"The pages are yellowing, the handwriting is starting to fade… I would love to gift you with Mommy’s recipe book"
Made Her Day
My daughter, Leah
Leah, I stepped into your life four years ago, when you were eight years old, only two years after your dear mother passed away. When I married your father, I was given the blessing of four beautiful, precocious, grieving children. As your stepmother, I always want to keep strong the connection between your past and present.
Most children are raised by three partners: their father, their mother, and HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Leah and her three siblings have four partners: HaKadosh Baruch Hu, a father, a mother watching and praying from Above, and a mother tending to their needs down here. Before I met you and your siblings for the first time, I davened at your mother’s tziyun. I knew we were forming a unique partnership, and I needed a powerful and joint force behind me.
Baruch Hashem, you opened your heart to me, and I’ve watched with pride as you grew and matured. My efforts for Leah and her three brothers focuses on healing and providing safety and love for them. A large part of that is cherishing their past: the woman who gave birth to them and who loved them as only a mother can.
Leah, like your mother, you have a love for the kitchen and for experimenting with recipes. In our drawer, where we keep all our shiny new recipe books, we also have a bulging collection of many pages of your Mommy’s handwritten recipes, many of which you remember her making, many of which you fondly recall eating and loving.
The pages are yellowing, the handwriting is starting to fade… I would love to gift you with Mommy’s recipe book, beautified by a graphic artist, reprinted for clarity, but with the originals scanned in, to be kept for posterity — so you can enjoy a lifetime of kitchen memories and the taste of a mother’s love.
We appreciate the importance of a good recipe and how love can intertwine with food. Combine that with lasting memories and flavors from the past, and we knew we had to preserve this — and we also knew that Menucha, a leading Jewish publisher with a wide variety of books for the entire family, would be the perfect fit.
“I was so moved by Leah’s stepmother’s sensitive and creative way of striving to preserve her stepdaughter’s early memories of her mother,” says Esther Heller, Editor in Chief of Menucha Publishers. “We’re honored to be able to take part in this memorable and healing project. It truly aligns with our mission to provide our community with inspirational, educational, and entertaining kosher reading material.”
My goal has never been to erase my children’s past, but to integrate it into our new present and their future as seamlessly as possible. I cook from Leah’s mother’s recipes to give my children a taste of their mother; flipping through the handwritten recipes, spattered with ingredients, it feels as though their mother was just here. I’m so excited at the chance to preserve her love and her words as a gift for my children to forever cherish. I’ve been dreaming of creating this cookbook for years, but baruch Hashem, life is busy and there are always other expenses. Thank you for making this happen.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 760)
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