Friday, December 28, 2018

A Christmas Gift Memory from Childhood

There are only a few items or toys from my childhood that I remember with fondness. Most are physically long gone. There are a couple that are tucked away in our attic. Vintage toy collections that I've seen bring back memories but I've never had the desire to collect and house old toys myself. However, I do have shelves filled with some of the most notable vintage items from my younger days. On those shelves are books. To me it is harder to part with and resist re-acquiring the old friend of a book. I found adventure and solace in the pages of books I read and loved. There are titles I have read that are still with me in memory if not physically. I still own a few of the originals that could be considered clutter in our attic attic space.

Every Christmas, as a child, my paternal grandmother gave each of her grandchildren a book, a brand new you can smell the pages, selected title just for each one of us. Even though my grandmother wasn't much of a reader herself, this became a tradition of hers. I was an avid reader all through my childhood and many of the choices she made were ones that introduced me to unknown authors or genres. I loved getting those books.  I still have each and every one of those editions tucked away safely on a shelf.

There were a few here and there over the years that I didn't greet with joy and excitement. One book in particular, that at the time didn't thrill my little reader heart was the Let's Start to Cook children's cookbook.

I thought of myself as an adventurer. I spent as much time as possible outdoors and many of my reading hours were actually logged (no pun intended) in the big old oak tree that dominated our front yard. Any domestic activities that captured my interest were the artsy crafty ones. If I wasn't reading or imaging adventure, I wanted to be creating something new by painting, drawing or crafting. That beginner cookbook wasn't on my to read list and I didn't explore it's pages very extensively at the time. The funny thing is, I still have that copy. It is a basic and very thorough how to cookbook that is now to my adult eye, actually pretty helpful.
 

This year my teen daughter was determined to have a cookie baking day. She searched for recipes, planned her ingredient and cookies lists. As she began the process of filling the cookie tins, I dug out that children's cookbook. My daughter, honestly didn't use it as a reference much. She has the internet, you know. Her kitchen creating caused me to remember that treasure of a cookbook and revisiting it's pages kept me out of her way in the kitchen as she baked. I appreciate the gift of that book now more than at the time it was given to me. Especially, as I can now see, more clearly and with amazement, still feel, my grandmother's loving intention of contributing to her grandchildren's growth and learning each and every Christmas with the gift of a book.

Let's Start to Cook


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