Monday, July 16, 2007

Recipe Card Wisdom

by Brenda Roger

Part of the invitation to my wedding shower, almost seven years ago, was a blank recipe card. Guests were asked to fill it out and bring it to the shower to fill my recipe box. I received quite a variety of recipes. Some of the guests really thought about it, while some just grabbed a magazine and copied something –in both cases, it showed. My friend Andrew, who was eleven at the time, wrote down his scone recipe, complete with illustrations, for his mom to bring. I still use that one all the time. In fact, I may laminate it to keep the drawings protected.

Three guests wrote something on the card that was not a recipe for food. I love thinking about that because the three women who did that are three of my favorites, besides being three women who love not to follow the rules.

My Aunt Sandra is co-owner of two boutiques –one vintage clothing and one jewelry. She has had an unconventional life to say the least. She has also managed to marry a man who cooks, so the last things on her mind are recipes. She gave me a recipe for paint glaze, complete with the disclaimer “do not eat.” I don’t know if the fact that she felt compelled to tell me not to eat paint glaze says more about me or about her.

My friend, Helen, filled the recipe card with a long explanation of how to make potpourri, complete with a description of going foraging for plants with a black lab named “Duke.” Duke just happens to be her dog. To make the centerpieces for my wedding reception, Helen and I actually went foraging for moss and various other organic matter (including a newt or two, oops). Each time I read her card I remember how much fun we had doing that.

Finally, my friend Mimi passed along a piece of advice on her recipe card. It was a bit of wisdom from her Aunt Margaret who said, “You are a very good cook. Don’t ever let anyone know that.” I asked Mimi what that meant, and she told me that if people know you can cook they make you do it all the time!

Now, these ladies don’t really know each other, and somehow they combined forces to send me the same message. I’ve always thought that they were really trying to tell me not to be defined only by the role of wife and housekeeper.

Did you receive any profound premarital advice?


Anonymous said...

Well, since I'm not married, I guess it's all premarital advice!

The most useful piece of advice I've received is, "Ask forgiveness, not permission." While I don't use it every time, I almost always keep it in mind

Joyce Tremel said...

I never got any premarital advice, but my husband did.

One of his co-workers came up to him after we got engaged and said, "I hear you're getting married. Don't! Just don't!"

Fortunately (for me, anyway), he didn't listen.

Anonymous said...

Well, not advice exactly:

Terry and I originally planned to marry in August, 1970. We'd met that spring and fallen in love, so things were moving quickly. When I called my mother a few weeks before the wedding to say we'd chickened out, she said, "That's the best news I've had in years."

Terry and I then proceeded to live together off and on for six years, get officially married in the Catholic Church on August 7, 1976, and get divorced on August 15, 1986. I guess August was "our month."

P.S. He's a good cook, but it takes more than that to make a marriage work.

Annette said...

My biggest and best bit of advice would be to NOT try to change the other person. Women tend to think they're marrying a work-in-progress who has "potential." I promised Ray from day one that I would not try to change him and it's worked. OK, there are a few minor things I've tried to "train" into him (toilet seat down, please), but nothing major.

Ladies, they ain't gonna change all that much. If you don't like what you're getting before the wedding, RUN. Because it isn't gonna get any better with time.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! The events surrounding weddings are so special and I think it's tremendous that you were able to seal so many of the memories into your brain as they were happening. I realize you're looking back at this point, but it seems as though you really took the time to enjoy each moment.