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The Best Kept Secret

April 21, 2010

What is the best kept secret? Last Christmas Heritage Makers  consultant Tricia Carleton learned exactly what the best kept secret is as she helped a mother and daughter make recipe books for each other as a surprise. Can you imagine how they felt as they opened each other’s gifts on Christmas morning? These two women truly knew how to celebrate each other.

By Tricia Carleton

A couple of years ago a friend of mine, Cara, introduced me to her daughter, Julie, saying
that she might be interested in making a book. Several months later, I met her, Julie, again at a networking event. I had a sample of my cookbook there. She told me she might want to make one, but said I couldn’t tell her mother because she wanted to make it for her.

Later I contacted her and she bought three cookbook credits. It took her a little while to get the recipes, photos, and other info she needed together. She called to set up a time with me to help her get started. After about an hour or so, with the assistance of her tiny dog, I felt she was good to go. She felt comfortable, too, and only had a few questions along the way. (She was also making one for her mother-in-law.) I had to be careful, every time I saw her mother, not to inadvertently say something that would let her know I’d seen her in any way connected to Heritage Makers so she wouldn’t get suspicious. 

About two weeks before the Christmas deadline, Cara called me. Julie had been at her house for dinner the night before and was asking her questions about recipes and relatives. Julie wouldn’t tell her anything she wanted for Christmas, so she thought a cookbook would be perfect. I asked what she had in mind, to be sure it wouldn’t be exactly the same, and was satisfied it wouldn’t. 

I proceeded to help her, praying their paths wouldn’t cross and they wouldn’t both want to come to the same Digicrop!  Julie was set on her own, so I proceeded to help Cara at my home. Cara had just left and Julie called, ready to publish hers! I walked her through the process and we were good to go. I told Cara that I would proof hers and order it for her, as she was pressed for time. Then we waited. 

I kept thinking it would be great to be a fly on the wall on Christmas morning when they opened their gifts.  Then, I started wondering if it would be possible to get photos. I tried to get a message to Julie’s husband through a mutual friend about what was about to happen, but it did no good! Cara said he didn’t take photos, but it was perfect anyway!  She said she opened hers and then Julie opened hers, not knowing as Cara did the irony involved. She said she was very pleasantly surprised and they both laughed at the coincidence. Cara also said there were only about ten recipes in the two books that were the same! They both did a great job and were pleased I’d kept their secret so well.

See Cara’s book to her daughter here

See Julie’s book to her mom here.

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