The Nearly Lost Recipe   6 comments

Juanita Boring Mowry, 1984.

Juanita Boring Mowry, 1984.

Growing up, there were two certainties when there was a Sunday dinner at Grandma Mowry’s: homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, and Chocolate Pie.

Chocolate Pie for the win, of course.

The problem was that Grandma didn’t have the recipe written down, and didn’t use measuring cups. She simply put the ingredients in the bowl until they “looked right,” or into her hands until they “felt right.” That’s how she cooked the World’s Best Pie.

So how do you bring that legacy forward?

Enter Velda, the big city girl who married Grandma’s only Grandson and moved with him to California. Fortunately, Velda was also fearless. She asked her Grandmother-in-law to demonstrate the recipe, and actually guesstimated the ingredient quantities and created a recipe card by watching her make a pie.

It was 1980.

Velda does not consider herself a pastry chef, but she does agree to make the World’s Best Pie twice each year. All was going well, until a kitchen accident nearly became a kitchen CATASTROPHE. The recipe card Velda wrote in 1980 – the only written copy of THE recipe – got caught in a Christmas cookie crossfire, and ended up stuck to the bottom of a cookie sheet.

And then she baked it at 350* for 12 minutes.

The recipe card was severely damaged. Discolored. Corners flaked away. We almost lost this Most Important Family Recipe due to a moment of kitchen chaos.


Enter the next generation, and the younger soon-to-be Mrs M asked Velda for a copy of all of her recipes. The result: the printed Mowry Family Cookbook, which was published in 2008. That saved Velda’s recipes from future cookie dough disasters, plus a host of classic friend & family recipes were added, to boot.

And then Mr M’s Woodshop got going at a furious pace … and I had another idea.

Here’s the latest from the shop: the laser engraved recipe board. It’s meant for display on the recipe side, and can be used on the flip side. Finished size is 8″ x 12″ x 3/4″.

Get me a copy of your recipe written on a plain, unfolded sheet of paper using a extra fine point black Sharpie, and I can do the rest. After all, if you are fortunate enough to be from a family that does Christmas baking, you should never have to chance losing your Most Important Family Recipe in the process!

Recipe Board 15 - 01. Hard Maple. 8" x 12" x 3/4".

Recipe Board 15 – 01. Hard Maple. 8″ x 12″ x 3/4″.

The written recipe you supply will be digitally scanned and converted to a graphic for the laser engraver. If the writing is pretty, that’s great … but if it’s illegible, there’s nothing I can do about that!


Grandma Mowry’s Chocolate Pie

Your Family’s Stuff

Treasuring Family Photos

6 responses to “The Nearly Lost Recipe

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  1. Great idea

  2. I love this idea!

  3. What a wonderful idea!

    Cindy Hazel Besser
  4. What a wonderful way to preserve the memory! A board with Velda’s interpretation of Grandma’s pie is now on my Christmas list! (Was that hint too subtle? 😋)

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