Friday, February 01, 2008

This Is How Much I Love You

This cookbook is over 20 years old:

It is, hands down, my favorite. Within it's pages are tried and true recipies that have nurtured my family throughout the years. As you can see, it has seen better days. The binding has torn, and pages are flying askew, not to mention, out of order. Stuffed into it's inconsistent numerical order are additional recipie cards, papers, and a multitude of crumbs from recipies gone by:

Yet something else lurks within it's historical pages. A 'something' that might be overlooked, or missed, if one was not aware of the dynamic involved.

It's the presence of love.

Love in the form of handwritten 'notes-to-self' most of them taken while multi-tasking on the phone. A logical record-keeping place in the midst of the hubbub of day to day living.

Love that retains it's position in a home, regardless of the number of 'rearrange the room' sessions, or the number of household moves one takes in the course of a lifetime.

Yes, this is love. A place of warmth and remembrance even though miles separate us.

Yesterday, as I chopped and diced, stirred and baked, I became keenly aware of this love. A way-marker of sorts, of my connection with family.

An old tattered book held my heart gingerly and I fell in love with it all over again.


February's Fantastic Giveaway is Fabulous! Yet another two favorites of mine, ready to be deposited into your life and heart, making an impact of an eternal kind.

First, for you book worms out there (or those who have a loved one who is in need of healing): This book goes beyond an 'instructional manual'. Roger Sapp digs deep into the ministry of Jesus to bring forward many practical truths about healing. Whether you desire to be used in this area, or simply want to remove doubts from your heart and mind, this book is a terriffic addition to your bookshelf!

Secondly, for you music buffs, yet another edition of Andrew Eastmond. (I simply cannot get enough of this guy . . .the acoustic guitar, the Scripture he brings to life . . .delicious!) The album is entitled Secret Place. You'll LOVE it!

In order to be put in the drawing for these two items, please leave a comment, and tell me the most piognant notation listed on the inside of your favorite cookbook.


Beth said...

I love taht you have so many memories wrapped up in your cookbook. My favorite cookbook is the Betty Crocker cookbook. My mom has been through 2 o3 of these as she taught her children to cook...we have wore them out~! Mom got so irritated with us calling all the time for a favorite recipe from the "Red Cookbook" that she bought my older sister & I each our own for Christmas one year and wrote us notes next to our favorite recipes. The book she bought us is not the exact "Red Book" but the recipes that we love are the same. And I found THE copy of the Red book at a used bookstore a few years ago so I can pass my book onto my kids!

Oh Joy! said...

My favorite cook book is not an actual published book. It's a torn and battered black binder that holds all the family recipes, recipe clippings from aged newspapers, and memories. When I was a teen, I tried to buy my mom a new binder for the recipes... she declined... now I truly understand why... the memories are etched in our hearts as we reach for the "book" and lovingly whip up a scrupulous dish.

Dawn said...

I have a copy of "Cheap, Fast Good" that I use more than anything else. There isn't anything too special written inside but I do have all my favorite vegetarian recipes, or recipes that can easily be adapted with meat substitutes and their page numbers written down on the inside front cover. We aren't 100% vegetarian but I've been trying to use meat less often.

Karen/flutter2you said...

Well, though I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that has some awesome recipes, my favorite is not a book, but a recipe BOX!

Grandma F. passed away at Christmas three years ago - (Great-Grandma to Brandon, Jeff, Heather, Reagon, & Danial) and Great-Great Grandma to Brittney and just-a-month-old Ceanna.) Dad gave me her recipe box when they sorted through her things and divided them up.

In that, I have her best loved recipes that bring back so many great memories - for doughnuts (hers were always the best, especially warm! And we loved the little donut holes!) .... along with recipes handed down to her from MY Great-Grandmother. Everything is in Grandma F's handwriting - a beautiful script that barely changed through the years, even though her arthritis got worse.

And, the recipe for her blue ribbon award-winning bread & butter pickles, the flakiest biscuits this side of heaven, and a family favorite of barbecued franks and noodles - oh so yummy!

Her handwriting invokes in me such a feeling of love - she took such good care to be there for us all, and show us how to sew, how to embroider, and how to cook.

The sight of the recipe box is special in and of itself, but having Grandma's handwritten recipes to use helps me to feel that she's cooking and baking right along with me!

Doug said...

I dont have a cookbook! How bout a contest that guys can compete in?

marygrace :-) said...

Most poignant cookbook notation? Hands-down, it's page 68 of my copy of the "Keck Baptist Church Favorite Recipes." That would be the recipe for Banana Split Cake. I was making said cake with a certain 11.5 month old baby girl on my hip in the fall of 1998 when the phone rang. The kitchen counter of our little rental house was covered in graham cracker crumbs and chopped pecans, and that cookbook was open, coated in a fine film of powdered sugar that Jo had delighted in dusting her nose with.

