About

The truth is writing an about page is serious business. I’ve been struggling to get this page up for a few years now.

Some gurus say you need a six-page dissertation on who you are, what you’re about, facts about you, your family mission statement and a certificate giving away your firstborn to your readers.

Oddly enough, I’ve decided to just be me and write what I’m feeling. Don’t worry… you’ll get used to it.

I’m Michelle

2014 Blast From the Past

I’m your host. I’m the dork in the middle. We accept who we are, haha!

A little bit about me…

  • I’ve been married for 17 years.
  • I have two daughters- 23 and 17.
  • The whole family participates in this obsession.
  • I have a good amount of free time to record these collections.
  • We have five dogs, four cats, and a Russian Tortoise.
  • We live on 6 1/2 wooded acres in Salem County, New Jersey, USA.
  • I love our wildlife and study them whenever possible. I take as many wildlife photos as I do recipe photos.
  • We enjoy our recipe failures as much as our successes. We always learn something.
  • My hobbies include: perusing recipes, junk journaling, collecting US postage stamps, and project 365 (a photo a day)

The Taste Test Quintet

Taste Test Quintet

Clearly, we’re going to need a larger photo box!

No recipe gets made in this house without them knowing about it.

They taste-test every (safe) recipe we make! And, oh boy, they tell you the truth.

From left to right:

  • Chex, Shih Tzu, 6
  • Pumpkin, Yorkie, 5
  • Lollipop, Yochon, 3
  • Mugsy, Shorkie, 4
  • Twix, Shih Tzu, 1 1/2

They make our world a much better place.

Why the Site Exists

I began collecting antique and vintage recipes in 2014. There is an extreme pull toward the rich history and culture contained within these recipe boxes and cookbooks.

I’ve learned all sorts of interesting things:

  • what a yeast cake is
  • the existence of a “gem pan”
  • the homemakers on the home front had it r.o.u.g.h. during WWII (1941-1945)
  • that a filbert and a hazelnut are the same things
  • that people had to raise, cull, then prepare their own meat sources
  • that lifetime collections are a treasure trove

I’d like to make this information available for anyone interested and create a conversation piece and digital record for my own family.

How to Contact Us

Click this sentence to go to our contact page.

You’ll find our social media information, a snail mail address, and a contact form.

What You Will Find on This Site

There are three major components that I’d like to document because each collection as a whole tells a story.

  • An overview of the collection (e.g. where it came from geographically and information about the previous owner)
  • A menu of recipes we’d like to try
  • A log of recipes we’ve tried

About My Collection

I would guesstimate that I have over 500 cookbooks, 250 homemade cookbooks, and 1,000 recipe boxes- all in various forms. With that said, I’ll highlight my favorites.

Better Homes and Gardens

BHG introduced its first cookbook in 1930. They continue to publish in the present time. I think that’s amazing.

I have over 115 of these cookbook binders. To experience the difference between a cookbook compiled in 1930 and a current rendition is nothing short of breathtaking.

These cookbooks cover the advent of microwaves, working moms, crockpots, and much, much more. It honestly fascinates me!

The most important part of these is the fact that they were designed so the owner could personalize it! Inside you will find handwritten recipes, cutouts from the BHG monthly magazine, etc. I even found a WWII ration book in one!

I intend to write extensively about this part of my collection.

American Home Menu Maker

From October 1928 to February 1978 a magazine named The American Home was published in the United States.

Beginning in the mid-30s, they began selling a recipe drawer using 3×5 index cards named the American Home Menu Maker (AHMM.) I have 111 spanning from the original series to about the 1970s.

These recipe boxes usually have cut out recipes from the magazine and are quite personalized, as well.

We also have around 100 genuine copies of the magazine. I’ve been able to date them (using the actual magazine ads) so that I know which designs were introduced in chronological order.

I will write about these in detail and enthusiastically.

WWII Home Front

When I first began collecting I attempted to research the home front during the war. Almost all of the information I found had to do with rationing in England, which started in 1939.

The US didn’t get involved in the war until December of 1941. It makes sense that writers would focus on the rationing that came first.

I’ve amassed a huge collection. A few of my favorites:

  • over 1,000 genuine ration books, ration tokens, and unique token holders
  • several original posters that were hung in grocery store windows explaining ration points
  • many pieces of V-mail
  • publications that were released featuring how to stretch your ration coupons
  • a random mishmash of memorabilia that intrigues me… like a framed poster that holds plastic trinkets to send to your loved ones stationed via snail mail

This subject will be written about with a sense of awe. I have the utmost respect and admiration for these families. I have so much to learn.

I could go on and on and on… but I’ll stop here since this is only an introduction. I hope you find these things as wonderful and educational as I do.

Dig in and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.