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A Son-in-Law Discovers the Holy Grail of Mother-in-Law Recipes

Akash Ghai

For years, NPR’s Marc Silver has been trying to keep the memory of his mother-in-law alive by cooking up her old recipes on holidays. But this was no easy task, as many of Jan Dale’s recipes seemed to have died with her in 2005. That is, until Marc found her spiral-bound cookbook. The book was filled with notes and marginalia in Jan’s perfect 1950s handwriting. Still the book often asked more questions than it solved, leaving Marc to wonder which version of the recipe his mother in law would have preferred. Through trial-and-error, and by asking a lot of wise old women, he was able to reconstruct delicious versions of old family favorites.

You can find Jan’s recipe for Jan’s Mandelbread on the NPR website, here.