Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Than a Recipe Book...

Buche de Noel may be the traditional dessert here, but in this house it's all about Christmas cookies. And that got me looking at my mom's recipe book. It was a bittersweet moment, since I lost my mother a few years ago. As I paged through on my quest for one of my favorites, the Spritz cookie recipe, I thought about how much a recipe book tells us about a person. 

One look at Mom's book shows you just how much she loved desserts. Although her book is separated into sections for appetizers, fish, meat and desserts, somehow, desserts managed to take over every section and then some. I smiled as I saw the two pages in the meat section and the hundreds as soon as I got to the cookies. Papers with recipes jotted down stick out from the front and back of the book. They came from acquaintances from faraway places, colleagues, cooking shows and her own mother. A mix of cultures and traditions that is a reflection of Mom's interest in the world around her. 

This book is in fact much more than a recipe book. It is a connection to my mother and who she was. My five-year-old daughter, as if sensing the importance, asked me questions about the grandma she never was able to meet, and to my delight, seemed interested in this quirky jumble of papers pressed together in a binder. So I told her about recipes we made for particular occasions and shared stories of some of Mom's favorites. And then we made our Christmas cookies, extending this much-loved tradition to another generation. (And my husband joined in, managing the ever-troublesome cookie press so the cookies look as they do above and not like the blobs I would have created!)

And now I'm thinking... There are probably so many other belongings we have from our loved ones that carry stories beyond the obvious. We just have to take the time to sit back and remember. 


  1. Like you, I find personal collections of recipes especially evocative. I have those my mother collected , and she has some from generations unknown to me. I even have recipes for boot blacking...and ink....

    1. It's such a piece of history! I love these sorts of things. Thanks for stopping by!