Those who don’t know better call it “flyover country”. It’s one of the last places I know of that still has honesty-box roadside produce stands. I was raised a Midwesterner in California.

Over the holidays, Grandpa showed me Effie Bradley’s daily memoranda. Effie was his grandma on his mother’s side, so my great-great grandmother. I asked if Effie was short for anything, he wasn’t sure. It may have been Euphemia, but maybe Effie wasn’t a nickname.

The relative that typed up the memoranda was June Bradley Piper, Grandpa’s double cousin. Double cousins are related via both parents (two brothers partnering with two sisters). I’d never heard of that before. I think June was named after Grandpa’s paternal grandfather June Piper. I didn’t know June was used as a male name. Via Wikipedia: “As a boy’s name, June reached a peak in 1922 at 697th, but then also declined and left the top 1000 list in 1939.”

Read Effie Bradley’s January 1902 memoranda

Grandma Piper’s Sugar Cookies

The best & easy
Bake @ 375°F (190°C) 8 min

Cream:

  • 1 c (226 g) butter
  • 1 c (200 g) granulated sugar

Beat in:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ t vanilla

Add:

  • ½ t baking powder
  • 1 c (120 g) wheat flour
  • 1 ½ c (188 g) white flour

Use 3 trays. Make a fat rope. Pinch off pieces on to trays. Flatten each 3x by dipping ⅓c measure into sugar in ½c measure. Cool cookies on newspaper.


The recipe above was written by hand in to a community cookbook she gave me in 2001. It retains her original wording and formatting, though I have added gram and Celsius conversions.

We miss you so much.

Grandma Piper’s Blueberry Muffins

Photo of Grandma Piper's blueberry muffin recipe

Grandma Piper’s recipe in the First Presbyterian Church of La Grange Really Cooks, given to me by my grandparents for Christmas when I was 13

My Grandma Piper’s blueberry muffins. There have never been better. These keep for a good few days in an airtight container but are definitely best eaten fresh from the oven, split and spread with a little butter.

The original recipe is in USA cups, and I’ve tried to provide metric conversions below using Delia’s charts for reference. Ignore the conversions written in the actual photo, those were pulled from a less reliable source.

I almost always use frozen blueberries since they’re cheaper and available year-round. If using frozen berries, soak them briefly in water and then drain to remove the excess ice crystals.

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