When Laurie announced her wedding engagement, Rosanne (her future mother-in-law) immediately began deliberating about a special gift to give Laurie at her bridal shower. Perhaps crystal candle sticks, silver goblets or a personalized photo frame?
Maybe something practical like a food processor? All of these gifts would have been wonderful and certainly much appreciated by the bride.
Rosanne, however, wanted to create a way the women on her family tree could be a part of this gift to Laurie — quite the conundrum since this collection of mothers, aunts, grandmothers and great-grandmothers have left the physical earth.
But these remarkable Midwestern ladies remained in Rosanne’s memories and she was determined that they be an integral part of her gift to Laurie.
At the same time, Rosanne had begun gathering recipes to put into a family cookbook. As she realized the recipes for this cookbook were all from these great women in the family, the idea came together.
Rosanne would create a cookbook of recipes from all the women in the family. This compilation of recipes, handed down through generations of women, would be her expression of love through a family tradition of recipes.
Aptly titled, “Cherished Memories,” not only are her ancestor’s recipes included, the cookbook features a photograph of each woman at Laurie’s age, as well as a photo of the woman taken in her later years, and a brief biographical sketch of each woman.
Thumbing through the book, I’m reminded of the colorful and fragrant links on a daisy chain, threading the fascinating stories of these women together, most of whose lives began in the 1800’s.
‘Tis the season for weddings and graduations, so I selected a recipe from the cookbook that would be ideal served at a celebratory brunch. Local strawberries are beginning to find their way into local groceries and Farmer’s Markets. Rosanne suggests serving the dish with a fruit salsa, so I concocted a simple Strawberry Salsa to serve with the Peach Puff. Bellinis, which are peach and champagne cocktails, would be the perfect accompanying festive beverage.
“Everyone loves this dish and it’s a forgiving recipe,” Rosanne said. “Once I forgot to put the flour in it, pulled it out of the oven, stirred the flour in and it was still beautiful and delicious.”
“Laurie will never know my son’s great-grandmother, grandmother or aunts,” continued Rosanne. “This cookbook unites those women of the past and welcomes new women into the fold.”
Family Cookbook Nuts & Bolts: There are many ways to make a bound collection of your own family recipes. On the internet, two self-publishing companies with specific recipe templat formats are Morris Cookbooks, Blurb.com and Shutterfly also offers cookbook templats. I am familiar each company’s work and they all do an excellent job. Rosanne’s husband, Mac, however, turned the book from a conception to a reality. He inputted the information using “PageMaker” and had Kinkos print and bind the book, which included a plastic cover.