The Growlery

During one of my parents’ many moves, tragedy struck our household. Of the 80-odd boxes that left their home to trundle across the country to their new home, one box didn’t make it. According to the checklist, it was a box with “papers” in it, but that was something of an understatement. Among those “papers” were two tattered exercise books from a bygone era. In them were recipes. One was filled with my grandmother’s perfect, calligraphic handwriting. She’d written them out for my mother so that my mother would stop pestering her for them. Another one was more of a scrapbook, of recipes my mother had gathered over the years — from Woman’s Weekly, strangers on trains, restaurants, all sorts of places.

There are few moments when I’ve seen my mother allow herself something as wilty as tears of sadness. Losing those two notebooks was one of those rare occasions…

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