Last August we sadly said ‘Ciao Ciao’ to our dear friend and babysitter, Amy, as she headed to Florence for her freshman year abroad. (Of course we had to send her off with a journal and international air mail in hand!)
Over the past seven months we’ve written letters, received postcards from her travels, emailed and skyped with Amy. She’s even blogged about her adventures overseas. But when we really miss her, we make her family’s hummus.
It was a sticky July afternoon when Amy stopped by with not only some rockin’ homemade hummus but a handwritten recipe attached. A girl after my own heart. So last week when Ollie and I were wishing she was close by we decided to break out the chickpeas and feel a little more connected with our far-off friend.
In the midst of the lemon juice and garlic scraps lay Amy’s handwriting. It was almost as if a little part of her spirit was right there with us. And it made me think of all the other recipes I’ve held on to from friends and family which I’ve saved over the years, written with their own writing.
Often after I enjoy a meal at my mother-in-law’s, Sally will mail the recipe of the dish she made especially if one of the boys ate it up as well. Her Smoked Salmon Frittata has become one of my faves. Her writing is always simple yet lovely, a teacher’s touch.
Speaking of homemade hummus, my childhood friend Theresa, who now lives in Des Moines, makes everything she can from scratch. So, of course, after she brought this appetizer for a girl’s weekend up north I asked her to send me the recipe…If not for future making, it’s a memory of our time. I have flashbacks of grade school notes whenever I see her writing which has not changed one bit.
And there is always the annual Holiday Baking with my mom. The sugar cookie recipe has been used for years now and although we probably know it by heart, every December I thumb through my recipe folder to find mom’s handwritten recipe. It wouldn’t be a baking marathon without it somewhere in the middle of the mess on the kitchen island.
All of this talk about handwritten recipe cards got me thinking. Why not send your Aunt who makes an unforgettable flourless chocolate cake a recipe card in the mail so she can share her baking secrets? Or your friend from college who made the wacky spice mix to sprinkle on popcorn? Not only will you accumulate some tasty recipes but you will also hold a keepsake to treasure for years to come. Every time you make that dish you will be reminded of the person behind the words however far they may be from your kitchen island. Although I print off many email recipes sent from friends, the handwritten ones bring an emotional level to each dish we create in our home.
P.S. Miss you Amy. Love your hummus (we added olives this go around, Oliver’s fav).