recipe box challenge

by jenna on November 1, 2011

240.

I have roughly 240 recipes to test, make and blog about. I say “roughly” because a few are doubles (she has like three recipes for graham cracker cake…it must be good?). I think I’m going to try to do two recipes a week and see how that goes.

I’m crazy excited about this project.

Out of the 240, 22 are savory…and when I say “savory” I mean totally amazingly retro meals like “party meatballs”, “creamed peas” and salads that involve (gasp) gelatin.

I know.  Trust me, I know.

So my question for you guys is, do you want to see the savory dishes, too, or should I just stick to the baking? The issue at hand is that if I do test the savory recipes that means I, errr, have to eat them. Unless you all want to come over for dinner on aspic salad night??? That would be grand.

I was born in the wrong decade.

 

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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Shari @ The Daily Dish November 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I say make the ones that seem up-to-date and that we would all be interested in making. The salad with gelatin does not sound good to me. Excited to follow along with you!

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Christina Phillips November 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Try out some of the savory stuff! I was actually going to post my grandma’s famous jello salad with shredded cheddar cheese on my blog tomorrow. Sounds gross, but it is AWESOME! It’s fun to look through old recipe boxes (especially those of our relatives), isn’t it?

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Jen November 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Jello…salad? That sounds interesting ;)

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Nancy in Naples November 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Ditto on the jello salad with cheddar sounding interesting:)

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Beth November 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I’d like to see a variety of sweet and savory! I like this project you’re doing! It’ll be neat to see what she made long ago! I’m excited to see everything!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles November 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

You have me laughing out loud on this one. I won’t think less of you if you skip the savory aspic salads, etc. No judgment here. Overall, it’s a very cool project.

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kelly November 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

My mother’s recipe box has been in my basement since she died ten years ago. You are inspiring me to finally get it out!

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Emma November 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

If it were me, I would definitely stick with the baking. But, then again, I’m a lot less skilled than you haha. I’d prefer the baking recipes because I’m much better with an oven! Either way, good luck! Love the blog :)

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Lisa November 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I would love to see savory! I loved how they cooked back in the day. It’s inspiring!

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Lori November 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Pretty sure Teflon no longer advertises their “fluorocarbon resins”….

And yeah, I say go for the savory’s. I recently inherited my husband’s great grandmother Savory’s handwritten recipe books. Maybe you could save me some time by making them first? LOL!

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Emily November 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I would love to see both sweet and savory! Thanks for sharing this awesome challenge with us!

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Amy P November 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

i would love to see the savory recipes!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Hahah I can’t wait to see more of this! Love the idea :)

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amanda November 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

eh, that’s tough since i’d be hard pressed to eat aspic as well. but julia child wrote about them, so they must be okay, right? i always love savory (ehm, dinner) ideas, but whatever you decide will be great.

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine November 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Yes to savory! Definitely! :)

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Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray November 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I’d like to see them all!! I love going through my grandma’s old recipes–sadly they’re few and far between. The nostalgia will make it worth the questionable savoriness. :)

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) November 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

EWW! Gelatin in salad. Maybe it tastes amazing but it definitely doesnt SOUND good…
I’m totally into the project idea though.. and the baking part sounds amazing! Maybe the savoury part would actually turn out to be as well.. after all there are actually lots of things I nearly vomitted when I heard about that sounded amazing. You might discover the pesto of the 2000’s?!
I also cant believe she has that many recipes.. runs in the family then!?! :)

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Morgan November 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I definitely think you should try them all! This is a phenomenal project idea.

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Mary November 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I had to go back & read your old posts, but I just wanted to share that this is such a cool idea! As for the savory recipes, I would love to see them, but more in a “oh so this is what a salad made with gelatin looks like!” way…probably not so I can attempt them myself.

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Ida November 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Go big or go home. I say do them all! You never know, so of those things might be really good.

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Kelly@foodiefresh November 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Are these family recipes? Ooooh, I should do the same with my grandmother’s cookbook if I can ever get her to make me a copy. :)

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Lauren A. @ Newest Obsession November 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’d love to see some of the savory dishes!

