Pandemic Project #432

Having annihilated all visible clutter, I turn my attention to things hiding out of sight behind doors and inside drawers. A stash of old recipes comes into my crosshairs, stuffed into a decrepit plastic recipe box. Some are written on 4”x6” cards, others on random pieces of paper folded to fit the box. Some are as old as high-school Food Sciences class, others I copied from my Mom’s recipe collection when I left home.

The mission is simple enough: transfer the “keepers” to the recipe app on my tablet and recycle all the paper. I get as far as taking them out of the box, looking through them, and abandoning them on the kitchen counter. Weeks go by. A forcefield grows around them—I glance over but don’t touch.

I haven’t made these recipes for decades—too much gluten, too much sugar, too much effort. The ones I do use were transferred into the recipe app years ago, now living alongside the new ones I’ve acquired. I search them by keyword and automatically scale a recipe up or down with the touch of a finger. We share recipes in typed .docs, pasted into emails, or sent as website links.

I do not need the old, food-splattered recipe cards, yet I procrastinate.

They hold my Mom’s printing—neat, curvy letters that remind me of a bright young girl’s script. They contain the coarse cursive of my grandmother’s farm hands. Some preserve the bold round lettering of a friend. They’re a history of myself, too, and the curious evolution of my penmanship from cursive to half-cursive to connected print.

They fill me with longing, a loss I hadn’t known I’d suffered. Email connects me frequently and casually to family and friends thousands of kilometres away. But the recipes remind me that’s like looking at someone without a face or listening to the voice of a machine.

I may abandon Pandemic Project #432 in favour of a new project, an act of preservation—not of recipes, but of the handwriting of people I love.

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Project #432

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  1. Well written Maria and beautiful.❤ I love my Mom’s old 4 x 6 recipe cards, I always envied her penmanship xo

    On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 3:44 AM Progressive Tense wrote:

    > mariafordwriter posted: ” Having annihilated all visible clutter, I turn > my attention to things hiding out of sight behind doors and inside drawers. > A stash of old recipes comes into my crosshairs, stuffed into in a decrepit > plastic recipe box. Some are written on 4”x6” cards, ot” >

    Liked by 1 person

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