Every writer has a list of projects he or she would like to start, or complete. My actual list seems endless, but this is my top priority, the project I’d like to be working on in 2013-2014.
Mama’s Recipe Box
My mother passed away about 15 years ago. My sister, who lives closer to my parents’ home than I do, packed up Mama’s things and gave me several boxes. In the boxes were some yarn and unfinished crochet projects Mama had been working on when her mind and memory failed. There were letters I had written to her when my husband, children, and I moved 300 miles away. There was a scrapbook I started when I was bedfast following spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis, and in that scrapbook were the letters Mama wrote to me when I was in Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in San Francisco in 1968. One letter for every day of the 6 weeks I was away from home. Also in one of the boxes of my mother’s things was her recipe box. It was stuffed so full, the lid wouldn’t close. Mama was a clipper, and about half of the recipes were clippings from magazines and newspapers. The rest were recipes in her handwriting, or were written by her friends.
It was years after she died before I could read the letters she’d written me, or look at the recipes. The loss was too sharp, too painful. But when I finally did look at those things, her writing brought her back so clearly to me. Mama’s Recipe Box will be a memoir as well as a collection of recipes my mother loved. Mama loved to cook for family, friends, and her church, and many of her recipes were gathered from the ladies of her church. Church potlucks were a regular affair, and recipe exchnges were common. There are some wonderful recipes waiting in that old metal boxto be shared . And I know I’ll be hearing Mama’s voice in my head as I write about her and the food she loved.