I almost didn't answer the phone. Who answers the phone under such precious circumstances?

But I *did* answer it. On the other end, I heard my grandmother's voice cracking, telling me that my Papaw--the man who called me "Baby," the man who taught me to ride horses, to drink Co-Cola, to tell the truth no matter what the cost--my Papaw had had a stroke. A bad one.

One he wasn't expected to wake up from.

I grabbed a pen, and scribbled down the hospital phone number right there beside the directions for layering bananas and pineapples onto the cake. I didn't even get the whole hospital name out, just "LEX-Cent. Bap."

I remember getting off the phone, leaving the half-made cake where it stood and walking with my baby girl to our front porch. It was a perfect early autumn evening, and a hurricane had blown through just a day before, which left the sky spiraled with wisps of those clean, white clouds that follow a big storm. We settled in to our porch swing, and I cried until my husband came home about a half hour later.

My grandfather *did* wake up from that stroke. But no, he was never the same. The man who let me stick my hand up to bid at cattle auctions, the man who could cuss with a flair that made it seem almost like a delicate art ... he was gone. He left us that day, probably while I was bringing sugar and butter and eggs to a boil.

I've made Banana Split Cake a few times since, and seeing that simple note in the margin of the recipe always gives me pause.

Who knew an old cookbook held so many stories?

Hadias said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. you always say the sweetest things. I am very fond of my cookbook as well. It holds all sorts of memories. I really enjoyed your post on the cookbook.

Joyce said...

I will step back from this contest SINCE I WON LAST TIME (woo hoo!) But would encourage everyone to comment as the CD I got is just great!

I don't know why you think 20 yr old cookbooks are old. I've been married for just shy of 25 yrs.

Maybe it is my perfectionism.... but I don't make notes besides cooking ones in my books. (need I duck & run?)

I'm asking for a cookbook from my mom when she no longer needs it. It was her mom's and is like yours... stuffed with additions and lots of notes. It is a small binder w/ lots of rings and more of a personal book my Gma must have compiled. Makes my heart warm to think about it. I didn't know my Grandma well as she died when I was only 4 y/o.

Tim & Richelle said...

My cookbook isn't nearly so old (yet), but it has lots of memories and lots of laughs - especially as I've made notations of what NOT to substitute in a recipe for which I can't find all the listed ingredients in the city (coming up with the equivalent of a can of creme of mushroom soup is much less of a challenge than figuring out what do you use when there are NO eggs anywhere in the city because bird flu was found less than 50 miles away).

Stains often bring back memories - blue icing from the dolphin theme birthday cake (thankfully someone had mailed a package of raspberry - blue - koolaid), were the big lump in the middle from my poor excuse of an oven that doesn't hold heat or heat evenly became a wave with dophins jumping out of it, but that less than perfect cake sure did bring a smile to one little girl's face.

But at present, my favorite addition is an email that came from a friend just recently. It is not even a recipe I can cook here as it calls for fresh raspberries (my favorite food) and after 8 years of living here, I've never yet found them anywhere in the country. However, we just went back to the States for the Christmas holidays for several weeks. It was a good time, but also stressful: traveling with 7 kids, 12 & under on an over 30 hour in transit voyage, some difficult family situations at home, dmil who is quite sick, several medical appts, etc. - all crammed into a very short time which doesn't include jet lag, cultural adjustments, weather & temperature adjustments, the transition from a world of want to a world of plenty, and just feeling of out step with things that should be so natural and familiar. I arrived home to a "welcome home" email from my dearest fellow missionary friend with a delicious recipe for a raspberry tart, with the assurance of her prayers. And it was not so much her words, but the between the lines message that she cares, that I am still important to her, that she has treasured memories of times we've spent together, that she will be faithful in her prayers during this difficult and stressful time, that she cares enough about little special details (I love raspberries) to remember them and that unlike in many friendships and even family relationships, the miles and circumstances that separate will only help to grow our friendship because it is too valuable to her.

Wendy said...

It is not a notation that touches my heart but the handwriting of my grandmother.

Her favorite recipe written with her own hand. The pages are yellowed and were long ago jotted down on some ordinary lined note pad. A recipe for Granny's Applesauce Cake. A cake she made every Christmas without fail.

Today that recipe and many others she collected are in a little plastic box, circa 1950's. Likely a give away with the purchase of a small appliance.

What an ordinary looking treasure box. Love is what makes it beautiful.

Love makes everything beautiful.

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