Before I got married, my mom gave me a small three-ring binder. In it she had written down some basic recipes and family standards. She also included quite a few blank pages, which over the years have been filled with recipes. The now-faded blue notebook has become a culinary history of military assignments and friends.
The raspberry coffee cake I make every year on Christmas morning came from Heidi, who lived on our street at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.