I came upon this lovely poem tonight. It really made me stop and think about my favourite old handwritten recipe book. It’s filled with recipes from family & friends. Many have long since died, but their memory always lives on in the wonderful recipes they once shared with me.
[I][U][B]For Annie, with regrets[/B][/U]
An old woman made this pie
that I eat. Her body, her mind,
her history—and her mother’s, and hers.
Her flesh, working through mine:
strong arms, muscle, sinew beat
with wooden spoon, cream butter, sugar, yolks
(no machine need mediate), whipped whites to peaks
her gentleness did not deflate. Her practiced hands,
gnarled somewhat from work (I like to think)
yet supple still with age, molded dough, and fluted
its edge, just for pretty. This woman,
my great-grandmother, whom I never met,
lives in this pie, and I—
I read her recipe in a book.[/I]