These recipes represent a time long ago - before Grandma was in an assisted living home and had her meals prepared for her every day. It's been too many years to count since she's cooked, let alone hosted. For a woman whose life revolved around providing the meals for her children and grandchildren, I can only imagine the adjustment that must have been for her in her old age. She would host every holiday and Sunday, always with tables full of the most delicious food.
Now, granted, much of what I know about my grandma's cooking and hosting is from the memories shared by my older cousins. My mom is the youngest of my grandma's eight children, all of whom had many children of their own. Needless to say, I am part of a very large family, and am at the tail end of it at that. About the time my memories begin, my grandparents were already long retired and living abroad on service missions for our church.
I think maybe that is why these recipe cards feel like such a treasure. They are something tangible from my grandma's life - a phase of her life during which she touched and influenced so many lives. Even I, who have very few one on one memories with her, feel her influence in my life to this day. The recipes represent the value she placed on her family, a family of which I'm a part. In an age where recipes are google-able by the dozen, it's truly amazing to find one that was special to someone who is special to me. Corners bent, chocolate smudges, notes-in-the-margins and all, these are a part of my family history, and I love my Grandma for it.
So... what was my project, you ask? Well, I decided to send them out to my family. I knew there were others who would feel the same way I did about them. The hard part was deciding how to go about doing it. My main concern was functionality. I didn't want it to be just one more cookbook that you store on your dusty shelves. I wanted the recipes to be useable. I think Grandma would like that. I ultimately decided to compile two documents to share. The first is a PDF of all the recipes scanned, so as to preserve and share her handwriting. The second is a Word file, a digital record of each recipe. This way everyone can easily incorporate the recipes into their own recipe-keeping methods.
Have any of you done similar projects with your family's recipes? How did you go about doing it? Have you liked the results?