The Cookbook

In October my oldest daughter Kym came to me and said,  
“I know what I want for Christmas”. 
I want you to make me a cookbook.   
In the last few years I made one for 2 of our nieces as wedding shower gifts.  They were filled with recipes and stories from aunts and cousins and friends and grandma’s.  With doodles showing what the recipe might look like, well wishes for the future that lay ahead for these young girls. 

Pages filled with love and lots and lots of memories.  Stories that made you laugh.  And then laugh some more 

I knew this was what my daughter was asking for. . . 

She wanted stories and recipes from her grandma when my 4 brothers and I were growing up,  

Stories and recipes from our family when she was growing up.

From the beginning I knew it was less about the recipes and more about the stories behind the recipes.  She wanted a -  

memory book. 

Soon emails were sent, notes sailed across the states, phone calls were made - 

and then. . . 

letters with attached recipes began filling my mailbox. 

Friends dropped by to write in her book. 

As we go through everyday life raising our children we don’t know what attaches to them, the memories that become their favorites and that define them, the ones they will take into their homes. 

Family and our family history has always been important to our daughter Kym.  As with all families we had special traditions, family gatherings for  

everything and anything. . . 

When my mother passed away Kym came to me and said, now that grandma’s gone you are the matriarch in our family,   

It’s up to you to keep the family traditions alive.   

She is our little event planner. After we lost Phil’s sister Judy, Kym had a big hole in her heart and she needed to find a way to fill it. It didn’t take her long to create a new tradition to add to the old ones that were already solid.  From her new idea was born “Girls Week” with Phil’s sisters and their daughters and me and my daughters.  The following spring we all headed to Palm Springs to a family vacation home to have our first “Girls Week”.  Some of our favorite trips have been to San Francisco, San Diego

and wine country in Sonoma where we rented a home from the Sabastiani family who own a winery in Sonoma.  What we find on these girls trips is when you spend 5 days together you have these special pockets of time with each other that never take place in family gatherings or when you stay in a hotel.  These are the times when we really get to know each other.  When stories are told that we otherwise wouldn’t hear.  When we let ourselves become vulnerable with each other.  Where we become real.  

And so as I sit putting this book together I know it’s important to leave empty pages

scattered among the written ones to make room for Kym’s stories that she will add one day.  To add her own stories to our family history.