After a few weeks hiatus my thoughts are returning to the garden, although the bitter cold of January still makes it nicer to be indoors than out for at least a few more days. And in the meantime?
I have always enjoyed cooking and began collecting recipes at about the age of ten. Keeping up with my favorite recipes has always been a challenge. No sooner do I have them organized than the kitchen drawer begins overflowing afresh with newspaper or magazine clippings and hand-jotted instructions from friends for various tasty delights. This must sound familiar?
As the new year began I picked up a project again that I had set aside many times before. Two of my sisters have birthdays in January and this is the year I finally persisted to create a book for them of some special recipes and recollections about food and mealtimes we shared growing up together.
I had already typed up the recipes and written most of the chapter introductions. Even so, it took about ten days to organize them, get the layout ready to get printed and proof; seven days later I had the books in hand. Three days later I was able to present the books, part recipes and part memoir, to my sisters and my daughter. They all seem pleased. I told my sisters if they remembered things differently, they must write their own memoirs.
To illustrate the book I used photographs from the garden, featuring many pass-along plants from our relatives to complement the passed-down family recipes. Hydrangea, everlasting sweet pea, day lily, iris, woodland phlox and views of the meditation garden are some of the pictures included.
For appetizers and salads I used an image of peach-colored Appleblossom Achillea.
For desserts I chose the luscious, creamy and fragrant gardenia.
It was time-consuming, but so satisfying to create this book. Recipes are piling up again though.
After this winter diversion now I am almost ready to get back out into the garden. Where are those warm days?