Recipes are meant to be shared. Recipes are guides to something that leads to a possible outcome. What that outcome may be is dependent upon what goes into the "recipe." Makes sense right?
This is a photograph of a recipe for a very homey Greek dish I grew up on called Vudalikia. Vudalikia is made with any type of ground meat you like, rice, herbs of your choosing and either broth or tomato sauce (or both) and peas. It's total YUM! Oh YES! There is one more "ingredient" in the recipe for Vudalikia; can you guess? Yep. You guessed it! Love.
Love is the single most important ingredient in any recipe. Love is in the gathering, organizing and making of food. The best food is made with love. Have you ever noticed how a slice of buttered toast tastes like the best slice of buttered toast, ever, when someone makes it for you, with love? They gathered the bread, got organized enough to arrange it in the toaster, get a plate and knife, butter it and then, brought it to you. That's love. It's a little thing right? I know. But, it's love just the same and I will take a little love where ever and when ever it comes my way, thank you.
The most special thing about the above recipe is it was made by two people I love very dearly, my husband, Russell and my mother, Ellen. Russell made the wooden cutting board and my mother, wrote the recipe on it so I could do a terrible job later burning the recipe into the wood. You see, my mother has severe osteoarthritis so she endured a lot of pain to write out this recipe (there's one on the back too.) It took several days. She worked on it a little at a time. Then, I used a wood burner (badly) to burn it into the wood for all time. (It took me a long time too since arthritis runs in the family.) She made one for each of our daughters too but I haven't burned those in yet. I know, my mother wrote out this recipe with love and it hangs on the wall in our kitchen so I can see it every day...
When our girls were little, I made each of them a hand written cookbook they could use when they grew up. Each of their books is different since each girl has different favorite foods. To this day, they still ask me to add this or that "recipe" to their books. It's nice to share recipes since recipes are like passing down bits of family legacy. Anyway, each girl is on their second or third book. I've added hand written recipes from various important women in their lives too like both grandmothers, aunts and so forth until the books are bulging. Every so often they thumb through their books and ask for a specific recipe to be added.
Most of us don't have recipes from our family, we have stories. Stories of dishes served at parties or holidays but no record of how to recapture the taste of the dish or meal. That is why a recipe comes in handy. A recipe is a record of a dish or meal that can be shared. I don't have recipes from my great grandparents but I have my mother's stories and taste memories. She and I have worked on recreating family recipes over the years and the time we spent together is as treasured as the records we kept of the dishes we made. A recipe is more than just a guide to a possible outcome. A recipe is the sharing of a little bit of me with a little bit of you.
Do you keep and share recipes? Please share any creative ideas for recipe keeping and sharing in the comments section.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor