Monday, May 2, 2011

Joint Custody

photo credit
Several years ago I made friends with an excellent cook. Emily lived a few streets away from me, and every now and then she would show up at my door with the fruits of an afternoon well-spent in her kitchen. You have to try these muffins, she would insist. You can imagine how difficult that was for me, becoming the official taste tester of all of Emily's best culinary experiments!

One day Emily brought me a dessert on a lovely ceramic plate. By the way, you can keep the plate, she said as she left. The plate sat in my cupboard for several weeks, until one day when I was trying a new recipe I thought to myself, Emily would probably love this! As I looked around for a container to transport the dish to Emily's house, I suddenly remembered the ceramic plate sitting in my cupboard. How about you give the plate back to me the next time you have a recipe for me to try, I suggested as I stood at Emily's door. And thus began our joint custody arrangement.

Over the months we exchanged a dozen different recipes, and I started looking forward to the unexpected knock at my front door at nine-thirty on a Tuesday evening, or eleven in the morning on a random Friday. And there would be Emily, plate in hand. Our joint custody arrangement continued in this smooth fashion right up until the week Emily moved to Utah. But what are we going to do about our plate? I wailed as we hugged goodbye.

Fortunately this story has a happy ending. Although Emily moved to Utah and doesn't get back to Denver nearly as often as I'd like, another wonderful, amazing cook just happened to move into my neighborhood, two doors down from Emily's old house. One can only assume it was meant to be. Within a few months of Brittany's arrival I purchased a new ceramic plate and formally invited her to share joint custody with me. Now, we hardly knew each other, but not only did Brittany refrain from giving me a strange look and running away, she accepted my offer. And so the terms of joint custody have been magnificently, deliciously preserved. Brittany may tell you that in the past six months I've been doing more writing than I have cooking, which is sadly true for our little plate, but nonetheless the mere possibility of giving or receiving a new recipe gives me goosebumps on my arms. Life is too short and food is too wonderful not to be shared!


  1. Seriously, I'm still looking for a joint custody plate partner. It is a marvelous concept.

  2. This is the greatest idea!! How are you feeling?

  3. Lauren, this made my day! I miss our joint custody plate. I think I will start one with someone in my new ward. I am glad you have a buddy to continue the plate of treats with. I will have to shoot you some new recipes to try out. Miss you lady!


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