I may not like to share my makeup (eww…germs!) or my personal space while traveling, but I have never understood the nonsense of keeping a recipe secret. Recipes are meant to be shared, passed on and cherished. One of the Christmas traditions I started as an adult is to share a recipe along with the Christmas cards I send each year. While this is only the third time I have shared a recipe, this is the first year I will share a handwritten recipe. While it may take me forever to write them all out, I love the personalized touch it gives each recipe card.
Some of my best memories of my great-grandmother and grandmother are not necessarily of when they were living, since I was pretty young with both of them passed. My favorite memories are pouring over their handwritten recipes — hastily scrawled, food stained and occasionally more of a shopping list than an actual recipe. I love the connection I feel when revisiting what could have been their favorite recipe or thinking about them enjoying their time in the kitchen. I love perfecting that shopping list and after countless attempts walking away with a bonafide recipe, that my dad will remark “tastes just like my grandma’s/mom’s.”
My love of cooking partially stems from the connection I feel to my grandma through the recipes she passed down to me, so my hope is that by sharing these treasured family recipes that others will make their own memories in the kitchen. If you wish to incorporate this Christmas tradition into your holiday celebrations, here are a few tips:
- Test the recipe several times. It is best to have an idea of what recipe you would like to use a handful of months before you send out your cards, that way you have plenty of time to make the recipe over and over.
- Write out the recipe (word-for-word) that you will include with your Christmas card. Then recipe test that recipe to ensure that it makes sense, for example, this year I miswrote a word on my initial recipe card and did not catch the mistake until I was in the kitchen.
- For family and friends who live nearby, I encourage you to bake a batch of cookies and hand deliver the cookies with the cards, especially those who you may have not seen for awhile or elderly members of your family who are not able to get out of their homes as much as they would like.