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Elisabeth November 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I want to see it all! When my grandma died the only thing I wanted was her recipe box and I haven’t even tackled half of what was in there. I am crazy-curious to see what you’re going to be making!

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Anne November 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hummm, maybe you should do a selection… The “project” on paper is a fun idea, but crisco, gelatin… I don’t know.

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Tracy November 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I agree with this comment :-) I’d rather see the baked goods and just a few samples of the savories….I know I wouldn’t want to try all of those!

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Mel November 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I vote to make the savory ones too!

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Diana November 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Savory too! Your recipes rock- love reading your blog! Any low carb ones? I’d love to add to my weekly meal plans at http://www.yourflavorchef.blogspot.com ;-)

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Katrina November 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I hope you make both savory and sweet! These old recipes always turn out to be the best. Yum!

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Urban Wife November 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Go for the savory ones, too!!

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Chris November 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

me. too…

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Alissa November 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

PLEAASE continue to make savory dishes! I link to them/cook them more often than the baking dishes! I made your chicken n biscuits last week and your Chicken Tikka is baking in the crock pot as we speak!

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Maria@La_Piattini November 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Yes! I’d love to see the savory ones too :)

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Ally November 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I say yes to the savory ones! I love reading about old fashioned recipes… I think a gelatin salad post would be hilarious.

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brandalyn November 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

All recipes!! haha I love your recipes, i have made several of them and brought to potlucks at work and i get rave reviews and they are always demolished!

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Stephanie November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

This project is very Julie & Julia…it reminds me when she needs to make that aspic dish. I would just make the ones you want to actually eat :o)

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Amanda November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I think it could be interesting/fun to do the savory recipes as well, but I understand not wanting to eat them. Maybe pick a few to make and then just post the recipes for the less appetizing ones? They’re probably good for a laugh! :)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

If you don’t think you’d like the funkier recipes than just do the baking. I think it’s wonderful enough that you’re doing this at all! No need to force down aspic salad! lol

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Liz November 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I would love to see the savory recipies too — particularly if they’re fun and retro! I actually love salads with jello — a staple at holiday dinners in my Southern family :)! This sounds like a fun project!

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Prathiba November 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

this is so cool! what a lovely thing to have passed down in the family. i say do ‘em all, girl. it’s like your own julie/julia project. :)

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Do them all. You never know if you like them or not unless you try it, right? Aspic dishes do tend to freak me out though, but it’d be interesting to see. :)

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kathleen @ the daily crumb November 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

i’m interested in anything you make! if they look yummy… give it a shot. heck, you could make spam look gourmet!

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Natalie November 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I love this idea Jenna. I am so happy you are doing this project. I am very fascinated and can not wait to see all the posts you will have. My Nonna is from Italy (as well as my mom and all my aunts) and they do not have any recipe cards for me :( Yet, they are probably all the best cooks around. I’m sad to think about the day they’re gone and I will never be able to replicate their marinara sauce or breaded chicken. Everything they cook is simply by taste and NEVER measure. I wish I could be able to do what you’re doing.

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Helen November 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

stick to the baking!!

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Lisa November 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I’d like to see more savory recipes!

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Brenda M. November 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I’d also like to see the savory recipes included. Can’t wait to see these – I think they will be a lot of fun!

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Ashley L November 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I am definitely excited about hearing the baking recipes. I am not so excited about the savory recipes but it might be interesting to see if they’re any good. One of those you might like it if you try it things. I don’t know. It’s up to you. You have to eat it but it might be interesting, a learning experience. :)

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Mary Beth November 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Count me in for wanting to see the savory recipes as well!

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Rachel November 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I think that the spirit of the project requires you to make all of the recipes!

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rebecca November 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I am in love with this challenge. My mother-in-law recently inherited all of my husband’s grandmother’s recipes and we had a fantastic time wading through them (and also huge stacks of old magazines from 1916-1955). I can’t wait to see all the stuff you make and the stories that go with them. And yes, you should make everything – because as you said, how awesomely retro are some of those “savory” recipes?

