Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Secret Project

Some of you will remember that a few weeks ago, in one of my posts, I mentioned a secret project that my niece, Amy, and I were working on for a Christmas surprise for our family. It all sort of started, I believe, in late summer, when we obtained some recipe boxes that held my mother's recipes. Amy had one box, and I had the other two. I started typing some of them, to make them more readable, and thought I would put them in a book. Then I decided that my sisters (and sister-in-law) would enjoy having them also. And I just happened to find these really cute recipe books online and bought 4 of them.

Then I called Amy. I thought maybe she would have some recipes I would like to include, and she had said she was going to type some of them also. So I asked if she had started typing any of the recipes yet. She said she hadn't started yet, but then she said, "I thought it would be great to put them in a recipe book for everyone". Well, I explained that I had already planned to do that for my sisters, and she sort of insisted that the grand daughters in her generation would love to have them also.

We agreed to do this, keeping it a secret from everyone else. At the time, I didn't realize how MUCH of a project it would turn out to be. We felt like we needed to type them to be more readable, but decided we would also like to make copies of the originals, so they could have them in mother's handwriting.

Did I mention, I have 4 in my generation, and 7 nieces (granddaughters) so we would be doing 11 books!

I quickly found the web site where I had gotten the books, and ordered the books, plus some additional recipe cards to go in them.

What a process! Amy typed the recipes she wanted to include, and copied the originals, and gave them to me. Because we live so far away from each other, and of course I am retired and have lots of time, I told her I would get them all put together.

I took the typed recipes, cut them to fit the recipe cards, and glued them to the cards. Then I put them in the plastic inserts, and put them in categories with tabs between each (cookies, meats, etc). I found plastic protector sheets to put the originals in, but they were too big, so I had to cut them down and hole punch them to fit, and then of course put the originals in the plastic sheets.

We ended up with 60 recipes in all, so you can do the math--60 x 11--for all the books. Above is a sample recipe page with 2 recipes per page.

Lest you think I'm complaining, and that this was drudgery, that was not the case. I really had fun doing it, although at one point I was feeling very overwhelmed, and wondering if I would ever complete the project. I kept Amy up to date on the progress; at one point a friend was going to help me, but the day that we had designated for her to help she was sick.

I am now very excited to see if everyone likes the books as well as I do. You know how I am with poems, so I just had to write a poem to go in the front of the book. This was the poem, called "Recipes Remembered".

We all can remember so many good things to eat
From Bernice's kitchen, most were healthy, some sweet.
Old recipe boxes among her things were found,
Browsing through them, what treasures did abound.

It seemed only right to preserve them in some way,
To pass on to future generations one day.
There are cakes, breads, casseroles, and cookies by the dozens,
Some were provided by sisters, aunts, friends and cousins.

This recipe book was put together with love (and lots of glue!)
We hope it will bring pleasure to each one of you.
As you look through this book, and try some of the recipes,
We're sure it will bring back many fond memories.

So now the secret is out! Our family members will be receiving their books at about the time this is being posted. (A few of them of course, will not be able to be there, so some were mailed.

Remind me next time I get a great idea like this, that I might want to pencil in a big block of time to get it accomplished! We hope it will be something to treasure, as well as providing lots of good eating.


Wanda said...

Donna, you and Amy created such wonderful heilooms for your family; plus they are beautiful. You should be proud of yourself, a lot of hard work and love went into them! They will be treasure I'm sure!

Diana said...

I love this idea Donna. It turned out so beautifully and the poem was a lovely touch. I should do something like this for my daughters.
You did a great job Donna.
Love Di

Annie said...

What a beautiful gift! All of your love and hardwork made it even more so! I especially love the poem you wrote!

Dee said...

How fun and sooo creative. Those recieving a cook book will be blessed. It is nice to see an idea actually come to frutation. I think up stuff and lack follow thru. You did a nice job with them and the poem was perfect.

Bernie said...

Donna, what a wonderful idea, I cannot think of receiving a more beautiful gift than receipes from my mother's own books....I am sure all were well received with the love they were made and sent. Oh I do think this idea was so great.
......:-) Hugs

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A precious gift of love (and time) that will be remembered throughout the generations to come. I just love these kind of gifts...

ones that preserve!

Thanks for sowing some forward "seed" into the lives of those you love. It will reap "hugeness" in days to come.