I love all things handwritten. When you write something down, it becomes much more meaningful, because it is intentional. It takes longer to write things out by hand, and might even be the second or third draft of a well thought-out idea or expression that now becomes permanent. Recipes are no exception. They stay relevant through time, and represent moments from the past that were chosen to be remembered.
Instead of old pictures, I decided to ornament our staircase wall with old, framed recipes, handwritten by members of my family through multiple generations. In a way, the recipes represent the same things the photos do – snapshots of family memories and special traditions – but in my opinion, are even more special as they represent more than a single moment. They spark conversation, and sentiment, lasting longer than an instance, and reminding us of the personalities within the snapshots. They are a time, place, person, taste, and smell – they are voices and styles written on paper for all to share.
I wanted these recipes to be functional, and framing them was the perfect way to protect them so that they can be used and not stored in boxes. Some of the recipes that I had were double sided – these required a little creativity to properly display. I took glass from two identical sized frames, placed the recipe in between the glass, and held the glass in place by wedging pieces of paper towel rolls within the frame grooves.
I tried a few different mediums for this – straws, plastic, scrap fabric – but the cardboard worked the best. I cut a small piece of the cardboard, folded it in half, and placed it in the frame so that the folded edge was displayed. The fold was pretty key in holding the glass in place, as it allowed the cardboard edges to expand within the frame and create just enough pressure against the glass. Using cardboard also allows you to change the recipe card, or re-use the frame.
What better place to display my recipes than my kitchen staircase?