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The Yard Sale

by Diannek


A while back I stopped at a yard sale. It wasn't your usual sale. A whole houseful of stuff was spread out on the lawn. Somebody's grandmother had died and it looked like all of her worldly goods were up for a quick sale. 

I moseyed around and found the oddest things, a box of lace hankies that probably had never been used, just tucked away in a drawer with a little sachet. They were all so pretty I couldn't resist them. There was a little teapot just crying for a new home. I picked it up too. Then I spied a broken down shoe box that was packed full of recipes torn from old magazines and written on backs of envelopes. I had to have those.

When I found the person in charge of the sale, I asked him if it was his grandmother who had died. "No," he told me. He didn't know the previous owner, he had purchased the house as-is, and everything that was in it. He was just trying to get rid of her junk. I felt even worse figuring some little old lady had died and nobody cared enough to take her things.

He was surprised that I wanted the hankies and the recipes. He said to just take them for nothing. I gave him $5 for the teapot and went sadly on my way. 

But the recipes amused me for a long time. I sorted them and read them over. Most of them were familiar enough. The little old lady loved sweets, especially breads. I think I found at least twelve recipes for prune bread. (Don't laugh--Santa Clara Valley used to be simply littered with prune orchards.) It's just like banana bread, only with prunes instead of bananas, so I won't put up the recipe. She also loved jello recipes. You know the ones -- all the fruit floated into various flavored jello. And she loved stuff with creamed cheese in it. Most of her recipes were that kind of food we don't eat much anymore, but it was fun looking at them anyhow.

I've chosen two of her favorites to share with you. I can tell she made them often because they had stains on them. One is called Fresh Apple Cake. It was quite popular about 15 years ago but I have sort of forgotten about it, even though it was very good. The other one is for Coffee Cake. Does anybody ever eat coffee cake anymore? Think of all the little old grannies out there as you enjoy these recipes. And then pick up the phone and call your grandmother, if you still are lucky enough to have one!


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