My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Thursday, October 30, 2014

THURSDAY'S TREASURE - The 1993 Flemming Family Cookbook

I love October! I love the cooler weather, the changing leaves, decorating the yard for Halloween and celebrating my birthday. One special thing I really look forward to doing each year is baking Pumpkin Bread - eating it as well as sharing it with friends and family. It wasn't something I grew up with - we were strictly homemade Banana Bread people. But that all changed 21 years ago.
My copy of The Flemming Family Cookbook

In the summer of 1993 I organized a Flemming Family Reunion in Birmingham, Alabama. [Click here to see more - 1993 Flemming Family Reunion post] It wasn't the first one ever held, but it was my first to plan. And part of the event included each family receiving a very special family cookbook that I had published, comprised only of special recipes from members of our extended Flemming Family. Each adult was asked to send in 5 recipes that were special to their own families, so that for generations forward families could still prepare the dish exactly as their grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers had prepared it. There are even recipes in the book sent in by some fathers and grandfathers.

And one of the recipes that I have made every year - especially in the fall - is "Pumpkin Bread", found on page 43 in the "Bread" chapter.  It was sent in by Jane Hale Flemming (1919-2003), wife of Joseph Lambert Flemming (1918-1985). [One of Jane & Joe's daughters-in-law sent in the same recipe for the "Holiday Specialties" chapter.] Joe is the son Charles Clinton Flemming (1884-1935) and Katherine Aurelia Lambert (1885-1935); his grandparents, Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932) and Elizabeth Agnes McCaffrey (1858-1922), are my great-great-grandparents. [NOTE: His father Charles is the younger brother of my great-grandfather Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955), making Joe a first cousin of my grandmother Susie Flemming O'Donnell (1909-1999).]

But this recipe for Pumpkin Bread is Jane's recipe, one she made for her own family - including her six children and thirteen grandchildren. I don't know where she got it, or how for how many years she made the bread, but I'm so glad she did. It is THE BEST - full of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves. It makes the house smell wonderful and the flavor is amazing! It's now part of my family's tradition.

My Much Used Pumpkin Bread Recipe, page 43
For the past ten years or so I began adding chocolate chips to half or all of my recipe before I bake the loaves (the recipe makes two). My middle child made the suggestion after coming home from a school Thanksgiving party proclaiming he had eaten "the best pumpkin muffins." Knowing that he had to be wrong I questioned further and found that he thought the pumpkin part wasn't as good but it had chocolate chips baked inside. So now I often add them to the recipe. I also bake the recipe into muffins and share them, if we haven't already eaten them all.

This is only one of the 297 recipes inside the cookbook. It includes recipes from many family members who are now deceased, including my grandmother, her sisters, and many of her cousins. There are recipes from the next generation younger than them, as well as from my own generation.  Included are recipes for "9 Day Slaw" from Rita Obering Flemming (1923-1994); "Oyster Pie" from Margaret Flemming Selman (1920-2013); "Pecan Pralines" from OD Flemming Daly (1911-1994); "Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes" from Mike Flemming Millican (1910-2003), and "White Wine Sauce" from Jack Flemming (1918-2008) and his wife Georgia Rice Flemming (1918-2005). I haven't tried one recipe yet that isn't yummy.

At the time I had the book professionally printed I was the mother of one child, just one-year-old. Now I've got 3 kids, the youngest a senior in high school. And I've got a cookbook saved for each of them, for when they set up their own homes. I think it's a wonderful family treasure that countless families have enjoyed, and can enjoy for years to come. If you don't have one for you to use, or for your children or grandchildren, I have good news....

**FOR SALE** A couple of years ago I had a second printing of the cookbook made, so that other generations - many who were too little to have their own book twenty years ago, some who weren't even born yet - can have their own copies to use and enjoy. I will be putting some of the books up for sale on E-bay for the next couple of weeks for anyone who may want a copy. Just type in "1993 Flemming Family Cookbook". The cost is just $18.95, plus shipping. On E-bay you can charge the book or books. If you want to buy one and would rather deal with me directly you can contact me by email or Facebook.  ***FAMILY MEMBERS ONLY*** It will make a great gift for the holidays, or to include in a wedding/shower gift.  I only have 26 copies left.  If you want one, don't hesitate to order your copy today. I won't be making any new copies anytime soon.

P.S. - Enjoy the Pumpkin Bread!