December 1993. I had announced I was moving to North Carolina. Leaving home for the first time, leaving my friends, family, and my job. I was packing it all up and heading to North Carolina. For love.
That Christmas my mother gave me a cookbook. I flipped through the pages and put it aside. I was 20, leaving home for the first time, what did I need a cookbook for? Cookbooks were not on my list of needs. My list contained items like, tell mover's to take the mom and dad's couch, steal some of dad's tools for hanging pictures and Mom won't miss that cabinet. The cookbook was tossed into the box of books with other random treasures. Little did I know that cookbook would become one of my treasures - one that I would still cherish 16 years later.
I finally arrived in North Carolina and found out that to survive you needed more than Taco Bell. I was copying some recipes my mom and dad made and they were okay. I had another cookbook that had very simple recipes in it and those were okay too, but none of the meals I was making were great or were something I wanted again.
One day I picked up my two tiny kittens, grabbed the cookbook my mom gave me, and laid on the couch.
As I read the first few pages I was very excited about great recipes it contained. I really enjoyed all the stories associated with them. I was eager to start cooking but each page had more and more stories, ideas and a real personal touch. I didn't want to stop reading. That day became a major pivot point in my life. A new turn that I didn't even realize would continue, but it has...everyday.
This cookbook was hand-written, hand-illustrated and created all by Susan Branch. I loved every page and still do.
Thank you Susan for showing me how to cook, how to serve family, how to laugh over foods, how to get through my first turkey and its NECK, how to enjoy life, make the best of leftovers in a refrigerator and most of all how to love while doing it all. I really appreciate everything you've taught me.
I could go on and on about how much you have influenced my life, how I enjoy tweeting with you, but my post was really a thank you and that I wish you a very Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday Susan!
For those of you who don't know Susan Branch, you can learn all about her, her books and products on her website. Beyond designing cookbooks, Susan Branch has taken her art into scrapbook papers, stationary, stickers, quilting material, crafts, dishes, calendars, and more. It has been a real treasure to collect all her products because each piece has her art. I hope you find as much enjoyment as I do.