Scrapbooking is more than a hobby to me – I actually consider it a bit of a responsibility. As I scrap my family’s most cherished moments, I am acutely aware of my role as a family historian. By the photographs that I choose to place into my scrapbook and by the comments I choose to include with them, I am leaving future generations a glimpse into who I am and what in my life was most important to me. By including historically significant moments such as the aftermath of 9/11 and the election of the first African-American President, I am also leaving a first-hand account of these important events.
One of my greatest motivators for including journaling on my scrapbook pages was a comment from a friend who was cleaning out her mother’s house after she passed away. She told me that she tossed her mother’s old photo albums into the trash because she had no idea who the people in the pictures were. I was very disturbed by what she said, and vowed that my heirs would have quite a different experience as they came across my albums. They would find names and dates and places, and a written account of their ancestor’s journey. I would leave them something beautiful and informative to love and to treasure.
Spiritually, scrapbooking is very healing and grounding. Honestly, I am never more in-the-moment and spiritually present as when I am scrapping the past for future generations. It ties everything in my life together in a thoughtful, creative, most rewarding process.
Although I kept a photographic record of much of my life from the age of sixteen, I was transformed when a friend introduced me to modern scrapbooking, about five years ago. I instantly recognized the value of combining my photography with my artistic sensibilities and my personal journaling.
For me, scrapbooking is a creative outlet, a meditation, and an expression of my individuality. It is often a welcome escape from other, often less enjoyable, responsibilities, and it is a way to preserve my most cherished memories –good and bad – for future generations. It is the most rewarding of pastimes.
Another rewarding pastime: BAKING PIE. One of the first harvests of spring is the prolific and chuck-full-of-vitamins Rhubarb. Strawberries from California are very reasonably priced in springtime, so I thought it would be fun to share this wonderful recipe:
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE (makes 2 lattice-top pies)
1 ½ lbs. cleaned, chopped rhubarb (stalks ONLY-leaves are poisonous!)
6 cups halved fresh strawberries
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
prepared pie dough
heavy cream or egg wash for glazing
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line two pie tins with the rolled out dough, as described below, reserving the rest of the dough for the lattice tops. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, allowing the dough to relax.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Add the rhubarb and the strawberries, tossing to coat well. Divide the fruit mixture evenly into the pie shells, and set aside.
Roll out the remaining pie dough, and cut into 12 strips, each about 1 ½ inches thick. Weave the strips of dough over each pie, using 3 strips placed horizontally, and 3 strips placed vertically, on each to create a lattice design. Trim the overhanging strips, tuck under the pie dough that lines the pie tin, and crimp the edges decoratively, to seal. Brush the lattice and the edges of the pie with heavy cream, or with an egg wash made with one egg whisked with 1T. milk.
Bake on the low rack of the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 50 to 60 minutes, until juices are bubbling and the crust is a nice golden brown.