About this site

The basic idea here is to rescue recipe boxes from estate sales (or anywhere else) and preserve as much of what’s there as possible. The secondary goal is to tag and categorize these recipes to get a better sense of American cooking and its regional variations.

Not to get too metaphysical, but recipe cards are a particular art form all their own. And recipe boxes are cultivated gardens of this art. People would spend their entire lives with the box in the cupboard or even on the counter, sometimes pass it down through their children, and yet, these boxes increasingly are ending up at estate sales. Worse yet, most of the buyers just want the box and throw out the contents.

Recipe boxes from estate sales are orphans and they need and deserve to be loved.


Q: Can I submit recipes to Yesterdish?

Absolutely, and I’d love to have the help. Use the form below to contact me so we can talk about it.

A few quick things about submitting to Yesterdish:

  • If you want to scan the recipes yourself, high-quality color scans of original recipes are required. (By “original,” I mean having their origin in your family’s recipe box–not “a creative work without precedent.”) Remember, the recipes are supposed to be legible in the image, within the bounds of handwriting. Please also transcribe the recipes, if you can.
  • I may not be able to post everything. Although we don’t typically think of them in this way, copyright law does apply to the contents of recipe boxes. I’m capable of navigating those waters on my end, but I’m not your lawyer and don’t represent you in terms of figuring out those obligations on your end. That said, in order to figure out the copyright status of the recipes, I’m going to need to ask you some basic questions, like “who wrote this,” and “do you have any idea when,” and “did they show anybody else?”
  • If you don’t have the ability to scan the recipes yourself, we can work something out where you mail the recipes to me and I mail them back, but obviously, that makes me nervous. The mail system is good, but not perfect, after all.

Questions? Comments? Okay, here:

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