Monday, March 05, 2012

Family Cookbook

I saw this bucket list pin on Pinterest and I could say, "I did that!"

My mother has been in poor health for several years.  She has always been the historian and cookbook of the family.  Because of her (and my dad's) medical bills, they are always looking for low-cost, but meaningful gifts for their family members.
After making the same meals for my husband over and over again, I decided I needed to be able to cook like Mom.  I asked her to type up all of the family recipes she could think of for me to refer to.  I wanted to have her skills for Christmas!  Well, she sat down and wrote them all out on a yellow legal pad along with a few stories that she relates to the recipes that have been passed down through her mother and grandmother.
Right after she got the recipes on paper, Dad went through some healthy trials and ended up losing his legs.  The house had to be renovated to fit his wheel chair and that meant everything was packed up in a hurry to make room for the contractor.  The recipes were stuck in a box somewhere and Mom had no idea where.  Needless to say, I didn't get the recipes for Christmas last year.
Fast forward to late last summer.  I get back in the country from a mission trip to find out that Mom is in the hospital.  Her doctor informed us that she is in stage 4 heart failure.  He placed her in hospice care.  This doesn't mean he has stamped an expiration date on her forehead.  She could be with us for several more years, God willing.  It just means that there is nothing else they can do medically to treat her heart.  It will not be cured and the effects of the heart disease cannot be reversed.
Once we got Mom home and came to accept that this is where she is in life, we decided to get some things organized.  She wanted to go through pictures, make sure all important papers were in order, and feel at peace in her home.  During this organizing, we found the recipes!!!   We also found some from my Dad's mother and some of Dad's recipes too. Mom didn't feel that she could type them all up or even get them to a printer to have copies made for my siblings and me.  I took the recipes and told her I would take care of it.
A few weeks before Christmas, there was a Groupon offer for a product called Picaboo.  The offer was for cookbooks!!! I bought the Groupon that would allow me to create 3 books (I have 2 siblings) for the cost of one.  It was perfect!
I thought about typing the recipes and even cooking each dish to get a picture of them to put on each page, but it didn't seem right.  Here I had the words my Mom's hand had written that I know I will cherish when she's not here.  I couldn't bear to type her words and throw the papers away.  So, I took pictures of each recipe (with my iPhone), loaded them on my computer, and voila!  I have a cookbook! I love it and I think my brother and sister do too.

Recipes in Maw-maw's handwriting

My hope is that these books will be handed down to future generations.  These recipes bring back so many fond memories! I can't wait to make more memories with these dishes in my own home.

Let me encourage you - don't wait until somebody is gone to try to capture their memories and their perspective on your own memories.  I'm so blessed to have the chance to really appreciate what Mom has to share with me. There's nothing like your mommy!

No comments: