Tell me if this sounds familiar...I have a few friends who, upon being asked for their recipe for "such and such" amazing thing they served me, brightly respond with "I don't use recipes, I just toss in what I think looks right." I think to myself "that's great...good for you. Now can you please just come up with a list of ingredients and basic instructions so I can make it again!? Sheesh!"
I find it downright frustrating, to say the least. I adore recipes! I like being able to search for something new and explore what might be out of my comfort zone. I get such joy from not only talking about and sharing the dishes with my friends, but giving them the tools for recreating them on their own as well. I treasure my cookbooks like some do their first childhood comics or a beloved chapter book. I read and reread my favorites, admiring the glossy photos and making notations in the margins of my own changes or substitutions. Every Christmas and birthday I ask for a handful of new ones I may have come across. Then I spend the next eleven months trying to make as many of the newfound recipes as I can before a new cookbook crosses my path and gets added to the wish list.
I especially love looking at my spattered note cards, with the penned words from my mother and her sister, my grandmother and her sisters. I feel so grounded standing at the kitchen counter with our young sons beside me on chairs, as they watch me read from the words of our loved ones, making the meals they once shared with everyone around their table. I hope it inspires them to look at cards I'll give them when they graduate high school and move into their first college apartment. When they see those recipe cards I want them to remember the times we spent side by side...smiling and taste-testing.
I was asked recently by my husband, if our house were in a fire, the kids were safe and we were able to grab ONE item, what would it be? I really didn't have an answer. Maybe some photos, but everything is backed up in "the cloud" somewhere and on digital memory so not even those. Honestly, though, my heart would be broken if anything were to happen to those precious, handwritten recipes.
I can recall a number of occasions where my mom would say she wished she had her grandmother's recipe for Raspberry Pie. It's sad to know another memory of the woman I never got to meet has unnecessarily passed on with her. So, I encourage those of you out there who don't see a need for handwritten cards or keep most of your recipes bookmarked on a digital database, to write a few special ones out for future generations. It's like a handwritten hug to your children.