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The Recipe Box Project update

Posted by Sheryl Julian  June 23, 2011 12:01 PM

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This came in from Food section contributor Debra Samuels, who is overseeing The Recipe Box Project. We're asking readers to send us their favorite dishes. From time to time we'll publish them here or in the food section on Wednesday. To send a recipe, email Debra at

Dear Readers,

Thank you for sending us some great recipes and for the warm memories you wrote about.

We hope you saw Veda Clarke's grandmother's potato salad we printed a few weeks ago. It is made with baked potatoes and Cain's mayonnaise, a delicious addition to any summer picnic.

Next Wednesday, a blueberry cake sent in by reader Jane Connelly is going to be entered into a blueberry cake tasting.

Here are a few notes that we received. Former Bostonian Roseanne Surette, now retired to South Carolina, writes, "I have been saving recipes, mostly from the Globe and other newspapers, magazines, friends, etc., and have spent mucho $$ on sheet protectors to put into binders. I've often questioned my sanity as I thought there was no one else out there that was a nutty as I was/am! "

Meg Sullivan, one of 6 siblings raised in Boston, who are scattered around New England, sent us a photo from 1975 with recipes from each of her sisters and brother. "Today, in order to disprove the adage that there can be too many cooks in a kitchen and in homage to group shots and large, New England families," she writes, "I give you the recipes of my siblings and me:" With it came Maura's coffee cake, Anne's Irish soda bread, Megan's rice and beans, Kate's carrots au gratin, Kara's quiche and Rob'salsa.

Jake Walker of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library writes: "We have at the library of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, The New England Chowder Compendium, a visual database examining all things chowder from the 1700s to today. Our blog, Clammy Hands, and a Facebook account feature submissions from home cooks, chefs, and old recipe boxes."

We also disovered that at one time there were oyster beds in Lawrence. Joyce Bodenrader of North Andover tells us, "I volunteer in the Lawrence History Room of the Lawrence Public Library and have come across recipes from 1919. There were published in the newsletter from the American Woolen Co. mills called the A.W. Booster.

Archivist Louise Sandberg, says that the shores of the Merrimack River provided oysters as an inexpensive food for the mill workers. These beds were destroyed by pollution later. Citizens were asked to have wheat-free Wednesdays and meat-free Tuesdays to support the war effort.

And here is an ice box cake from Cynthia Delia Coddington. It came from her mother, Marylin Adessa Delia. "Ice box cakes, made with various flavors of pudding, originally used stale pound cake between it's layers," Coddington writes. "This was a way to stretch the household groceries a little further. My mother updated it and now uses graham crackers and fresh whipped cream. It's still a favorite amongst my siblings and the next generation too."


Icebox cake

Makes 1

Layer a 9-inch baking dish with graham crackers. Add a package of vanilla pudding, cooked according to package directions. Leave to cool. Add a layer of graham crackers to the dish. Add a package of chocolate pudding, cooked according to package directions. Do the same with a butterscotch pudding and more crackers. Refrigerate. Before serving, cover with whipped cream and sliced bananas. Cynthia Delia Coddington 

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.