Experience: I bake recipes I find on gravestones

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    • #484646
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 11,916

      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/apr/29/experience-i-bake-recipes-i-find-on-gravestones

      My grandmother died from Covid, and making the gravestone recipes made me think about this special yellow cake she made for us grandkids on our birthdays. It was so good. It’s nice to think about the recipes that hold a similar significance for other families – perhaps at gatherings and holidays they know certain dishes will show up. Cooking my family recipes again is a way to bring back those strong memories: when I think of that cake, I remember my grandmother and all the birthdays we spent together.

      Another more banal realisation I had when we were preparing my grandmother’s epitaph was that it is very expensive to get words carved into a gravestone. You pay by the letter. Which must be why lots of the gravestone recipes are so sparse. The ones that have turned out best for me are the more detailed ones – the most recent is like a jam roll with pecans and cinnamon. You just roll it up and bake it, then slice it and add powdered sugar. The gravestone shared a detailed overview of the process, which was helpful. I will definitely be making that one again.

      As well as learning to cook, I’ve loved researching the lives of the women behind the recipes – so far all the gravestones with recipes that I’ve found have been for women. There’s been a Holocaust survivor; someone who worked at the post office her whole life; and one woman in Alaska who got the logo for the Cool Whip imitation cream brand engraved on her headstone.

      The idea of selecting a stone is terrifying to me – I don’t know how I want the world to remember me just yet. But for these women, their recipe seemed like the perfect way to connect with their families after they’d gone. And they wanted to share it with everybody, which is beautiful. My dream dinner party would be to bring all these women together and we would try all the recipes and get to know one another. It would be a rich dinner, though – they are all baking recipes, comfort foods and desserts.

       

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #485437
      chknltl
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      • Total Posts: 1,724

      Kiffles!
      (pronounced key-fleas)


      @eridani

      The link is to someone who found this kiffle recipe in a South Bend (Indiana) newspaper dated to 1940.

      While the person who posted this recipe claims to not be Hungarian, my grandmother was!

      Coincidently(?) that same grandmother lived in South Bend Indiana at that time and made lots of kiffles.

      Is it my grandmother’s original recipe?

      I like to think so.

      One thing is for certain, we kids gobbled them down quicker than any other pastry.

      Should you try to make them, be warned of two things:

      The first is that they are labor intensive.

      The second is that once made, anyone you share them with will pester you forever to make more!

      Hopefully the link works:

      https://www.recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_3/2007/NOV/11365.html

      • #485621
        eridani
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        • Total Posts: 11,916

        My favorite thing about it is that it used both the yolks and the whites of eggs.  I refuse to use recipes that require throwing one or the other away (don’t have pets anymore).

        Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

        • #485707
          chknltl
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          • Total Posts: 1,724

          My brother and his wife every year around Christmas make at least a couple hundred and passes them out, 20 on a plate, as gifts.

          They have modified the original recipe to add a bunch of regular sugar-FAR too much sugar if I am being honest.

          He calls them “sugar bombs”.

          Nobody complains, the gifts are gone within hours of being received but…

          …I am 20 years older than this brother and recall the sweetness from my grandmother’s kifflees as coming more from the honey* inside and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

          If you enjoy making pastries, I do hope you try this old Hungarian recipe yourself.

          *(after rechecking that recipe in the 1940 South Bend newspaper I saw no mention of honey being used. Perhaps my memory is off here but I could have sworn my grandmother used a bit of honey mixed in with her nut filling).

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