Quick Fix Recipes

3 Things My Mother Taught Me

Vintage cookbooks | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Hello Friends,

I really hesitated to join this particular bloghop because it is way out of realm for this blog.  But I hope you will indulge me this one post.

You see, there’s a lovely group of women over on Facebook called Blogging Fifty. We come from all walks of life and are at different stages in our blogging adventure, but the one thing all of us have realized is the importance of having a grateful heart.

So when the idea was posed to the group to write a post about being “Thankful at Home,” I knew it was the perfect time to share a little glimpse into who I am and where I come from. 

Thank you for allowing me this little side-step and for joining me on this celebration of thankfulness.

But before we get started, please say hello to Mom.  She now stays in assisted living, but is still a blessing to everyone she meets. So naturally, I am so grateful for her and for the chance to share some of the special things she has taught me.

Mom in Fall 2015 | www.thechelseaproject.com

3 Things My Mother Taught Me:

1. Be Generous

Back in the day, women used to write recipes by hand.  I know this may shock many of the younger readers, but one of the greatest compliments a woman could get is for someone to ask for her recipe.  Of course, this meant that said recipe had to be hand copied ….and this took time.  But Mom always shared, even if it meant writing the recipe and sending it in the mail.  Fifty years later, recipes are almost paperless and snail mail is almost bankrupt. Nowadays, recipes are found on the internet and shared electronically. And because of this, much of the special touch involved with the recipe sharing process has been lost. But the good news is that, in spite of this, the sweet lesson of generosity lives on.

Handwritten recipes that are now vintage and estimated to be around 50-75 years old | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

2. Be Creative

Mom was also amazing when it came to making do with what you had.  She could look into a relatively empty frig and whip up a gourmet meal out of little more than mustard, a jar of pickles, and a package of bologna.  In her honor, I try to carry on this tradition and create my own unique dishes, like Cole Slaw with Orange, Walnuts & Poppy Seed Dressing . This recipe was actually invented one day when I just needed to use what was in the frig.  And to this day, every time I make it, I think of Mom and wonder  how many of her hand written recipes were actaully created because she opted to use what she had on hand.

Cole Slaw in 15-minutes made with shredded cabbage. oranges, and walnuts then tossed with a lite poppy seed dressing | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

3. Be Frugal

Mom was also a real thriftmeister when it came to sensible shopping and repurposing. Happen to have some fresh fruit that’s getting over ripe? No problem. With two ingredients and about 15 minutes, Mom would turn it into jam (link here).

Quick homemade jam fills a vintage crystal jam pot | www.thechelseaproject.com

Or maybe there’s only a cup of mashed potatoes leftover? Not enough for a meal?  No problem.  Mom would simply turn the leftovers into a delicious chocolate walnut potato cake with a ganache frosting (link here). Yes! A chocolate cake made with potatoes.

Old-fashioned Potato Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Fifty years later, repurposing and recycling are now an important part of our daily life. Maybe it isn’t glamorous or high society, but it surely is a wonderful way to live.

I’m so thankful that my mom taught me these things. And if I can uphold the standard she set half as good as she did, then I will consider myself a great success.

Thanks Mom, for all the things you taught me. 

You are simply the best.


And now…..more “Thankful at Home” from my bloggy friends….


  • Reply Heather K Tracy November 3, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I loved this glimpse into Who you Are and Where you Came From, Susie! Thank you for being willing to share these special lessons with us. Coming generations will be ever-less-acquainted with them, and they MATTER. Love who you are, and the creativity that you bring to everything you do, be it salad, decor, or friendship.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Thanks so much, dearest Heather. I look forward to a collaboration. We need to schedule something in 2017. And thank you for treasuring the special things from my very special MOM. XOXO

  • Reply Carolann November 3, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Beautiful Susie! I love this endearing post. Those old recipes brought back so many memories for me. You mom looks so beautiful just like you! I love her values and how eloquently you shared them with us. xo

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thank you so much my dear and precious friend. To this day, whatever Mom remembers, I try and keep it going in her life. I am just brokenhearted that I can’t spend more time with her. XOXO

  • Reply Lisa L Taylor November 3, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Handwritten recipes are such a treasure. This reminds me I should take the time to hand write a few of mine just so my guys will have them One day they will appreciate it.

