So it has been several months since Grandma Luethje passed and I brought home a few pieces of furniture and boxes of momentos, but I haven’t really had a chance to sift through or unpack any of it until now. The rental house was just too cramped to unpack much of anything, and I’m just now uncovering the boxes in the basement.

I gotta say, unpacking tonight was a bit like Christmas. I’d forgotten about a few of Grandma’s things that I saved, so it was a bit of a surprise opening the box to see what was inside. And it’s always a big score when there are books involved…

I remember seeing these old cookbooks in one of the boxes in Grandma’s garage for the estate sale and I couldn’t let them go. If there is anything I’m more addicted to than books, it’s old books. I love the look of them. I love the smell of them. I love imagining how many different hands have held them over the years.

As I began flipping through them, I made a couple of interesting discoveries, such as…

1. At least two of these books belonged to my great-great grandmother Lulu, and she had a really cool stove.

2. Old turn of the century cookbooks have way cooler sections and illustrations than anything you’ll find on the shelves these days. For instance…

Invalid Cookery–with everything from recipes for infants to adults with chronic heartburn.

And whether you’re butchering a pig’s head or the loch ness monster, these books have you covered with detailed instructions and diagrams.

Even more fun than the books themselves were the little treasures I found tucked away in the pages. Here’s a coupon for 10 cents off Butternut Coffee. Too bad it expired in 1928.

I also found this copy of my Grandma and Grandpa Luethje’s wedding announcement hiding away in the Gold Medal Flour Cookbook

And the best yet was little little folded piece of paper that fell out of Grandma Roden’s old American Cookbook…

I’m pretty sure the handwriting is my Grandma Luethje’s, written back when her hands were still steady and precise. I opened it carefully, wondering what was so special about an old page torn from a magazine…

I don’t know why she chose this page from the June 1911 issue of McCall’s Magazine, but folded carefully inside is what I imagine is my Grandma Luethje’s birth announcement, torn from the local newspaper and saved for all these years.

Now that, my friends, is a whole lot of stuff I’m really happy I held onto. 🙂

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