Recipe of Love

Monster Cookies. I had fantasized about making them for years. So long I don’t even remember where I experienced them or received the recipe. A big, thick, hearty cookie with mixed flavors and textures; M & Ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal to name a few. I wondered where that recipe was. As the wind gusted like an old man sighing outside the door, I imagined it to be a lot colder than it actually was, increasing my mood for baking. I found myself sorting through my piles of recipes collected over the years and stashed away for a day such as this one.
My creativity seemed to be at a pause, lately, and I had spent the weekend cleaning where I didn’t normally clean and organizing things that had been left unorganized. It felt good to be getting these chores done. I grabbed the stack of papers that I had stuffed behind the cookbooks and recipe box on the shelf and began to leaf through them. Yes, I thought, I should organize these, and while I am doing so, I will find that Monster Cookie recipe.
Flipping through the pages, reading ingredients and directions, I was salivating like a hound dog watching someone eating a steak. Each recipe sounded better than the last. I began to sort them into piles. Recipes I didn’t think I’d ever make. Recipes I would make someday. Recipes I wanted to make soon. I know it doesn’t sound like the traditional way to sort recipes, by food group or by parts of the meal, but it worked for me.
I remembered a folder I had made for recipes I had been given and had previously made and started going through those recipes, as well. As I went through each one, I realized that each recipe evoked a memory. Some were photocopies of handwritten recipe cards. Others were handwritten on scraps of paper or notepads. I was saddened by the lack of signatures or names on these recipes. I said aloud, “I wish these people would have put their names on these before they gave them to me!”
Some handwriting was recognizable, like the handwriting on the sugar cookie recipe from my mother-in-law. Some were recognizable by the recipe. The main thing I realized was that these recipes, given to me by caring, sharing people in my life, were like little pieces of that person – like a fingerprint. My mother-in-law had written a few ingredients, then over to the side were a couple little lines pointing to the word, “CREAM.” I smiled. Her personality was shining through those letters.
I realized, as I continued to sort, that each handwritten recipe showed each person’s personality. My grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal bars listed the ingredients in random order, and she states, “salt to taste,” and I wondered if she tasted her batter, which I would never do for fear of salmonella poisoning; something not so prominent in her day.
Going through my recipe collection left me feeling loved and warm. Like a family photo album, I treasured the faces and the memories of good times that were represented there.
I eventually found the Monster Cookie recipe, handwritten by me on a piece of brown notepad paper with an advertisement of a printing company at the top. Reading the ingredients, I remembered why I have never made it. 12 eggs, 3 lbs. of peanut butter, 18 cups of oatmeal…..well, you get the point. Maybe I’ll cut it in half. Even if I don’t make it at all, though, I found a sweet treasure in my pile of recipes.


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