In Food, Recipes

Today’s post comes from a long time friend, and new Full of Days contributor, Tammy. An avid gardener, beloved mama, and proud wife, Tammy embodies all the romantic ideals of “tradition” in her everyday life. Many of her recipes, gardening tricks and kitchen hacks are “old school” and come from her grandma, who learned from her grandma and now, Tammy’s agreed to share this wisdom with us. Always a learner, Tammy also likes figuring out the “why’s” behind why her grandmas did the things they did, and always makes sure it’s safe and appropriate for today! I hope you enjoy her insight, recipes and approach to living a joy-FILLED life as we do! Without further ado…Tammy! – Kelsey


hen most people think of family heirlooms, antique dressers, fine jewelry, and pocket watches pass through their minds.  When I think of family heirlooms, I think of recipes, smells of freshly baked goodies, time spent in the kitchen; the sound of my dad’s voice as he called the cows into the barn, or the smell of fresh cut hay, tractors driving around the field and grandpa’s overalls. Growing up in rural North Idaho, with my grandparents as neighbors, I learned to live with in my means, and spend quality time with those you love.  I am doing my best to pass these traditions on to my kids.  My family heirlooms are the knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

Today, my youngest son and I spent time in the kitchen baking a treasured family recipe.  Lemon bars.  Micah, the youngest child, is 6 and he is a great helper in the kitchen.   The lemon bar recipe comes from cookbook that my classmates and I made in the first or second grade.  Each student chose their favorite recipe and our school secretary typed up the recipes, yes on a manual typewriter.  Then each of us drew a picture that was copied and inserted in between the recipes, we colored the pictures and made a construction paper cover.  These cookbooks were a mother’s day gift for each of our moms.  A treasure, a family heirloom.  My all-time favorite recipe is the lemon bar recipe, chosen by my life-long friend Tiki.  We grew up ¼ mile away from each other, our families each nestled on their own acreage in North Idaho.  Tiki and I grew up in each-others homes, playing, baking, doing chores.  I loved spending time with her and her mama. We baked this lemon bar recipe many times and I can still hear her Mama’s voice, “Tammy, don’t add the flour all at once, it will cause lumps.  Go slow with the flour and whisk fast, like this.” Memories of voices, gentle hands taking mine in hers, and the smile on her kind face.

Let’s make some joyful memories of our own!


1 cup Butter
2 cups Flour
½ cup Powdered Sugar*
4 Eggs from the chicken coop
4 Tbs. Organic Lemon Juice
2 cups Organic Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder

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Kerrygold Butter
Organic Flour
Powdered Sugar
Organic Lemon Juice
Organic Sugar
Baking Powder

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Pasture Butter
Organic Flour
Powdered Sugar
Pastured Eggs
Organic Lemon Juice
Organic Sugar
Baking Powder

* Did you know you can make your own powdered sugar? Put 1 cup raw organic sugar into your dry canister on your Vitamix, blend on 6 or 7 using the pulse option until powdery. PRESTO! Powdered sugar!

To Make: Thanks to Tiki Olson for this recipe! Heat oven to 350℉ and butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  

Step 1: Mix the flour with room temp butter and powdered sugar. Micah and I like to use forks for mixing, because it leaves more room for two hands.

Step 2: After the flour, butter and powdered sugar are mixed well, pat into the buttered baking dish. Bake in heated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until almost done. Remove from oven and set aside.

Step 3: Mix eggs, lemon juice and sugar together until fluffy; put the baking powder in with the 6 tablespoons of flour and slowly add the flour to the egg mixture. Remember, “not too much flour too fast, or it will cause lumps.”

Step 4: Pour the egg mixture over the baked crust.

Step 5: Bake at 350℉ for 25 minutes more.

Step 6: Remove from oven, let cool and sprinkle with that homemade powdered sugar.

Step 7: Cut into bars, enjoy and share with a neighbor!

Micah and I enjoyed our time in the kitchen together this afternoon.  He is quickly becoming a pro at cracking eggs, he practices every day when he cracks the egg in the dog’s dinner meal (spoiled dog with farm fresh eggs).

Family heirlooms, memories, time spent in the kitchen whisking in flour, watching little hands crack eggs, bringing joy to this mama’s heart.  

Make your own family heirlooms, pass on knowledge, recipes, and time.  Live a life full of joy today!

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    Colleen Mitchell

    Wonderful recipe Tam! I love you and can smell the Lemon Bars right now!

    • Tammy Kralik
      Tammy Kralik

      Thank you my dear friend! I hope you make some lemon bars with the guys. Do you have your mom’s cookbook that we made?

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