Carolee's Herb Farm

Carolee's Herb Farm

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Musings ...

There’s no sign at all of spring as I sit surrounded by snow-covered ground, frosted trees, and long icicles hanging from the eaves.  However,  my mind is filled with thoughts of leaf buds bursting, crocus shoots pushing through the ground, and hatching butterflies.  I love the beauty of winter, but I can’t wait for the energy of Spring.  It is such a positive, creative, reassuring time of year.  It’s much easier to feel  optimistic about everything in Spring.  World events, politics, health issues, finances, relationships and energy levels all seem so much more manageable in Spring than they were in Winter!

I do love to cook and bake more in the winter, and my waistline shows it!  I always promise myself it will return to “normal” once I’m back in the garden.  Too bad “normal” seems to increase slightly each year.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to enjoy “comfort flowers” instead of “comfort food” when I feel stressed.

However, it is difficult to give up family favorites like Gma’s caramel bread pudding, Ruth’s butterscotch cookies, Aunt Anna’s egg yolk sponge cake, Gma Miller’s chocolate bars, and Aunt Martha’s strawberry pie.  I have an old book with recipes written in their handwriting. It’s getting dog-eared and stained, but I won’t part with it because many of the contributors have passed away.  The recipes in it are all family favorites.  It has inspired me to begin a new project.

This year, I’m going to create a Heritage Cookbook/Scrapbook.  Using modern scrapbooking techniques, I’ll take new photos, or find old photos of each person and their culinary creation.  Then I’ll mount them on a page with the recipe in their handwriting.  I’ll add a few graphics pertaining to their personality, along with little notes in the margins.  Little personal comments like specific brands of ingredients they insist on using, or the price of a pound of butter when grandma was a girl will make each page unique.  Great-Grandma Miller’s page will note that  she always served her special potato salad in the orange carnival glass bowl.  We still use it for that same dish today at family gatherings.  This should be a fun project at family reunions and parties.  Then, years from now, when my great-granddaughters and I make Gma’s chocolate bars, they can see the lovely lady who gave me the recipe.  I can make copies for each new bride, and each new grandaughter over the years.  And, they can add their own pages with recipes from treasured friends and family.

I wish I had done the same thing with many of the plants in my garden.  I could fill a scrapbook with photos of lovely people who have given me lovely plants over the years. It would be something to look at, and something to help me remember all the gardens & gardeners in my history.

An elderly friend once advised me to “live your life full, so you’ll have lots of wonderful memories to review when you’re sitting in the home”.  I don’t trust my memory already!  I think I’d better make a lot of scrapbooks because I plan on living the rest of my life “real full”!