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MaryM November 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

You might pick a few savory ones that can be used over the holidays? I’m always up for some fun retro food! Or any food for that matter…:P

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Denise B November 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Do the savory too if they look interesting. I only wish I had my grandma’s recipes. Unfortunately my step-mother got most of that.

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Krista November 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I’d love to see some of the savory dishes too!

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Shannon November 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I’d love to see them all (the two you’ve posted so far look like recipes I want to try)…my mom makes a yummy jelled salad…I was skeptical, but it is actually quite tasty.

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Kate November 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Another vote for variety, please! I still have my great grandmother’s recipe boxes (6 boxes, a shoebox, and a pile of brand sponsored pamphlets–I get my recipe hoarding disorder from her, clearly) and have found some gems amidst all the Knox gelatin and lard.

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

i wanna see them all! have fun!

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Alexa @ Simple Eats November 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Savory! I love everything you make, but since you bake a lot, I’d like to see some savory stuff up in here!

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KaraHadley November 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Oh please do include the savory. I can only handle so much sugar.

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Heather November 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Maybe do one savory and one sweet each week? I mean, if they sound REAL gross I’m sure no one would be offended, not to mention you’re stuck eating it. This is such a great idea and I can’t wait to see what you end up making? Just curious…what’s your heritage? We’re almost 100% German so I know that if I did this, the recipes would be super heavy!

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Alex November 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I say “Yay’ to the savory recipes! I love this project and makes me want to rummage through my grandparent’s attic to find old gelatin recipes. Plus, I think you could get me to try anything…

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Renee C. November 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Yes! Bring on the savory Jenna! So what will you be doing with the baked goods if not eating them?! You are welcome to send them to my lil abode:)

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Andrea November 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Great idea!

P.S. Is that green tea in your cup? lol

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jenna November 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

tazo awake tea :)

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linda sue November 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Being raised by a southern woman – I have no hesitation to say go for it! Nothing wrong with a little jello or jelled salads – I am not a fan of newer stuff with Cool Whip :::shuddering:::: but would have fun seeing the results of your efforts in recipe box research. Those apple dumplings you featured – OH MY GOODNESS

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gia November 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Don’t do it! Stick to the goodies. Let us move forward and rejoice.. and stay away from gelatin salads. Just my humble opinion. :)

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gia November 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Now I’m reading others comments and can’t believe everyone is saying do it. Ick.

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Diana November 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I am so excited to see this challenge unfold! I would say do whatever you want, but please, please, make “party meatballs” – I am dying to know what puts the “party” in the “party meatball”! :)

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Emily W November 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I think you should do it, if just for the fun of it!

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Laura November 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I would love to see them all! Your food always looks so delicious!

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Amanda November 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hey! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and LOVE it! When I saw your post about graham cracker cake I just had to comment. That’s one of the recipes my own grandma passed down to me and everytime I make it I feel like I’m 5 yrs old and back in her farmhouse kitchen! I’m excited to see if your grandma’s recipe is similar or even the same as mine =)

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eliza November 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

same here! My mimi’s recipe involves 3 ingredients. What about you guys?

I just made it for a work party the other week and everyone LOVED it!

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Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

This totally makes me think of Julie and Julia.. fun!!

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Shan November 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Savouries too, please! Errr just hide the gelatin salad recipe under your rug, mmkay?

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Cait's Plate November 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm

DEFINITELY the savory dishes as well. And yeah, crazy excited is pretty much EXACTLY what I would be about this project!! I’m crazy excited even for you to do it!

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Jen November 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I vote for a mixture of both…whatever you think looks appealing! My mom died when I was nine and my dad passed two years ago, so I have several boxes in storage from their home when dad passed away. My mom’s cookbook is filled with many of those familiar little note cards (her cookbook was this neat book with “pockets” for different categories from back in the day). It’s in one of those boxes and I keep meaning to dig it out…I have a feeling it will be one big childhood flashback just looking through it, nevermind attempting to cook any of the things in there. If you can do it, I can do it….go for it!

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Mich November 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm

All of them, for sure! Take a field trip to the past and experience the cuisine of another era ;) You can keep us posted on what is worth recreating!

