Lines from the poem "Recipe for a Happy Marriage" include "Combine two caring hearts;" "mix well with respect and trust" and "pour in much understanding." The poem recommends combining different traits with "a dash of hugs, and bake for a lifetime" to yield one happy couple.
There are many variations of this poem, including some written in traditional poem format and others in recipe format. The characteristics listed on the recipe vary as well. For example some list "1 pinch of in-laws," "2 cups of human kindness" and "a reasonable budget." Another variation of the poem calls for "1 barrel of laughter" and advises the cook to "bake with sunshine." A third version includes the lines "1 pinch of forgiveness (no substitutions)," "1 cup of friendship" and "5 spoonfuls of hope."
Old cookbooks often contain poems similar to a "Recipe for a Happy Marriage." These recipe poems include the recipe for "Friendship Cake," which recommends combining ingredients such as love, sympathy and handshakes. These poems often contain humor as well. An example of this includes the funny recipe for "Sue Cake," which tells the story of a mother attempting to make a cake while dealing with her young daughter and other household distractions.