The older I get, the more I find value in traditions. The one I'm sharing today becomes more meaningful as the years pass....
Today was the annual Harvey Girl Luncheon. This particular tradition started 15 years ago (!) My Mom-in-Law, 2 sisters-in-law, and myself decided to trade a few recipes at Christmas in 1995. We traded names and made each other some kind of handmade cover for our new binders-soon-to-be-cookbooks. Here's mine made by my sis-in-law Kari:
Over the years, we always brought a few recipes to the family Christmas get together, and our binder cookbooks began to fill up with meaningful recipes that each of us had grown up with or discovered that year. We graduated from handwriting each copy to using our scary 'puters to print them off with savvy graphics and fonts.
Many times, we'd add a personal note about the recipe (which gramma made it, a family favorite, etc.), or add a scripture or happy saying. Mom-in-law sometimes added a Christmas scripture.
We wanted to use these cookbooks to get to know each other better, and hoped that it would someday be a conglomeration of the cooking histories of each of us as we melded together into the Extended Harvey Clan.
After a time, we began having a separate Christmas lunch at a restaurant where we exchanged the new recipes. By 2006 or so, we moved the event to after the rush of the holidays. My own daughter-in-law Andrea had begun to join us at that point, and I made a big binder for her with all the recipes and did a scrapbook-style cover of browns and silvers and blacks. It was a great time of sharing and catching up.
This year, we did something a bit different. We decided to do a potluck and actually bring a prepared dish from the recipes we would be exchanging. We all met at Karen's, and she set out her finest china:
My pretty tea cup:
It was also the first time for my married daughter Maddie to join us. I'll be making her book hopefully in the next week or so. Yeah. She brought Pepperoni Cheese Rolls:
To go with my Daughter-in-law Andrea's Corn, Potato, and Cheese Soup (with homemade croutons!):
Mom-in-law Karen also made a soup called Sweet Russian Cabbage Soup:
Sis-in-law Michelle brought two dishes: a Breakfast Sausage Roll, and Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches.
Sis-in-law Sara brought Simple Chicken and Noodles
I brought my old stand-by Skillet Mac 'n' Cheese
And Sis-in-law Kari brought Jon's Anniversary Chicken...he just put this together for them on their last celebration!
Everything was scrumptious...and I'm full enough to tide me over for the next 3 days (ok, maybe 2).
The other big change this year is to tackle an online version of The Harvey Cookbook 'cause we've gotten requests for these recipes from others in the family as well as friends. I will be uploading all the recipes and pictures in the next weeks, so you'll be able to try them out too. Who knows, if y'all want try one of the recipes and take a pic, we might add it to the site :) I'll post the URL once we get it functional, but the official name will be:
Those Harvey Girls are Cookin'!
I hope you enjoy getting to know my extended family a bit by soon enjoying our treasured recipes.
Here we are this afternoon, a group of girly-girls surrounding a mother who had 4 wonderful sons!