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The Recipes

My dear friend Sharon has moved more times than I can count. Luckily for me, she lived in the same town as I did for several years in a row. We took morning walks together, chatted on the phone, exchanged work stories, and shared recipes. Since we both love to cook, we have done that many times over the years. She once showed me her favorite cookbook, filled to the brim with handwritten recipes from the friends she shared meals with wherever she lived. It is her memory book, of sorts. Some of the best recipes I’ve tried have been those found in long-forgotten cookbooks or novels picked up at garage sales or even from the back of my own bookshelf. Some are written neatly on cute little recipe cards, some are torn or cut out from newspapers or magazines, and some are written on the back of receipts or envelopes. I never throw these scraps away when I find an old cookbook at an estate sale because somebody, somewhere took the time to save it because they thought it sounded good. One of the things on my bucket list is to someday have enough time to make all these orphan recipes, even the ones that sound a little strange. Times are changing. Recipes can be looked up in seconds on the hundreds of cooking sites on the internet. Pictures of mouth-watering dinners and desserts can be shared on social media and be seen instantly by all your friends. Despite all this technology, folks don’t cook as much as they used to. People eat out, pick up, or have their meals delivered by the pizza person more often than not. A small tablet computer takes up a lot less room than a shelf full of cookbooks or a drawer full of magazine clippings. I couldn’t help but notice, though, that when Sharon pulled that cookbook out of the cupboard, she handled it with care to the point of reverence and she smiled when she told me about the friends she had met over the years. My friend and I live many miles apart now, but good friendships don’t change that much. She now calls me on occasion while she takes her afternoon walk. We still exchange recipes, although I readily admit the current ones are a little healthier than those we shared 25 years ago. I hope at least one of my recipes has made it into her special cookbook, and if not, I’d better sort through that pile and make something good enough to become a memory.

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