So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
I enjoy cooking and baking but days get busy and at times I feel like I get stuck in a rut making the same dinners and desserts over and over. I have no shortage of recipes. I have plenty of recipes in my head, I have stacks of cookbooks in my cupboard, I find interesting recipes in the weekly cooking column in the newspaper and l have my personal collection of cards in my recipe box. Although I like to try new recipes there is a different kind of satisfaction that comes from following a tried and true family recipe. As the holidays approach I find myself thinking more of traditions and family favorites. The other day I noticed my recipe box on the counter bulging so that the lid barely closed. I sat down with my recipe box thinking I might sort and remove a few recipes so I could get the lid to shut properly. As I searched through my box I got lost in time. I found handwritten recipes by precious friends and family members. It was like walking down memory lane as I saw the writing and thought of each person for just a moment. I pictured them in their kitchen gathering the ingredients to make the dish. I thought of them sitting down, pen in hand to share the recipe with me. It brought a smile to my face. Times are changing and I wonder if recipe boxes are becoming a thing of the past. If we want to make something these days we can just google it or go to pinterest for ideas. The internet is a quick and easy way to find what you want but it does not compare to following the instructions on a handwritten recipe given by a loved one. I treasure my handwritten recipe cards. I have cards from my early baking days when my mother shared tips and wisdom in her directions to my young baker-self. I have cards with funny sayings, little inside jokes between the recipe writer and myself. I have recipes that contain family twists on traditional goodies and notes on cards that say things like: “Our old standby”, “Dad’s favorite” or “This won me a blue ribbon at a 4H demonstration”. I have cards written by my grandmother, mother, mother in law, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends from every phase of my life. Some of my cards are in perfect shape while others are tattered and fading. Some look unused but the favorites are splattered from butter, flour and fingerprints. No matter what shape it’s in, holding a recipe card that is handwritten by a loved one is a true treasure. It’s a little bridge to the past and a connection to a loved one Even though I know I will never make some of these recipes I can’t throw a single card away. My box will stay stuffed and the lid won’t close but who cares? I’m thankful for my recipe box – my little box of love!
Reflection and Photo by Marge McCoy