Speed Reads

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Forgotten cookbook connects community with favorite recipes from the past

From cornbread to barbecue chicken, Dusty Hudgins is shining a light on the recipes once beloved by the cafeteria workers of Abilene, Texas.

Hudgins' late mother, Florice, was one of those workers, serving lunch to kids in the 1960s and 1970s. While looking through her belongings, Hudgins discovered several of her vintage cookbooks, including one titled Our Favorite Recipes by the Abilene School Food Service Association. There were standard recipes that hold up today, such as Southern stuffing, and others that are an acquired taste, like chicken loaf with fruit.

Hudgins told CNN he made a post about the cookbook on the nostalgic Facebook page "Remember in Abilene when..." and "it just kind of blew up." Hudgins got in touch with the company that originally published the book, and they were able to reprint it. He is now selling copies for $20, with all proceeds going to Love and Care Ministries, a group that feeds school children during holidays and on weekends.

The recipes all have a name attached, which makes Our Favorite Recipes all the more special. "I've heard from quite a few people that tell that the recipe was their grandmother's or great aunt," Hudgins said.