Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My mother once gave me a cookbook.  I can't remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas, or for some other reason.  It was a 3 ring binder - the smaller kind you can't get now - and she had laboriously copied all the "family recipes" into it, complete with illustrations and some comments. 

It's grown quite a bit since then, and it's stuffed full of loose papers, disorganized (somewhat) and there are snippets and scraps that have hastily scribbled recipes on them -

There is stuff in there that isn't even food related - like an invitation my daughter Meg made us for a "poetry reading" - I think it was in 1st grade...

I wonder if this was when Meg started showing signs of writing talent:
I love you & you love me
We all love each other like poetry loves us! & like a be <sic>
And in case you were wondering what holiday plants are poisonous for pets and small children- wonder no more:

There's notes from when I was a vegetarian -

And of course, who could forget that recipe for "Saj's Indian Curry" *swooooon* Each time I look at that recipe, I have to smile, because even though it was *mumbles* years ago, reading it brings back a ton of memories - the HUGE crush I had on him - how I just knew we would be a perfect match, (except he didn't) that if there was only some way to get my letter to him he'd feel it too the minute he opened it and read the first line.  I'm laughing as I type this now :).  I used to be GLUED to that TV set - I didn't miss an episode of "Maya".  Who cares that Jay North was on it?  From that crush I developed my love for Indian food that persists to this day. 

There's a recipe for the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I loved as a kid. 

There's a recipe for my grandmother's bread that she made at least three times a week.  I honestly don't remember eating anything else at her house BUT mamusaia.  There's a recipe for the first torte I ever "created".  There's a recipe for my mother's molasses bars which I make every Christmas (except this one!) that I absolutely love.  I should make them more often - they're good for you, but somehow I just associate them only with Christmas.  Perhaps another blog entry.  There's a recipe for "Friendship bread" starter - if you've never been subjected to the "Friendship Bread" craze of the early 90s, you are truly blessed.  I had the stuff coming out of my ears.  The premise was, you give a friend a loaf of bread AND a cup of starter - they make their OWN bread, and pass the starter on to their friends...In fact, I would not be surprised to find some starter that you could trace back to the 80s.
Maybe some day I'll rehabilitate my cookbook - I bought a new notebook specifically for that purpose

- but it almost seems sacrilegious to transfer the recipes and organize the disarray I have in there now (yet I always seem to know whether to look in the front pile of loose recipes or the back if I am looking for something specific.

Maybe someday I'll get around to it - maybe I won't because the cookbook isn't just a cookbook - it's filled with memories - recipes from old friends, from family, from my mind and various stages in my life (there is actually a recipe in there for a Chocolate pie made with Ritz crackers, chocolate syrup and whipped cream I am ashamed to admit!)   Mostly every snippet of paper or newspaper clipping in there has been tried and deemed worthy of "The Cookbook"  The ones that didn't make it were relegated to a separate binder that pretty much collects dust.  I have even more recipes to add now, but no room.  Maybe I'll have to sift through them, get ruthless, and make some space.  But how do you throw out memories?  How do you choose which to discard and which to keep?  I don't know if I can do that.  Each recipe, especially those I received from people I knew, conjures up an image of them in my mind each time I see it.  On occasion I'll get more - a fleeting cutscene, a short vignette, or sometimes even a whole movie (that's when the housework doesn't get done).  I don't want to lose those tokens of remembrance.  Perhaps I'll just have to put up with the clutter :)


  1. AAWWWW this is adorable. it's 5 in the morning and i'm 21 and a littttlee not sober but i can still see how cute this is.

    you need to be a pro blogger, mrs.tucker!!!

  2. LOL need more readers first :-) Ah well, like Owen says "The cream rises to the top"...and I say "but I can't wait that long". Typical.