In my English Gingerbread Cake post I mentioned my grandmother's lemon sauce, which she always (at least as I remember it) served with gingerbread. Nicola remarked on it and that inspired me to get down the box of recipe books I have from Grandmonther and start looking.
Grandmother Lee kept clippings and hand-written recipes garnered from other people, and she organized these by pasting them into blank spaces in cookbooks (the flyleaves, any empty half pages, you name it) and sometimes into school notebooks. There's no organization to the recipes pasted into the cookbook--the first copy of a "lemon sauce" recipe I came across is handwritten on a page opposite another handwritten recipe for ham and cheese souffles.
1 cup sugar
1 tbs flour
1 cup water
That's all it says, other than "Ruth", who was one of her sisters and perhaps the source of the recipe. This is written into a blank page of Holland's Cook Book by Mrs. V.E. Turner, copyright 1923 by the Texas Farm and Ranch Publishing Co. Eleventh edition, 1936. Grandmother was born in 1896, if I recall correctly, and my mother was born in 1924, so this cookbook was purchased after she'd been been keeping house for quite a while.
Another lemon sauce recipe showed up in a spiral bound school notebook of handwritten recipes and clippings. It was also handwritten:
1 cup sugar
1 tbs flour
1 lemon + rind
1 cup water
2 tbs butter
Cook together until thick.
OK, pretty consistent, and this one has a measurement for the butter. I think I'll give this one a try next time I bake gingerbread. There's also a recipe for "Lemon Cheese" on the same page, which has more lemon juice and flour, but no water. No cooking instructions on that one. Googling, I see lemon cheese is a firmer spread, even thicker than lemon curd. I recall the lemon sauce as thin enough to pour pretty easily.
Incidentally, I saw no recipes for gingerbread other than the ones printed in the Holland cookbook. I'm afraid whatever recipe Grandmother used is now lost to time, as there's no one left to ask. It's even vaguely possible she used a boxed mix by the time I was in college and driving out to have lunch with her (read: have her cook lunch for me). Memory says no, though--she wasn't a gourmet cook, but she usually cooked from scratch. I think.
I also found another version of my Great-Aunt Fan's peppermint pie in Grandmother Lee's notes in the Holland's cookbook. Aunt Fan was my father's aunt (Grandmother Lee was my mother's mother), so this was cross-family-pollination of recipes. I now have 3 versions of the peppermint pie: one in my recipe box in my own juvenile hand, one in a recent cookbook of recipes from the restaurant Aunt Fan ran for a few years, and this one. We've decided to try to make this pie for Christmas, so I'll have to decide exactly what set of amounts and instructions to follow. If I hit a snag, I'll call my cousin Joy--I think she makes the peppermint pie every year. I don't think I've tried it since my high school days.
Oh, and there's my other grandmother's "nut cake", which she made as my father's birthday cake when he was a child. It used only egg whites, and with his early December birthday she could use the yolks in her fruitcakes and the whites in this nut cake. The only time I tried it, the cake was pretty dry and unremarkable in taste, though my father said at the time that the taste was what he remembered.