Q: Almost two years ago, I lost my mother — she was 54 and I was 25. Many of her personal items were also lost during this time and I've always been heartbroken over losing her handwritten recipes and books. She was a wonderful cook, and especially loved to cut out recipes from newspapers and magazines. The other day I dreamt about her, which prompted me to go through the boxes of her belongings in my closet. Suddenly, I stumbled upon a large box with her handwriting on the outside: Important recipes. I opened it up to discover all of her handwritten recipes on cards, yellowed from age and splattered with food from past times in the kitchen. I don't know how I missed it or thought it was gone! She was also an avid newspaper reader, so I have a few articles that she cut out. The first one I found was titled, "Sure, you can cook just like mom."
Immediate tears, of course. She was speaking to me somehow.
Now, the question is: How should I organize all of her recipes, especially the handwritten ones? I'm concerned the writing will someday fade. Would laminating be the way to go? Any thoughts from your readers?
Sent by Nicole
Editor: Nicole, thank you for sharing your beautiful and moving story. Laminating would help preserve the cards, but I would also recommend scanning them, so you have digital files as well. Here is an idea for turning the scanned cards into a special memento:
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
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