An Incomplete Gift

I have had this little booklet for many years, and always planned on posting it. But I had visions of translating it first so I could post the recipes for all to enjoy. Part of my challenge is that I don’t read German. Or speak it. Instead of sitting on this forever and not sharing, I finally have decided to just post what I have, and maybe someone out there can translate it for fun.

The book covers are in rough shape. Whoever had it smoked heavily and I had to keep it inside a ziplock bag from the moment I received it. There really isn’t a way to get the smell out of paper goods, and you can see how yellowed it is from age and nicotine. I placed in the bag a couple dryer sheets, as that had been recommended to me as a way to absorb some of the foul odor.

The pages inside are less yellowed, but damaged all the same. Several of them were falling out of the binding, which was similar to a comb binding. The penmanship is lovely and reminds me of the days when we had to practice our writing in school. You can just see a shadow of a sketched angel on this page, just left of the writing. All the drawings were hand done. These inner pages have a texture to them, you can see horizontal lines in the paper, and each is a slight ridge on the page.

The recipes were written out and then line art and watercolors were added. This was clearly meant to be a Christmas gift for a loved one.

I once reached out to a local school German club, asking for some help with translation. The young lady who answered my ad was eager to do the work, but on the very first recipe she couldn’t move forward. She didn’t understand the measurements or instructions. I gave up after that, since free translation services from a local school, while well intended, might not be the best source.

It seems like an awful lot of text for one recipe!

This might be a recipe for Butter S, based on the little drawings. Maybe pretzels?

I stopped scanning at this point, as even though I had let the book sit for easily two or three months with the dryer sheets, it still smelled terrible and gave me a headache. After touching the pages, the residue left from all the years of cigarette smoke actually left a film on my hands. I put it away and have not taken it back out. I suppose a more determined person would, but right now, the thought of touching and smelling it again are disheartening. There are several more pages with the sweet folk art drawings, some of them incomplete but penciled in. I don’t want these recipes to be lost to the ages, so maybe someday I’ll go back.

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