There are those individuals when asked to share a recipe who willingly hand over a copy of what ever recipe enticed and delighted the taster’s taste buds. However, others flat out refuse to share the requested recipe for whatever the reason. The most common comes with a snicker claiming it be the family’s secret recipe, therefore not to be shared. Why is that? Isn’t that the whole point of cooking to share an experience?
Most households have at least one tried and true recipe that frequents the table yet every now and again I run across those determined to take recipes to their grave, many actually succeed and what a shame, a disappointment for the survivors. After all, passing down recipes keeps the legacy, the traditions of friendships and relatives alive, reminding us of experiences long forgotten or childhood memories; even more so when the keeper of a particular recipe eventually makes way to God’s heavenly kingdom. Those varying recipes are one way to remember and honor when the survivor can carry on in the making of what was prepared, delighting the tastebuds of family and friends year after year by our ancestors.
In this post I share a 'secret' family recipe not because one has died, heavens no, Aunt Lucy is very much alive, well and enjoying life. Every time I bake a batch of Aunt Lucy’s Date and Nut cookies, when one indulges, the recipe is requested with a raised eyebrow, a smile and a shaking of the head in approval because they are that good. That leads to its history, from whence the recipe came to be. The conversation always stirs my wonderful childhood and well into adulthood Christmas memories. Enough so, peeking ones’ curiosity asking to hear the stories of long ago. With hesitation not to share due to the conflicting story behind the recipe, after much thought and consideration I decided there is too much happiness that surrounds the recipe not to. Happy memories should be shared and those that initiated that happiness should be recognized.
Now you may be wondering how I got hold of Aunt Lucy’s secret family recipe after countless and continued years of denied access with each request. So much so I gave up on ever tasting that delightful cookie ever again. Many other countless years later, a discovery was made and the reason I have been able to once again enjoy the cookies from childhood past that had stopped arriving at my doorstep in the late 90’s.
It pays to keep the faith and patiently wait. Several years after, while shuffling and sorting through the discolored and withered papers inside a cabinet my mom (Aunt Lucy’s sister) and I found, handwritten on the backside of a very faded and very dated pizza box top the recipe for Aunt Lucy’s Date and Nut cookies. Despite our shared excitement immediately being assaulted we could do no more then find the blessing within.
It is unfortunate when the choice to hold tight to past grievances rather then allowing the happiness and joy of days gone by to continue onward. Even more unfortunate when memory fades and distorts causing animosity. However, we do not let the ugliness out weight the beauty of the past. Thus the very reason why happy recipe memories should be shared and those that initiated that happiness should be recognized for the gift they give. Thank goodness for papered documentation because we now have one of Aunt Lucy’s delicious cookie recipes that continues to delight the tastebuds to this day all while bringing the same joy and happy memorable thoughts of a dear Aunt. Thanks Aunt Lucy.
What secret family recipe have you documented, to share and enjoy among family and friends?