appreciate every recipe request and response sent our way.

On to the requests:

? John Rogers, Montgomery, Alabama, hopes to find a recipe for Chocolate Potato Cake, a modified pound cake with 1 cup of mashed potatoes.

? Lavon Davis, Casa Grande, Arizona, sends an e-mail requesting an old GRIT recipe for a light fruitcake using apricot brandy. It was baked as cupcakes topped with half a candied cherry and green mint “leaf” candy arranged to look like hollyberries.

? Sue Renkert, Fairbanks, Alaska, writes about a wonderful pie she’s never forgotten. “It was a two-layer blackberry pie,” she says. “The top layer was blackberries, likely cooked with sugar and cornstarch. The bottom layer was probably whipped cream mixed with sour cream, although it may have had cream cheese in it. I have never found a comparable recipe and would love to rediscover it.”

? Cheryle Bigelow, Spanaway, Washington, and Lenora Harlin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, both send in requests for vinegar dumplings. We had a request and LOTS of responses for a vinegar pie recipe, which was published in my Foodie Thoughts post. Any suggestions on adapting the recipe for dumplings?

? Drulene Meyer, Ocheyedan, Iowa, is looking for an apple pie recipe that calls for evaporated milk.

? Lois Klein, Huron, Ohio, hopes to find a recipe for Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings made with red hot cinnamon candies.

? Christine Bacher, Claremont, New Hampshire, writes to request a recipe for a pineapple topping for ice cream.

? Ronald Ricketts, Plainfield, Indiana, recently read that roasted green peas are a healthy snack food. He’s asking for directions on how to roast green peas.

? Beth Rettke, Park Rapids, Minnesota, writes to request a recipe for a pumpkin pie that includes miniature marshmallows.

? Nieki Neill, Andrews, Texas, hopes people will send great recipes using goat milk.

? Diane Staton, Milan, Tennessee, is looking for recipes for tutti-fruitti ice cream, crackers and cracker candy, and bonbons.

E-mail me at or send a letter to my attention at GRIT, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.