Connie MooreWhen Marty Grewell Stover found herself cleaning out the house she grew up in, a monumental job was at hand. That would be true any time of the year. Much worse in the dead of winter on the coldest days of February.

Not one to throw out what she and her mother considered family recipe files, she bestowed the wonderful gift on me. And I was truly grateful, as I am always looking for local family kitchen heritage.

Her home had been in the family for going on 64 years. Six decades to collect memories, milestones and yes, a lot of recipes. Handing over bags of files, loose cut papers, books, magazines and a treasure trove of old newspaper cookbooks, we exchanged phone numbers and good-byes.

recipe collection opened up

Many of the oldest papers and cutouts came from her mother. Sixty-four years is a lot of cooking. While each week no doubt held regular favorites, Mrs. Grewell enjoyed trying new dishes, and baking up treats for family and friends. From all the local product and dealer pamphlets, mailings and calendars, she relied on the integrity of shopping and cooking with local products.

A good example is the Hopewell-Miami County Dairy Calendar from 1966. The dairy had stores/offices in Bellefontaine and Covington, Ohio. Old-time calendars often printed beautiful photos in the top half of a page, bottom half held the month and on the back of the page were recipes. January, 1966, recipe was an explanation of how to make Bread Boxes or croustades. They held all sorts of creamed meats, creamed vegetables or anything that could be made better in a cream or soup based sauce.

Something that brought back fond memories for me were all the flour sack recipe inserts. Gold Medal, Pillsbury and Robin Hood flours all printed long strips of recipes folded into a small package and placed them in the top of flour sacks. Growing up, it was like finding a treasure and my mother was sure to try at least one of the recipes before the sack was empty.

Those recipe strips also included specials such as the Robin Hood Homemaker’s Club value stamps, redeemable for items in the Homemaker’s Club catalog; items such as an electric popcorn popper for $2.65 with 6 stamps. Each sack held at least four stamps, so it wouldn’t take long to accumulate enough for more than one item.

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