Passing Along Plants, Recipes And Memories

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?

Recipes and Memories

Recipes and Memories

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.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow) and Shasta daisy foliage

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) and Shasta daisy foliage

For desserts I chose the luscious, creamy and fragrant gardenia.

Gardenia Blossoms

Gardenia Blossoms

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?

32 thoughts on “Passing Along Plants, Recipes And Memories

  1. Christina

    What a lovely idea. Can you let us into the secret of which company did the book? I’ve been thinking of giving friends a calender using my garden photographs next Christmas but a recipe book is an even better idea.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Christina, I used Blurb.com and downloaded their software BookSmart. They have some recipe templates but I ended up using different templates. Your friends would probably enjoy either the calendar or the book.

      Reply
  2. Julie

    Lovely idea, that must have been such a special and thought provoking book to create and a beautiful gift to give. Organisation and lots of planning must be key too.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Julie. It was certainly meaningful to me to work on the book and yes, it did require a lot of planning. It helped considerably that I’d been typing up a lot of the recipes over several years and had the photographs available from last year.

      Reply
  3. garden98110

    In the Healing Garden, the concept of using terraces, plants, rocks and designs as a memory palace for healing images seemed natural. Each of us who accomplishes something new has taken ‘the leap’. If not for others, certainly for ourselves. It is as easy to imagine mid-air that one has not looked sufficiently prior to leaping. Thanks very much for your reference to a memory garden. The next leap, combining a memory garden with a meal, is genius. Thank you for leaping and sharing for us. – The Healing Garden gardener

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. I agree with your approach and certainly find a garden to be a healing place. Mine is full of plants people have shared and it ties me even closer to the garden. Sharing food is a great way to create nice memories.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Kevin you’ll know when the time is right for you, but I can say it feels nice to finally get it done. I relaxed my expectations a bit to include “everything” and get everything perfect. I set narrower parameters and it just went together after that. Good luck moving forward.

      Reply
  4. Annette

    What a wonderful idea, Susie, and the result looks ever so professional! Who printed it for you and how much did you pay (if I dare ask)? Lovely gift and lucky sisters/daughter 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I appreciate that Annette. I used Blurb.com and downloaded their software BookSmart. Here is their pricing page. It all depends on the options you pick. Since these were gifts I chose some upgrades, but searched around on internet and found 15% coupon.

      Reply
      1. pbmgarden Post author

        I read it on someone else’s blog since Christmas, then looked it up. Had never heard of it before but I was surprised at how many people had already produced their books.

  5. P&B

    A lovely idea for keeping fond memories alive and passing them along to the next generation. I hope this coming cold blast doesn’t do too much damage to your garden, hopefully none at all. Can’t wait to see your gardenias and Ginger lilies blossom this summer.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We had over 60F today and are supposed to get snow tomorrow, but only an inch where I live. I do spot a bit of cold damage but it probably won’t be too bad. Will do my best to have some gardenia and ginger lily flowers to share. Hope you and your bees and garden are managing ok through this cold winter too. Susie

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That’s so nice of you. You know, I thought I was doing something unique but when I went to have this book printed I found thousands of others had published their books already. Nevertheless I am glad I was able to put this together finally. Take care, Susie.

      Reply

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