Each week before heading to the grocery store, I plan a menu for the week to come. I sit down, think through my recipes, think through our schedule of weekly events and plan the meals accordingly. Over Christmas, I received several new cook books. So last week when I planned this week's meals, I skimmed the pages in my new Paula Deen cookbook and two of my Rachel Ray cookbooks. But the cookbook where I seem to always find the best recipes happens to be my own cookbook. When my Great Grandmother died, my Mom found a book among her many cookbooks that was empty. It was a little book that said "Treasured Recipes". Inside were blank pages with space to fill in your own recipes. My Mom saved it for almost five years and gave it to me at one of my Bridal showers. It's priceless! Not just because it was my Great Grandmother's but priceless because of all the recipes I have written inside for the past five years. The pages are full and this precious little book is over flowing with pieces of paper I have stuck inside with more recipes. Each time I pull out this priceless treasure, I think about how my daughter will have this book someday. I think about all the different women that have poured into my life and shared not only their hearts but their recipes. Some recipes I don't use very much. Some recipes I only use for a special occasion, some I use every other week and some I have only made once and may never make again. But, no matter how often I use a particular recipe or how often I don't, I just can't throw any of them away.
As I look at each recipe that I have been given, I see a name. I make sure to mark every single recipe I receive with a name so I will always remember who gave it to me. My Lasagna recipe is from a very Godly woman who mentored me and loved me through very difficult times. She is no longer in my life, but her recipe reminds me of how precious she was and how well she cooked. My Rum Cake recipe is from a very special friend who helped me through some very difficult times. I was living with her family when I met Jeremy. I have known her since I was one year old. Her Rum Cake recipe brought great success in my baking business, just as her love brought healing to my life. Another recipe I love, one I will make tonight, Chicken Crescent Rolls. This recipe came from a friend that I still talk to. We now live forty miles apart and don't see each other very much but her friendship has brought joy to me in so many ways. Her recipes I cherish. These women shared their lives with me and they gave me more than a recipe for dinner, they gave me recipes for life.
Then there are the recipes I don't really use. I have almost thrown these recipes away. Some of these come from women that have hurt me or destroyed my confidence. Why would I ever want to use their recipe? When I look at their recipe card, my mind goes back to the event, my heart remembers the pain. Maybe I should just throw their recipe away. At one time, their ingredients brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Even though they are no longer a part of my journey, their recipe was a part of my life. So, I keep it.
Who knows, someday I may need what they once gave.
Oh how I love to get new recipes! I love meeting women who are good cooks because I get their recipes! I love the older women, who have tried their recipes many different ways. Through the years they have added this or added that and now they know what works and what doesn't. Even now, I now of a few ladies in my church I would like some recipes from. Maybe I can learn something new. Maybe I can learn a new way to prepare my meals. Maybe I can learn how to serve my recipes in the most perfect way. Maybe I can receive their precious ingredients to add to my journey. I am always needing a new dish!
Father, help me to trust again and open my heart to new recipes.