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kim a November 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm

try them all! btw-i miss your fashion posts…any of those on the way?

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jenna November 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

The problem with those is that I don’t have anyone to take my photo for the fashion posts! Maybe I could train Dexter?

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Cassie November 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Savory too, please!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I don’t even know what “aspic salad” is?! ha!

I know everyone loves savory but I have a sweet tooth more than a savory tooth. That said, you should blog and write about whatever YOU want to! I’ll be standing by to read whatever comes outta that recipe stash!

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Tracey November 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I’d love to see them all!!! :)

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Annie November 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I want to see the savory recipes too!! That’s one of the things that I love about your blog… the variety of all the different kinds of recipes :)

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katie @KatieDid November 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I’m biased and love savory dishes way more than sweet so I say yes to savory!

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Leslie Means @ Her View From Home November 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

All of them!!! Plus – you have totally inspired me to do this too! This won’t be tough for me right now – as I always make the staple recipes that have been passed down in our family for all the upcoming holidays! But..after the new year – this will be a new adventure!

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val @ lots of dishes November 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm

i like to bake for fun, but only a few times a year… but savory is something i cook every single day and i’m ALWAYS looking for dinner ideas.

however, a mix would be nice.

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Liz November 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I say go for the savory dishes, too. If you’re going to do the challenge, I say go all the way! :)

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com November 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Wish I had recipe stash as such! Sweet or savory, go at it girl :)

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Sam November 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I say if any savory dishes sound appealing or intriguing and won’t cost a fortune (is $ or time), why not try them.

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Katherine November 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm

i say go for savory! i don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so the savory sounds more appealing to me (aspic being the exception)

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Tina @ Everyday Decisions November 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

This sounds like such a neat project!

I say pick some of the savory recipes to try… just to see how it turns out. Can’t wait to read along!

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Stephanie November 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I just fell in love with your blog all over again. I love the Recipe Box Challenge idea. Reminds me of Julie and Julia, but way more personal. I wish I had a box of my Grandma’s recipes. I say make sweet and savory. Even if we don’t want to eat it, it might still be fun to see them. Do whatever you want….I’ll read it!

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Allison November 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I vote for both! Everyone needs a little variety in their life right?? It’s always great to get new ideas for dinner and side dishes too.

On a side note: Are you planning on doing the great thanksgiving recipe swap this year? I LOVED it last year!

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Jenna! I LOVE this idea. I adore food, I adore history, I adore food history, I adore family and family history. Too much goodness all wrapped up in one lovely little challenge. Excellent. I say definitely do sweet (duh) and do the savoury that isn’t freaky – i.e. that we might be able to use ourselves. BUT you absolutely need to do a couple of freaky ones, just for good measure and pure entertainment factor :P
So excited!!!
Heidi xo

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Blair November 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

SA-VOR-Y! SA-VOR-Y! It’s good to mix it up!

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Ella, RD November 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Savory too!!

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Lauren November 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Would love to see the savory recipes as well!

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Courtney November 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I think you should try some of the savory, but don’t make yourself crazy. I agree that a lot of the lost recipes from generations past are fun and interesting but cooking has evolved along with the palates of most folks. Have you ever eaten aspic? It’s not so great.
Several years back, at an estate sale of a chef, I bought a large recipe cabinet….think card catalog full of recipes (over 3000)….it was overwhelming, to say the least, trying to go through all of the recipes. I decided if I, or most people I knew, wouldn’t eat the recipe then maybe it was best retired.
Good luck! Can’t wait to read about your trials!

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Bizzle November 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

Savory! You just simply have to do both. I mean, there is only 22, right? I think it would be awesome/interesting to be able to taste the same things that your great grandmother enjoyed cooking. Even the gross sounding ones. What a wonderful way to honor her. Can’t wait.

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Melanie November 2, 2011 at 1:37 am

I say make them all! I want to see the savory dishes, too, and I think you should make them all, even the ones that seem out-of-date. To me, those aren’t so much about making something cool as much as they are about the history and tradition of cooking/baking and about paying homage to your grandma. I think that’s a great way to honor her.

