A few years ago, I took some of my mom’s recipes, in her handwriting, and framed them. I have those recipes memorized, but when I look at them, I think of her. Now I have started trying to locate and collect recipes from my grandmothers. I can’t believe how hard it has been to find any in their penmanship. I wish I had savored their history as much as I did their food.

Handwritten recipes are a tangible ticket to the past.

This is especially so with my Grandma Doris. I haven’t been able to locate a recipe in her handwriting, because she was one of those exceptional cooks who didn’t use recipes. I wrote down some of her tasty dishes as she dictated them to me, but rarely do they turn out the same. Probably because her directions were, “Oh a little of this and then some of that and then stir a little and let it simmer a while and throw in some of those and cover it for a time.”

Some of her famous recipes do live on. I make her Norwegian Krumkake every year at Christmas, and her wild rice never misses a major holiday. My mom did eventually perfect Grandma Doris’ fried chicken, but I have no intention of ever giving that a go.

Back when I started framing recipes and realizing my regret, my sister and I decided to document my mom’s life stories. So here is a little pitch for StoryWorth.

Now although the stories aren’t written with pen and paper, the final product is a hardcover book that you will have forever.

You sign up for a yearlong subscription, and StoryWorth sends questions via email every week. You can choose to do more or less, and you can do their questions or do your own. Now, my mom was able to type up her stories, but if you want the stories of a loved one who doesn’t use a computer, you can type them up as that person recalls them to you out loud.

It is irreplaceable, and I wish I had done this with my dad and grandparents before they passed away.

I highly doubt anyone will be looking for my recipes after I am long gone. (All of mine are someone else’s anyway). But I have been inspired to start using good old-fashioned paper and ink more often. I know computers are great storage centers, however, it is so much more sentimental to hold some things in your hand.