Did you have a scrapbook as a child? I did. In the pages of mine are ticket stubs to U2 and Depeche Mode concerts, photos from church camp, and dried corsages from high school homecoming dances. I don’t know if kids today keep scrapbooks (at least the paper kind) but I’m so thankful for mine. It’s like a roadmap through my childhood.
I feel a similar way about my recipe book.
I can certainly appreciate the clean efficiency of Pinterest. With Pinterest, there is nothing cluttering up your counter, no bits of paper sticking out at random angles, no drips of oil smearing the handwriting. But I’ll take my old-school recipe book over my Pinterest boards any day of the week. Because my recipe book tells a story of my life.
There are the recipes I remember making with my mom when I was a little girl: Thumbprint Cookies for Christmas, Texas Sheet Cake with cooked chocolate frosting, No-Bake Cookies with heaps of old-fashioned oats.
The recipe for my grandmother’s pierogies, which I still hold out hope of mastering someday.
The recipe for spaghetti sauce I cut from a magazine when my boyfriend and I moved in together and were learning to cook.
The recipes for Parsley Pasta, Tortilla Soup, and Better Than Sex Cake given to me by friends and relatives at my bridal shower when that boyfriend became my husband.
The recipe for Chicken Pot Pie that a dear friend’s mother brought us when we were nervous new parents. And the recipe for Chocolate Chip Pie a neighbor delivered when we had our second child–when a pie full of eggs, butter, and chocolate was just the comfort we needed in the throes of colic.
In this book, I see my mother’s precise penmanship and a sorority sister’s cool, loopy cursive. I see myself sitting at friends’ kitchen tables in Jacksonville, Denver, and Alexandria, jotting down recipes for Peanut Sauce or Icebox Oatmeal Cookies or some other wonderful food they’d just fed me. I see pages dusted with flour and smudged with birthday cake batter. I see recipes I’ll pass on to my kids when they go off into the world.
And that’s way beyond Pinterest. That’s priceless.