Today I had an opportunity to do that. The assignment was to write made-up family stories for two recipes for our nut client (they actually sell nuts). The recipes were already chosen. One of them was for chewy walnut squares and I immediately thought of Grandpa Pud's walnut tree and Grandma Maxine's chocolate chip cookies with black walnuts.
So this is what I wrote:
We spent countless hours under Grandpa’s walnut tree
Some of my fondest memories are of the hours I spent under the big walnut tree in my grandparents’ backyard. Grandpa built us an amazing airplane swing that hung from its biggest branch. All four of us grandkids could ride on it and Grandpa spent many hours pushing us higher and higher. Grandma looked on from the kitchen window, where she was usually baking us a batch of chocolate chip cookies or pecan caramel rolls, and she’d occasionally yell to Grandpa, “Be careful! Don’t swing them so high!” Grandpa would just grin, and pretend not to hear her. In the fall we helped Grandpa harvest his walnuts — staining our hands as we cracked them open. As soon as we’d shelled enough to fill Grandma’s measuring cup, he’d send us inside so she could bake his favorite treat: chewy walnut squares. The old walnut tree is gone, but when autumn rolls around I bake a batch of these bars and tell my children stories about Grandpa, Grandma and the airplane swing.
In truth, the walnut tree is still there and there's a new airplane swing hanging from it, one Grandpa made for the great-grandkids. But it makes me happy to think that thousands of people might read that story on the website and "meet" my grandparents through it.
The power of storytelling.