Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: COOKBOOK

Bobbie, cooking
(from a page in the scrapbook-
cookbook I gave her in 2005)
For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?
In January I wrote about: apron, bar, basketball, bed, bicycle, birthday, boat, broom, button, cake, car.

Here are February's prompts: chair, chlorine, church, concert, cookbook, couch, dancing, desk, dessert, dining room table, diploma.


While the primary cooks in my life during childhood were my mom and my Grandma Dykes, I probably learned the most about cooking from my mother-in-law. She loved cooking – and eating – the holiday feasts. But she was very much the a-little-of-this, a little-of-that kind of cook, seldom using a written recipe. So one year I shadowed her through the Thanksgiving meal preparations. I wrote down how much and what. From that I created a cookbook-scrapbook for her that contained recipes from her early marriage (she learned to cook using the classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook) on up to the present-day. I included family photographs in the book, and also comments from family members about certain dishes. She loved it! And now, after more than a decade since her death, I still pull out her cookbook to make the recipes she brought into our lives. 

So: for anyone out there reading this who enjoys a loved-one's cooking, maybe shadow them through a meal? They will love the attention, and you will be so glad you took the time!


  1. What a sweet thing you did for your mother-in-law, Irene. It must be lovely to have that cookbook now & think of her as you cook. My class made a cookbook for our school one year, interviewing each staff member for a recipe & the story behind it. It was a wonderful collection. Thanks for sharing this special memory.

  2. Bobbie sounds like my kind of woman Lake has been fussing... Granny how do you make--- a little of this and a pinch of that


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