Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Organizing Memories

My wonderful Grandma passed away in 2007. She was so full of love that thinking about her always brings a fond memory to mind and a bit of a heavy feeling in your heart from missing her.

However, Grandma was also plotting trouble. I know this because I have been tasked with organizing this trouble.

You see, Grandma could cook.

Not like how everyone's grandma cooks well. She was GOOD.

Every once in a while, I'll be walking somewhere, catch a whiff of SOMETHING, and it just TAKES OVER.*

"Brain no function on task. Must get food."

These scents that remind me of her great food, cooked with love, have this way of stopping me dead in my tracks.

Anyway, her recipes are those you want to treasure, document, learn, and make every Sunday. Like any good chef, she had flexibility. She worked from a variety of source materials to make her traditional and new creations: cookbooks, recipe cards, squares of recipes scraps ripped from magazines, video tapes of celebrity chefs' creations, and good, ol'-fashioned memory.

It is now my duty to finally buckle down and organize all the recipes. This means I must look through every single page, including those I believe were put there to sabotage the whole project (i.e., the handwritten, very faded and frequently illegible notes that are also apparently recipes).

As I begin this task, sometimes I think Grandma knew I would never be able to read every item. "Is this a recipe for gravy or the directions to the mechanic?" Looking at a relatively new 3X5 with very faded writing I wondered, "Was she trying to hold the pencil two feet away from the note card while writing, slipped, and accidentally got some words on there? Was she trying to write it from the underside? Why is it so faded?!"

Some don't even have measurements, just random ingredients taunting you. I bet Grandma was thinking, "Ha! Just try to guess how much ricotta to put in that cheesecake!"

Alas, I guess that isn't too bad, really. Most of the recipes will make their way into a family "cookbook," and some will just forever be associated with her memory and the sneak-attack aromas.

How should I do all of these memories justice? I mentioned a family "cookbook," but I'm honestly not sure how to best organize everything. Do I do it scrapbook style? Take it into Kinkos? Something fancier? All thoughts are appreciated!

*You know how serious I am because of the prevalence of all caps.

No comments:

Post a Comment