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?