Feeding people nourishing and pleasant meals is an act of beauty, but somehow that beauty has escaped any sort of expression in the state of my unsightly, disheveled recipe collection. That collection is actually a very precious thing to me -- those recipes are the hooks on which my memory hangs tales of family history and memories of our best times. But from the looks of it, you would never guess that it's something I treasure.
I've wanted to do something about that for a long time, but hadn't quite figured out what. I fiddled around with personal cookbook software, but the printouts looked so impersonal and all the same-same-same. This annoyed me. The metal index card box didn't jive with my penchant for ripping pages out of magazines and printing recipes online. Finally, I tried a 3-ring binder with plastic page protectors and dividers and all that jazz, and I had high hopes for a while. But good grief, the beast has so run amok that you can barely tell it's a binder anymore and we're all afraid to open it for fear of a recipe blizzard.
And now comes the kicker: Fa the Newlywed is suddenly cooking every day. And suddenly she wants my recipes and she wants them often and she wants them fast, because she's a busy busy college student taking 18 hours with a high GPA requirement to maintain her full scholarship... and a husband who is hungry every 2.5 hours.
All of which converged to point me to the solution: 350.
At first this was going to be just an easily accessible place for me to deposit some favorite family recipes for Fa and Beatrice and myself. But as I began typing them up, the project began to take on a personality. It didn't want to just be measurements and directions. It said it needed to be relational, because that's how I came by those recipes in the first place: through my relationships. I told it to hush, I only had time for measurements and directions. It said fine, but it had to wonder if I really believed all that stuff I say about all of life being about the science of relations. Said it thought I knew that nourishment and provision and serving others are all very covenantal and relational sorts of things. That the dinner table is the guardian of family history. That there are stories in my ugly three ring binder that my children really ought to know, stories of ordinary people doing endearing, remarkable, covenantal things with bread knives and grape vines and chicken soup and birthday cakes and dill pickles, stories that I could pass on if I had a mind to. Or, it said, I could just let them fade and be forgotten. Your choice, it said.
So please go check out the beginnings of my quirky, covenantal, relational recipe collection.
I'll be adding to it often, if for no other reason than Fa's husband is usually hungry.