I think it is ever present. This idea of being among one of the greats. Isn't it true that when faced with the thought of being one the greats in your own field you could name a few. I am sure if you are a Dr. or an Engineer or other professional you can think of those that may have trudged before you...maybe setting records of their own. Isn't it even more interesting that even in the jobs sometimes most overlooked most of us could name a few greats. I know great women-moms wives- that I have been blessed enough to watch and learn from that have trudged before me. Oh and the cooks and chefs I could name that I have studied over the more recent past that I have come to respect.
Most recently in my own cooking I have been blessed enough to use some recipes that have come from some of the greats. Not women that have written cook books or been on food network or would even know the first thing about what a food blog is. No, these women were among the greats of their family and friends...their community, their churches and most importantly their children.
Recipes that span generations may be one of the most special things in the world in my opinion. Especially if you are blessed enough to have one of the recipe cards that is written in beautiful penmanship, and stained to the point of having to squint to read the words on each line. I love it when there are tips and musts and don't forgets. Each recipe can hold memories uncountable. Each one holds a special place in someones heart. Each one holds love. And this is part of the reason I love food so much. It can make smiles, bring tears and spark memories. It is a special thing - food.
One recipe I have been making pretty constant as in weekly in mass quantity is Brians Great Grandmas Bran Muffin Recipe. They are the most lovely little bits let me tell you. I have a client that requests them usually 3 dozen at a time. And my children begged to bring them to the beach today as a treat. That is how good they are. And this is what I am talking about a woman that I was never able to meet, yet her memory lives on through a muffin recipe. I have wondered of her much while baking them....wondered if she had a favorite apron, did she listen to music at all while she baked, did she have bare feet or did she wear shoes. These questions may seem odd to you, but I listen to music every time I cook, and if I am at a clients you can often catch me humming hymns to myself (for real its my way of praying while I cook). At home I like to be barefoot, and I love myself a cute apron, the more vintage the better. I am sure she had her own ways, her own habits and whatnot and I wish I knew them:)
Another one I am in the process of making for the first time tonight. 16 dozen Chocolate Chippers. Coleen Polinder's recipe. Her son- my buddy -Rusty has started an ice cream truck business and will be using them for his Moowiches. I was lucky enough several times in my earlier years to eat these cookies made by her hands. And I felt even more blessed to be given her recipe today to have. I also have her Olie Bolen Recipe...which is so good. I thought about this woman today as I made these cookies at 11pm tonight and I thought how many times I have heard someone mention her Chocolate Chippers or her baking in general. How loved she was by her family, her friends and her community. One of the greats.
These are the greats I hope to find myself among someday. I hope to be great among the hearts of my family. To be known not only for my food but for the love that came with it. I hope to have a great grand-daughter someday that finds herself with her hands on one of my recipes or maybe that greatly famous in my heart bran muffin recipe that belonged to Brian's great grandmother...How amazing would that be?!