ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Dusty Hudgins found the “Our Favorite Recipes” Abilene ISD cookbook among his mother’s belongings after she passed. His mother Florice Hudgins was a cafeteria worker at many Abilene schools throughout the 60s and 70s. When he first posted online about the book in August, it garnered some heavy attention.
“The hardest part of this puzzle has been finding out anything about this organization,” says Hudgins.
The Abilene School Food Service Association was the only information printed on the book that gave any idea of its origin. Hudgins says little information could be found on the organization.
“A couple of mentions in the newspaper but that’s about it. And the most recent one was in the 80s,” Hudgins says.
Thanks to his hours of research and help from those online, Hudgins was able to find the original publisher and order reprints of this decades old Abilene relic. And according to Hudgins, the publisher paid exceptional attention to detail.
“The original book was stained on the cover. When I got the reprint I thought, ‘OK, they’re trying to imitate the original stains on the book. They did a good job,” says Hudgins.
A feeling shared by those that have already ordered a copy.
“They love it, they can’t wait to try out some of the recipes,” says Hudgins.
He hopes that others with a connection to the book, like he has through his mother, will be able to revisit those sweet memories.
“If you could give this to someone for Christmas and say, ‘Mom, open it up to page 47 and there’s that peach cobbler that your mother used to make,” said Hudgins.
And maybe share those sweet memories with a new generation.
“I think kids these days will look at these recipes and wonder what lard is or what is accent?” says Hudgins.
At $20 a book, Hudgins says he is donating all proceeds to Love and Care Ministries Care Packs for Kiddos program, which feeds area school kids on weekends and holidays. For Hudgins, it’s a continuation of his mother’s mission to feed Abilene kids.
“My mother doesn’t have any recipes in here, but I did dedicate the printing to her in the front of the book. She was a great cook and a better mother,” Hudgins says.
To purchase contact Dusty Hudgins on Facebook or by Email at Dustyhudgins@gmail.com. Hudgins said that during research he came across another version of the cookbook that was released in the 1980s. He has said that if this run goes well, he may be looking at reprinting that version for sale also.