I’ve been cleaning out my guest room/library. Donating about 500 books. Combining my cookbooks and my sister’s. Maybe one day I won’t know which was hers and which was mine.
I also found her collection of pages torn out of magazines and recipes that she printed out. Most from Food TV. The hope chest of serious home cooks. I looked through them yesterday, scanning for her handwriting. Wanting to find the things she made. She left a binder with her “real” recipes, which might or might not be real. She had a way of keeping secrets. Ingredients that she wouldn’t share because she wanted to be the best at making the recipe.
These were different. They never made it to her stable. They were the things that caught her eye. Things she wanted to make for her friends, for my parents, for me, for Michael. Some things stood out to me. Lemon. Blueberry. Zucchini. Gnocchi. (Come on, Sis, you don’t need a recipe for GNOCCHI. We have it in our muscle memory.)
I have one of these too. Although it gets smaller each year, rather than larger, because now I have bookmarks. I’m cooking more, but I print only when it’s a keeper, usually with handwritten notes.
I should make one of her recipes. The volcano cakes from Cook’s Illustrated that she actually asked me to make for her. I remember the recipe. It’s in my collection of strays. I didn’t get to make it for her, and for that, I’m relieved, because it’s fiddley in the way that I hate.
I should make one of these recipes, I think. Maybe a few. Not the conch fritters. Those were her special loves. Maybe the lemon blueberry muffins, except I have frozen blackberries that I’m anxious to use. Is it all right to change? Is it all right to move on?