When I read the post Future Challenge: What Are Your Most Precious Books, it challenged me to think about something that I don’t want to think about yet.
Which books would I take with if I had to move to a much smaller home?
After much thought, I came to the following conclusion.
As most books are easily available today in some form or another and are easy to store in an electronic format, the books to take along must be those which can not be replaced.
With this established I looked at the books in my possession again and the first one that is a not leaving behind book is this one which evoked these memories while paging through its crumbling pages.
I remember cold winter days on the Highveld. Outside the air is crisp and freezing, the grass is yellow after many nights of frost. The water in the dog’s bowl has a thin layer of ice on top, waiting for the weak winter sun to melt it. Inside, the kitchen is warm and welcoming, heated by the old Aga coal stove in the corner.
Around the kitchen table my mother, sister and I are busy baking cookies to take along on our annual visit to the Kruger Park. On the table lies her trusted recipe book with hand written recipes, notes in the sidelines and many blotches to testify of hours spent preparing meals, baking and preserving fresh produce in her kitchen.
There are many books which I love to read again and again as I grew up with books and learnt to love reading from a young age. However, if I had to choose, besides my well read and falling apart Bible, I would take this recipe book with me wherever I go. It epitomizes my mother, her character, her love of cooking and baking and the many happy hours spent helping her in the kitchen.
In short it is a symbol of my childhood.