In 1966, my mother inherited a self-written recipe collection. She carried it on as an album which is more than a fund of cooking recipes and instructions. My mother used it for snippets from the magazines she read, from newspapapers, she added photos and a laurel leaf, jokes and remarks, proverbs and criticism. I photographed a few pages and added translations of her remarks in white letters on darker background. The turquoise lines show the inscriptions by my grandaunt who started this document, and pink is a note from my niece. So, this is a book that has been passed down through 4 generations. My mother's remarks often lack any respect, and the connection of the contents on one page sometimes is a mystery, even to me. Ripped out of a note book, there is a recipe written by my Grandma, another participant of this collection. My mother added a German Borschtsch-recipe and made remarks like "Tabasco -- never ever!" Her badly-hidden contempt for the German "Reich", as she called Germany even after the war, is shining through. -- Why she collected a pic of the former German environment minister, is hard to understand. I guess she just thought he's attractive. My niece hasn't asked the book back until now; I think she will have it when I'm gone to cook in the heavenly kitchen. I'm too bad a cook for hell's kitchen, I need angels to help me. Maybe my Mom will.
P.S. My answer to Rayna's comment: No, I'm not a good cook and not inventive on this field either. And if I look at the baking recipes, I get diabetes from reading. My mother had it, and I decided never to get it, so I don't use the 3 white poisons anyway (white sugar, white salt, white flour).
My mother gave this book to my niece, knowing well it is more use for her; but I cherish it as a document of her intelligence and originality:
"A raven gives as much meat stock as 2 pounds of beef, but it has to be skinned like a rabbit" (Alexandre Dumas)
I may even be able to read recipes in German chancery script on stained paper (certainly from the founder of the collection) explaining the preparation of sugar nuts; but he presence of Al Capone near the buckwheat pie is another mystery of this book.