There are many ways to celebrate a life that has passed. In a loved one's memory, trees are planted, contributions to favorite charities are given, butterflies are set free and balloons released to the heavens.
I just heard of another way. It came from Oklahoma City's Tina McGinnis. A close college friend's mother had passed away a couple of weeks ago. Tina had been a frequent visitor to their home over the years.
That same week, Tina, who has a passion for cooking, was compiling a book of favorite recipes of family members and friends for her daughter — a soon-to-be bride. Looking through her multitude of recipes, she came across one given to her by her friend's mother who had passed away — “Carolyn's Cracker Torte.” It is a dessert that the mother, Carolyn, served Tina the last time she visited them.
In honor of Carolyn, Tina immediately made the dessert, took photos of it and emailed them to her friend and their larger circle of friends.
An amazing thing happened. Last week, everyone who received the photograph, made that recipe.
People in New Zealand, Australia, France, Canada, Honolulu, Santiago, Chile, Jerusalem, San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, Texas and Oklahoma dropped everything and baked “Carolyn's Cracker Torte” out of love and respect for their friend's mother.
Tina told me, “Who knew a life could be celebrated by so many at the same time with the same recipe. I think, by accident, I have created just the way I want to be remembered one day when I go to the kitchen in the sky!”
Tina grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother and has passed down her love of cooking to her daughter. The cookbook she is making for her daughter not only includes recipes, but stories of the people they came from as well as photographs.
For a copy of Carolyn's Cracker Torte recipe, send me an email.
I appreciate people who have a passion for cooking, like my friend Matthew Joplin, head of the Food For Thought Learning Institute in Norman. He recently demonstrated recipes for delicious snack options for summer fun and health at the Norman Library.
Matthew's staff gives cooking lessons — a great summer project for visiting grandchildren or a gift for newlyweds.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at email@example.com.