I really like to cook. I don’t do it much, which is probably why I still like it. I like trying new recipes, and finding recipes that use the 40,000 tomatoes from the garden. Trying to find a use for an abundance of something reminds me of my first year teaching art. I had no idea what to do with three reams of yellow 18×24″ construction paper that were shipped to me by mistake. I had no idea how I would ever use the 16 boxes of plaster craft I inherited from the teacher before me.
Today I was cleaning my kitchen and decided to tackle my recipe box. I had about 10 recipes that I had printed out from the internet that I needed to trim (so they fit in the box) and file (so I could find them again). Quite a few of the recipes to be filed were printed on the back side of papers I have written. When I was writing papers at a feverish pace for my Ph.D. coursework, I would often print out a rough draft and take a literal pen to it. Then I would save the drafts in a pile so that I could use the other side. So today I filed Strawberry Trifle dessert (on the front) with 3 paragraphs about teacher education policy edited with a green felt pen on the back.
As I finished the recipe box project, I realized that I am in the process of constructing a time capsule. I am looking forward to the day years down the road when I pull out that recipe and laugh at how crazy my life was back then. I wonder if I will even understand the three paragraphs on the back of the recipe, or remember who had written them. I wonder if I will remember why I have 10 different salsa recipes, or who all the people were whose names are on the recipe cards.