June 5, 2012

Miss Mary Riva

I went to a yard sale a couple of summers ago and it was nearing the end of it. You know, the time when they want to get rid of everything so they don't have to look at it again. Amongst the stuff was a box with cookbooks and recipes in it...I snatched it up for $1.00. When I got it home I realized it was the prize recipes of one "Mary Riva'. I knew the name Riva as there are tons of them in the area I live so I started researching her. One night, while working in the restaurant, some Riva's came in and I asked about her. Boy did I get a wonderful earful. She is still alive, and she LOVED to bake. I am honored to have her recipe book.

She wrote her name across the top of many pages in this booklet.





Got to love a women with a recipe for "Brandy made with Grappa"
The is an intricate recipe that takes up 3 pages of handwritten notes.

On another note, I have taken a new job which will have me away from home much more.  While caring for my dad during his illness, I found that although it was sad and difficult to watch him struggle, I enjoyed making him comfortable and getting him to eat and making his life happier when I could. I have taken a job caring for an 87 year old gentleman and his 85 year old wife. In just one week I have gotten some of the most sage advice of my life. I am completely smitten with the two of them and almost fell off my chair when the gentleman said he sewed and had a Necchi in the other room. It could not make me happier hearing stories from their lives in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. They celebrated their 61st Anniversary on Sat and might just be as cute as the day they were married.


  1. It sounds like you will really enjoy your new job, how wonderful!

  2. All of those look so tasty! My Girlfriend picked up a Mrs "Mary Russ's" 1955 Betty Crocker cookbook (which she fondly calls the 'The Bible') Im glad these ladies work will not go by the wayside.

  3. and you have become that angel we have been praying for....I am able to breathe easier knowing what wonderful care they are getting. Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3 Marie

  4. I loved reading about the recipe books, how interesting to find out that she is still alive, I wonder why she gave the books away?
    Reading about your new job brought a lump to my throat, I think it is wonderful that you are caring for such a lovely old couple, and it sounds like the relationship is good for you all. You are doing something very special.

  5. Your red plastic canister set is very nice. From the 1940s through at least the 1960s, several companies made those relatively inexpensive plastic canister sets and sold them via ads in the classified sections of women's magazines. Usually the only difference between the plastic canister sets made by the various companies was the design of the knobs on the white lids. When I was a kid in the 1950s my maternal-grandmother had a four-canister yellow set that she had mail-ordered in the early 1950s. However, a neighbor had an identical yellow set but her set had five canisters instead of just four. I do not now recall what the fifth canister was labeled.


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


Related Posts with Thumbnails