Death by cookbook

Kiddo#3 saw my copy of the Settlement Cookbook. “Why you have another cookbook?” he asked.

I said that some recipes weren’t in every cookbook, and that this had been Grandma E’s cookbook.

He said, “She gave it to you?”

No, actually, I got it after she died. 

He said, “You took it?”

I said everyone figured she’d want me to have it.

He said, “Did you take it by accident or by deliberately?”

No, I said. She had died, and when people die, they no longer need a cookbook. So everyone got together and decided to give her cookbook to me.

He said, “Did they fight for it? Did they say, ‘No, give it to me’?”

No, really, it was pretty laid back. 

“Was she mad?” he said, and I assured him that Grandma was not mad, that in Heaven you don’t need a cookbook, so she would be fine with me having it.

“Is my grandma still alive?” he said. I answered that yes, she was, and I couldn’t help but add, “And she has a cookbook.

He said, “Then she could make me spaghetti?” and I agreed that she would be able to do this very thing, because she has a cookbook. 

He thought while finishing his lunch. Then he produced this bit of wisdom: If I died, then Daddy would take my cookbook.

I agreed that this was the case. Then he said, “And if Kiddo#2 died, I would take her cookbook. And if Kiddo#4 died…”

It went on from there, him graciously rehoming the cookbooks of the world after the demise of their respective owners, including passing along his own cookbook to his younger brother.

Your takeaway for today:

1) every human being has a cookbook

2) they don’t need cookbooks in Heaven

3) one of the rites of passage involved in dying is giving your cookbook to someone else.

4) His own grandmothers, who are all still living, can use their cookbooks to make him spaghetti.

Any questions?


  1. Wendy

    What if you have more than one cookbook?

  2. philangelus

    This is the dilemma I will face upon my death, since I will need to rehome both my own cookbook and my grandmother’s.

    Over time, do they build up so some people have hundreds to give away?

  3. Miranda

    Oh, yes they do! My Mom has a kitchen shelf *filled* with cookbooks; I’d guess she’s got at least fifty or so. I don’t know what will happen when she passes (which I surely do hope is a good long time away); will one person get fifty cookbooks or will fifty people get one cookbook?

    P.S. Long time reader, first time poster, and all that. 🙂 I really enjoy your blog!

  4. Judy

    Oh good heavens, YES! I currently have 2 bookcases completly full and no place to put the half dozen or so I got for Christmas.

  5. Scott

    What happens when the cookbooks are all electronic and you need a Kindle to read them? Will it make it harder or easier to pass down…or will not be as nostalgic?

    I can see it now….you’ll be looking at two recipes for Chicken Pot Pie and not know whose cook(e-book) it was from. 😉