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By Small and Simple Things

I love old recipe books - how the women used words like lard and sugar with such abandon. You find recipes on how to pickle your cucumbers or cook brain (yes, not a typo) side by side with a recipe for raisin frosting. Raisin frosting? Why hasn’t Betty Crocker put that into a can by now?

I enjoy working through the worn pages that serve a family and their needs well. My cookbooks are full of family memories - some meals went very well, and some sparked a rebellion. I cherish the recipes my friends have shared with me over the years and the recipes I have shared.

The recipes are as different as the people who gave them to me. Some are healthy, and some are not. (But well worth the cheat.) Some are easy, and some are not. Some were freely given, and others required a sacred vow never to share the recipe with anyone else.

The funniest time I shared a recipe was before we moved from Texas. The packers had come and I was in my kitchen working in a maze of boxes. There was a knock on my door from one of my neighbors. I was surprised to see her as she had never been one to come inside and visit, and I was so touched that she wanted to say goodbye. She asked a few awkward questions as we stood amongst the boxes and finally revealed what she had come for.

“Do you think I could have that cookie recipe you use every Christmas when you bring us goodies?”

“Do you think I could have that cookie recipe you use every Christmas when you bring us goodies?” I started to laugh. I went to my box of cookbooks, pulled one out, and my neighbor took a picture of the recipe. That day, we did more real bonding over a recipe than in the years we lived next door to each other. 

I love the old recipe books for the women who once owned them and have left their memories on the worn-out pages - complete with food stains and crucial tips in the margins.

This talk of recipes may seem like a small thing, yet they have had such a profound impact on my life. Very often, our greatest blessings come out of simple things—blessings of friendship, service, love, and acceptance.

We get so busy with all the noise and BIG things of life that we sometimes miss the things that mean the most—the things that can have a profound and long-lasting impact, and they are often among the simplest things.

I am happy to send you any of the recipes discussed in this article.


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