Days 21, 22, & 23 – Decoupage and Remembering

I have a basket next to the couch. It’s filled with magazines. Bon Appetit, Readymade, Cook’s Illustrated, Real Simple. I’ve dog-eared the recipes I want to make. Then the clutter on the coffee table gets to be too much, so I move the magazines to the basket and forget about the dog-eared recipes. When the most recent round of magazines came in the mail, I decided to start tearing out recipes and project so that I’d actually make them. This only led to more clutter on my coffee table, and clutter that floats to the floor the second the dog or cat walks by.

So my clutter inspired me. I need a recipe box! Why not take things full circle and decorate the box of magazine recipes with pictures from those magazines?

Decoupage. It’s making a collage on a useful object and sealing it up so you can…use it. For example, a picture frame or journal or…a shoe box for recipes.

This project took me two days. Day 21 & Day 22. Lots of creativity flowed. The whole process is not difficult, but does involve drying of glues.

You’ll need: the object you will decoupage, pictures/colorful paper/tissue paper, glue, modge podge/glue that dries clear, scissors, a paintbrush.

Cut out pictures or paper that will cover your object. I used food-related (and a few Julia-related) pictures. Plan out where you’d like them to go on your object and how they fit together best. Glue them down. Let the glue dry. Cover your collage with a coat of modge podge. Let dry. Repeat with one to two more coats. Done!

Day 23

This is a shiva candle. In the Jewish tradition, when a loved one dies, the family sits shiva for one week beginning the day of the funeral. This is the initial mourning period, a time to remember and reflect. No work is supposed to be done, no cooking, just sitting. And a shiva candle is lit in honor of the loved one. Don’t blow it out. It will go out on its own after seven days. It burns as a memory, the presence of the soul, as an aid to guide the soul to its next resting place.

My oma was Catholic, but we still burned shiva candles for her here. It’s not so much about the religion but what the candle symbolizes. For me, it’s a reminder of my grandmother’s life and just a nice way to say good-bye. Every time I’ve stood at the counter preparing a meal or baking something this week, I’ve looked at the candle and thought about how more times than not, I remember Oma standing in the kitchen , apron on, wooden spoon in hand.


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