Before I left Winnipeg, I had to dispose of a storage unit full of memories. Some of my most treasured possessions included a collection of cookbooks that I had accumulated over more than three decades. I had them all organized on my bookshelves by category. I can still picture my thirty-five chocolate cookbooks, my vintage section and the other hundreds of volumes. In a way, they defined my life as well as my various careers, as many were discovered in my travels or in flea markets and auctions in later years. My children had given me some over the years, and these were the ones that were most difficult to part with.
I also had a collection of hand-written cards of my mother’s recipes. I was delighted when my daughter eagerly agreed to take these. She had always been very close with my mother and I know that these recipes in my mother’s handwriting were incredibly special to her.
I decided to compile a cookbook with all my children’s favorite recipes. I spent days poring through books and hours putting them all on my computer. When completed I put them on USBs and gave them to my kids.
One of my favorite past-times was cooking and baking. Unfortunately the kitchens in Mexico leave a lot to be desired, and I haven’t had the opportunity to practice my culinary skills to any great degree. But now I am back in the USA, and am totally overwhelmed by finding all the staples that are so readily available here and so scarce in Mexico. I never thought I’d be so excited to see Cool Whip or Crisco again!
Today I was browsing through recipes like a kid in a candy store. I’m planning on doing some baking and it’s a real dilemma to decide what to make first. Along with the remembrance of these delicious treats also comes a flood of memories. My son used to call chocolate chip cookies “chewy gooeys” when he was little. I recall the night our puppy jumped up on the table and consumed I’m not sure how many eggnog cookies before they had a chance to be put in the oven to bake. My daughter became a chef at one point in her life and made the most delicious appetizers and tantalizing desserts. And of course there were all the special dishes I used to make when we celebrated holidays and birthdays. And there are also the memories of those who sat around the table with us and are no longer in our lives.
“Food glorious food” – a quote from Oliver.
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – a quote from George Bernard Shaw.