My Grandmother Matha's Recipes

Heirloom Family Recipes

Homemade sugar cookies


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My maternal grandmother was the best cook I've ever known. Her rolls were legendary, her turkeys always moist and tender, and just a bite of her crumbly butternut cookies at Christmas would make you swoon. When I think of her, she was always in the kitchen, cooking or baking something. I'm sure your memories of your grandmother are the same.

She taught me how to make her Parker House Rolls, which are so wonderful. Each year when I make the recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I try to achieve results like hers. I've always fallen short, but I keep on trying.

My mother tells me that she could make divinity just using a spoon. I've burned out mixers trying to make divinity, and only made it successfully when I finally got a heavy-duty stand mixer!

I think it's so important to pass recipes along from our family members. These handwritten notes on scraps of paper are pieces of our history. If you're lucky enough to still have your relatives around, ask them about their favorite recipes and write them down. Pay careful attention to what they say, and be sure to ask if they have any tips for making these recipes or for cooking in general. You could make it a family project, and get your kids involved, too.

This holiday season, think about your relatives, whether long lost or present and celebrate their lives and memories with special recipes. And if you don't have family recipes, you can borrow mine and start your own traditions.

My Grandmother's Recipes

  • Parker House Rolls
    This is the secret recipe for the lightest rolls you will ever eat. Follow the instructions carefully. And enjoy them with any dinner.
  • Peanut Cakes
    I crave this recipe every year when picnic time rolls around, but they're also great for the holidays. A slightly chewy cake is cut into squares, frosted with vanilla frosting, and rolled in chopped peanuts (salted or not; your choice!) My Grandmother would make it for picnics, along with potato salad, baked chicken, and some gelatin salads. Simply spectacular.
  • Grandma's Sugar Cookies
    These light and crisp sugar cookies are the best. They melt in your mouth. Frost with tinted Buttercream Frosting and decorate for the perfect Christmas cookies.
  • Turkey Stuffing
    This is the best stuffing; it's slightly sweet, full of raisins, oatmeal bread, lots of butter, and onion. Use it for your Thanksgiving turkey this year.