day 10 – recipe book

Do people have recipe books anymore? I love about mine, even though I don’t use it much, because of the family history recorded there. My grandmother’s Christmas pudding recipe written in her handwriting, another recipe in my mother’s, other favourites written out by friends.

The family recipe book is also a great place for something else.

When you’ve got kids you end up with piles of drawings, and your fridge looks like a paper factory blew up in its face. Most of the surface of the paper involved isn’t worth keeping but it’s hanging around because a few little drawings here and there are kind of cute, or really quite good, or there are signatures – the first time she wrote her name . . .

These images document your children’s progress and interests. So why not cut out the good bits and get rid of the piles?

Cutting-out develops fine motor skills, and kids really like it. Nail scissors are good, or for younger children, blunt-nosed craft scissors. Sit them at the kitchen table and they’ll be quiet for ages. Now, where to put these cut-outs. A scrap book is great because you can ‘read’ a child’s progress – kids love seeing themselves through a reader’s eyes. Or . . .

Decorate your recipe book with them. Children might do drawings especially for recipes: pizza, butterfly cakes, gingerbread men, etc.

How special it must feel to see your artwork in a book. It’s a bit like being published.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

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