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Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock November 2, 2011 at 2:29 am

Absolutely – bring on the savory!

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Joy November 2, 2011 at 3:50 am

I’d love to see the savoRy ones too, and I bet my husband would eat the salad with gelatin (he likes jello, lettuce notsomuch)

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Lisa November 2, 2011 at 5:00 am

Make Adam help you eat the savory! lol thats what guys are for! :)

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Ashley November 2, 2011 at 5:11 am

Maybe a little bit of both? The savory recipes will be very fitting for the upcoming winter season.

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Amy November 2, 2011 at 5:14 am

This is so exciting! Do all of them!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock November 2, 2011 at 5:51 am

Ooh…I am so on board Jenna! I love this idea ;) I’d be totally game to learn the savoury dishes too, but understand if you’re not wanting to have to find a way to eat “creamed peas” for 10! Hehe…

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naya November 2, 2011 at 5:52 am

savory!!

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Leslie November 2, 2011 at 6:36 am

definitely do the savory ones! i agree with whoever said keep it to the up-to-date ones. I dont think any of us will recreate aspic salad

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Michelle November 2, 2011 at 7:13 am

Make them all! I’m in love with this project, Jenna. You’re seriously inspiring me to spend my last college winter break in Wisconsin cooking through every old family recipe that I can get my hands on.

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Liz @ Southern Charm November 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

I’d love to see some savory ones!

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Carolyn November 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

I reaallllyyy don’t like savory “salads,” but a lot of people do. So might be worth trying some of them, even if you don’t do all of them? Well, I take that dislike statement back … a bit. I like the “salad” my grandmas makes with coconut, mandarin oranges, marshmallows …. I’m just not a big gelatin person. I’m from the east coast but am now living in the midwest, so I guess I should get used to it!

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Erin November 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

What a fantastic idea. No matter what you do I think it’ll be all great. Tried and true recipes are always a hit.

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Lynn November 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

Make the savory ones, too! I have both my grandmother’s recipe boxes & have considered this same project for a couple of years. You might have just inspired me to go for it too!

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erin @ small things November 2, 2011 at 10:10 am

I want to see them all! and little stories too and some pics.

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Judith November 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

I’d love to see some of each, but of course, I won’t be eating them! I, too, had a Grandmother who was an amazing cook, Italian, who doesn’t want an Italian Gram? Staying at her home in Northern Wisconsin meant her homemade bread and raspberry jam for breakfast, TDF
One of the cousins copied off all her recipes and put them in a binder, but it just doesn’t feel the same as all those handwritten cards, pieces torn from magazines etc. You make me want to dig out that binder and whip up a few.

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Meredith November 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

I’d love to see the savory ones! Love that crazy stuff.

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Brooke @ Waiting to Rise November 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Hey Jenna! I would say…just choose the savory ones that can be recreated now in our kitchens…and one that would appeal to us (I, for one, am not into gelatin in a salad). Just my two cents…..

B

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Vanessa @ Project Zen November 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

Go for it! Maybe you can shoot for putting your own little twist on some of these classic recipes you find!

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Steffany November 3, 2011 at 5:13 am

I would make any you would eat ! (: Savory, baking, whatever ! :D

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Brittany November 5, 2011 at 9:47 am

I say make them all! I love old recipes and even though they may not all be good, I think it’s great to try them all. Baking and savory. I’ve been following your blog for a little while and am so excited your doing this challenge. Can’t wait to keep reading it even more now in the coming months.

-Brittany

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Amanda November 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

My husband’s grandmother made graham cracker cake, too, and I am now in charge of making it for his birthday every year. It is so delicious!

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Judy November 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

I say YES to savory dishes! Baking is fantastic, but savory dishes really touch home with everyone!!! I can’t wait!

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Karen November 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Dude, you’re talking to someone who made creamed onions for Thanksgiving last year! Bring on the aspic!!

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Megan December 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

So I’m thinking you should at least try and make all of them. Even if they end up weird, you just gotta do it for Grandma!

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