    Such a sweet post Susie.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Thanks Lisa. Yes, I suggest you do that. I need to do that, too. Mother’s are beginning to crumble so I plan to get them under a film of some kind. Thanks again.

  • Reply Kim November 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Your mom sounds a lot like my mom…I still have her recipe book, with the stained, handwritten pages and the random recipes on scraps tossed inside. My mom is in a nursing home now, but I cherish every minute I get with her and am so grateful for everything she taught me, too. What a lovely post!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Thanks so much, Kim. I appreciate your kind comments. Bless your sweet Mom…woman of this era are such a treasure.

  • Reply Meegan L Fast November 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful mother with us. I love the life lessons she has taught you. The hand written recipes are my favorite. I like to hang them in our kitchen.
    Thanks again for letting us get to know you better. Have a wonderful day, my dear.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Meegan. I am also so grateful to have found wonderful bloggy friends who cherish these old-time treasures, too. It’s always a pleasure to have you stop by. XOXO

  • Reply Karen Marie Kedzuch November 3, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I am so glad to finally meet your Southern Sweetheart Mom. She is a true lady filled with the gift of love to give. The handwritten recipes, frugal ways, and standards worth remembering from such a lady of grace.
    KKaren Marie

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Karen…I wish you could meet her. Moms from this era are a treasure, for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a treat to have you here. XOXO

  • Reply Mary-The Boondocks Blog November 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Susie that was such a sweet post. You are lucky to have a mom like that, who was way ahead of her time to be repurposing back then. Many women got carried away with the new and disposable but we now know better. I am thankful to you for sharing your recipes with us. And that chocolate cake made from potatoes? Is that even possible? Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks so much, Mary! We lived in a small town, but it was rather rural. Farmers always recycled everything and didn’t waste anything. I am grateful to my parents for teaching me these wonderful things. And yes, leftover mashed potatoes help create an amazing texture and moistness. Thanks so much for stopping by. You are such a dear.

  • Reply Toni Harvey November 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Oh Susie, what a precious tribute to your sweet mom. I know how you love and cherish her, she taught you so many great things about life and living through her examples. Just beautiful sisterfriend!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 4, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks sweet Toni…Thanks so much.

  • Reply Jemma November 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I so enjoyed this precious post about your life and the meaningful moments, years and days that your sweet Mother gave you and how she taught you the importance of what really is important.
    It has my pleasure to share this portion of blogging with you.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Thank Jemma!! Wonderful to meet you and become better friends through this blog hop.

  • Reply Stacey Keeling November 5, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Susie, this is so sweet. I kind of wish we were all a little more like your mom at this point in time. It is so true that we hardly hand write things anymore and that’s just one way to preserve our histories. I love to look at things that my parents have written in the past. The recipes are very inspiring and make me want to do just a little better.

    Your blog is beautiful! I’m so happy to meet you through the Blogging Fifty fabulous group! 🙂

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Stacey. You made my day. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind and encouraging words.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 November 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Your mom is a special lady and taught you good life lessons. Plus she sounds like a terrific cook. Thank you for letting us get to know her.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 7, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Thanks so much Debra. Appreciate your visit and kind words.

  • Reply ducttapeanddenim November 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Such great ideas! And so sweet that you got them all from your mom. I lost my mom a few years ago and her hand written recipes and verses are so special to us now!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks so much Ann! I’m so sorry you lost your Mom. Every day is so special. I do hope you enjoy her handwritten recipes. What a treasure. Thanks so much for stopping by! XO

  • Reply Marie from The Interior Frugalista November 8, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Awe Susie, what a beautiful post and tribute to your Mom! I couldn’t agree more with how special it is to be preparing a dish from a handwritten recipe by a loved one, especially one who has passed. It’s like they are preparing it along side you. As I get older, I so miss and appreciate the days of sharing handwritten recipes, Christmas Cards, and long juicy letters sent via snail mail.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Marie. I do hope to get some of these recipes framed before they totally crumble to pieces. I also miss handwritten items. XOXO

  • Reply Susanne November 8, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    This is wonderful and I am glad you sidestepped to share this with us!! I can remember my mom handwriting recipes!! Oh how I wish I had them now to pass on to my daughter!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Susanne. I was surprised to find them in my car when I got back to Atlanta. I think Mom stuck them in a little cranny when we were moving her out of her condo and into assisted living. After looking through them, I’m so grateful that she did.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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