Sunday, November 13, 2011


I moved Mom out of her house one year ago.  Time flies, even if you're not having fun.

Another task on the procrastination pile, was to go through Mom's cook books and recipe cards. It turned out that it wasn't as hard to do as I had anticipated.  Her beautiful handwriting, spoke to me, a part of her that is gone, her artistry, her clarity.

If I kept the cards would it help to "keep" my mother? No, of course not.  But throwing them away, one by one, seemed so mean. Mom, can't we bake these cookies, together, one more time?

My Mother's mother died when she was young, she never had her own mother's recipes. I think the new step-mother threw them all away. It was always a sore spot for her, because her mom was a great cook.

So when I grew-up and left home, I was keenly aware that I should grab the family recipes while I had a chance. My collection has always included the family favorites and as I found out last night, Mom's recipe card collection included some from my repertoire. As I already had all her best recipes, what was the point of saving any of these cards? I kept about six, the most favorite from my childhood, soiled and stained, bent and smudged cards, with Mom's beautiful handwriting.

What I didn't expect to find in this huge pile of cookbooks and cards was Mom's aunt's recipe notebook. It is a collection of little slips of paper: lists of ingredients with no titles, no directions, no temperatures, nor time. This aunt, like her sisters, were all reported to be excellent cooks.  Who knows what I will find in there when I read through that book. Maybe the recipes for her legendary banana cake or historic holiday leg of lamb.

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