Oscar and Eleanor lived on a farm in the valley next to the river. As children we spent many wonderful times with this childless couple. They spoiled us with birthday and holiday gifts. I watched Oscar milk cows and fed them grain. Eleanor let me help her make chocolate cake or bake bread in her wood cook stove.

Eleanor was a great cook. Everyone loved her special pies, warm bread topped with rich, creamy butter, and delectable main dishes. Her recipe books took up a whole shelf in the pantry with overflowing recipe card boxes.

When she died, her husband was so grief stricken that in his pain he destroyed all her recipes. It was not til later he realized her recipes were part of her legacy.

Recipes are a very meaningful gift of legacy to pass forward. Food is the focal point of many family gatherings. A place of sharing, celebration, and even in times of saying goodbye. Remember men of the household also have their specialty recipes that are valuable to be passed on. The way to pass on this legacy is to create a memory recipe book for family and friends. The concept is simple enough.

Gather together the recipes which evoke a special memory. Write a description about the events. Every time my Aunt Alice came to visit or we went to her house she had fresh dinner buns. To this day none of us can make them like she did. She had a special touch and they were better than dessert. Just thinking about the smell of those buns brings fond memories of this Aunt who was fun loving, a great gardener, and full of stories of our family.

Ask some family and friends for their memories around food, and include them as part of the recipe notations. With the technology we have today, you can scan pictures, an original recipe card written in their handwriting or even notes in a recipe book.

Be creative. Remember that recipes are not just in the women’s domain. Many men are great cooks in the kitchen and around the BBQ. Do it together with a family or friend project to give as special gifts. It is a gift when the past can serve to give future generations a legacy of wonderful memories with a recipe that continues to be served around another table of memory generation.

Maralene’s booklet titled “Passing Legacy Forward” will be available at the end of October. It is filled with ideas to create memories. Included are creative ideas for anniversaries, holidays, special events, etc.

(c) Maralene Strom 10/06 All Rights Reserved

Maralene Strom is a speaker and author who teaches on topics dealing with grief and recorvery — let her help you discover your life’s meaning as you journey now and into your future. Visit http://AdventuresInLivingsite.com to receive her newsletter.

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