The Family Cookbook

I gave my name to the receptionist, expecting she would have my package ready and waiting for me. 

“Who is your rep?”  she asked.

“Rich” I said and she picked up her phone to announce my arrival.

A minute later Rich walked up with a warm handshake and even warmer smile. 

“Come on back!” he said. 

Rich and I have a long business relationship but this was the first time I had ever been to the shop.  Always before he would pick up and deliver my business orders, but this time was different.   This time, my order was personal.   I asked him to print my family cookbook.   I followed him through the door into the back of the print shop.  It is an impressive operation.   Printing is no longer the grimy job it used to be so long ago, everything is digitized and programmed these days.   Keyboards have replaced ink-stained fingers and correcting a proof is accomplished in a nano-second.  The shop was clean, bright and airy and I noticed that my dishwasher at home was much louder than the machines that were rapidly humming.

Rich hoisted two large boxes up to a worktable.   They were filled with my family cookbooks.  He introduced me to a young man, John, sitting before a monitor.   After shaking my hand, John picked up the phone and said, “she’s here.”  Within seconds I was surrounded by smiling young men eager to meet the woman behind the family cookbook project.

“This is the greatest idea for the holidays”

“I read each and every story.”

“What a great idea to include photos and the captions were so funny!”

“I told my wife about the cookbook and she wanted to know if she could get a copy.”

My little cookbook, an edition of only 30 copies, had brightened their day, giving them a break from the daily grind of printing, copying and binding business and legal documents.  They pressed me for the story behind the cookbook, nodding their heads in delight as I gave them the details – details they already knew from reading the book.   They peppered me with questions about Rosie and Louie, my grandparents.  They expressed amazement that the contributions to the book spanned generations from grandparents through great grandchildren.  They wanted to know all about B.A. Bea and laughed out loud when I explained that B. A. Bea was none other than my 78 year old mother whose nickname is Bad Ass.  Together we went through the book, complimenting each other on the work. 

Finally we packed up the books into my little cart.   Rich handed me an invitation.   The shop was having a holiday party next Tuesday night and they asked me to come.

I started the cookbook project back in June and spent many long nights typing, formatting, scanning, uploading and creating.  Until finally, with one short email, I sent my pdf files to Rich and asked him to put the whole thing together for me.  The book is beautiful.  Full size, spiral bound, with laminated covers, it is 231 pages long.  The collage of photos on the cover is vibrant and begs to be picked up.  The paper quality is a thick and sturdy weight yet creamy to the touch.   It is a book meant to last and these young men knew it.   They cared about this project as much as I did.  They took the energy behind it and enhanced it with their own.  They made it amazing.  The decision to create this cookbook was based on a desire to pass a legacy on to current and future generations.  I had no idea that the energy, light and love inside its covers could reach out and touch others as well.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by mom

    Posted on December 21, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I keep reading your story about the
    cookbooks and it brings tears to my eyes,but I can’t help reading it over &

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