I came across this article yesterday and it really made me stop and think.
In “The Rise and Fall of the Recipe Cards”, writer Katie Arnold-Ratliff shares that after her great-grandmother passed away her mother requested only one item because of its rich history and sentiment, her old recipe file.
She wrote that “Tucked inside the file were photos and notes, mementos from a life that encompassed a long marriage and two continents and children who had gone on to have their own children… It was spattered with grease stains and marked with thumbprints, and the crabbed hand in which it was written had visibly deteriorated between the first recipe and the last.”
Yet another example of how life’s memories, family, and recipes go hand in hand.
My family has our infamous candy cane cookie recipe, and while it may not be the most glamorous or win any blue ribbons, it did win me a fancy Santa Claus spatula at my friend Tabatha’s cookie exchange last year for most festive story. Growing up, every Christmas the food coloring would be pulled out for its annual appearance and we would compete to see who could roll the best cane… mom always won (and kicked us out of the contest, 25 years and counting). Food coloring spatters and all, that recipe I want on a card.
And when I look over to Harrison’s family for storied recipes, watch out. After all, his mom practically founded her catering business on her signature dishes. One of which includes her unbelievable Smithfield Ham pumpkin muffins which to this day we’re convinced upstaged us both after being served at our wedding reception. Buttery fingerprints and all, that recipe I want on a card.
After we started this blog, we fell in love with having a place to keep our storied recipes and create our own traditions, like this one. But now more than ever I want to make sure we seize opportunities to collect those handwritten cards that carry a legacy for our two families that have now become one. Yaya’s canning tips… Papoo’s biscuits… Papa’s blueberry pancakes… we’re coming for you.
I hope this inspires you to do the same. What recipes do you want on a card?
Until we swap stories again,
A + H
Cool Contest Alert: Slate Magazine is asking readers to submit scanned copies of original, handwritten holiday recipes that have been passed through at least two generations. Submissions due this Sunday, December 18th and they’ll be publishing a few in a slideshow next week. Check out the article for more details.