We were sorting through donations for a rummage sale when my friend and I spotted a small, rusty old metal box. One of the hinges on the lid was missing; probably because the little box could barely contain its contents. Worn corners of aged index cards and newspaper clippings peeked out, beckoning my attention. I sensed the box held something very precious.
The moment I lifted the lid I knew that it was someone’s old recipe box – a history of what one family had enjoyed around the dinner table. There were handwritten recipes and other recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines. Recipes stained by chocolate, vanilla and even food coloring. One 4×6 card simply read, “Henry’s Favorite Rice Dish,” and then listed the ingredients and directions for preparation along with a notation which read: “Serve with pot roast, collards, sliced tomatoes and strawberry jello salad.”
In my mind that old recipe box represented the life of a family I never knew. It reminded me of wonderful memories of my family gathered around the table, giving thanks and sharing meals. At Christmas time, we would eat tamales prepared by our family, served with Spanish rice, beans and chili. Thanksgiving dinners were so plentiful that the food covered several tables. We had warm, homemade cinnamon rolls shared over a picnic table in our backyard.
We shared meals at family reunions, which included bread and butter pickles made in our own kitchen and vegetables grown in our garden. Someday, recipes from my little recipe box like “Vic’s Favorite Dill’s,” “Mom’s Cornbread Dressing,” and “Dad’s Bleu Cheese Celery Sticks” will represent layers of my life passed from one generation to the next.
I hope when my children and grandchildren read those recipes years from now, they remember the love in our family and our thankfulness for God’s provisions.
“…and my people will be filled with my bounty, declares the Lord.”
– Jeremiah 31:14 (NIV)
“God, You are our Great Provider. All that we are and all that we have come from You. Thank You for Your faithful and generous provisions, Father, and for family and friends with whom we can share Your bounty and blessings. Thank You, Lord, for Your gifts, especially . . .”