Celebrating Connection Through Recipes

Category: General Holiday Recipe Organizers

Written by Sarah Flood, Gallery Leather Customer Service, with recipe by Lorraine Flood and images by Janet and Roger Flood

As we approach the holidays, many of us dust off the recipe book or dig out the box of family recipes and start gearing up to make those old family favorites: apple pie, sweet potato casserole, baked ham, Grandma’s sugar cookies. When I was growing up, my mom kept all her recipes gleaned from family, friends, and newspapers in a squeaky plexiglass recipe box with a crack in one side. When she got that out, I knew something good was coming: her signature fudge she got from the back of a box, my grandmother’s molasses cookies with roots in the northern woods of Maine, or the delicious turkey stuffing with its origins lost to time. All of them said “family” and “home” and “tradition” and signaled that the holidays had arrived.

Collecting recipes is about preserving connection. Perhaps, instead, the connection is to a family member or culture. Or perhaps it’s snacks made with your best friend in college, or the dish you and your spouse made the first time you cooked together. Sometimes the connection is simply to the food you love. That taco recipe you found online might not have a long family history, but there’s still a story. There are times making it with friends, or that chilly autumn night when you made taco salad just for yourself.

My grandmother’s molasses cookies are one of my favorite family recipes. When my grandmother gave the recipe to my mother on a piece of scrap paper, it contained directions like “Add flour until dough feels right”. My mother translated the recipe into standard measurements through much trial and error. However, she still uses an old soup can to cut the cookies from the rolled dough. I can’t prove that using the old can makes the cookies taste better, but that’s my theory!

I believe food connections can, and should, be shared. Today I’m sharing the recipe my mother wrote, translated from my grandmother’s old directions, written down from memory from her grandmother, who was making these cookies in northeastern Maine on a wood stove in the 1800s. It’s presented here as it has always been: mildly sweet, rich with molasses, soft and chewy, perfect with coffee or milk. I hope you enjoy!

Molasses Cookie Recipe

For those who would like to print the recipe, download my printable recipe card in PDF format. It will allow you to download and print the recipe on a sheet of paper or a recipe card. For best results, I recommend printing before separating the recipe card from its sheet.

Molasses cookie recipe card (link to printable PDF)

Whether it’s to the family you were born with, the family you’ve chosen, a flavor you love or a memory you cherish, recipes are about connections to the things that matter to you. We’ve created our Gallery Leather Recipe Organizer to give you a safe place to store your treasured recipes. We include archival, acid-free recipe cards and plastic pocket pages that keep everything safe from spills and stains. Available in over a dozen colors, it will be sure to give you space to preserve old traditions and time to make new ones. I hope you are able to find many meaningful ways of celebrating connection through recipes this season and beyond!