Something weird I noticed on my reread of Slippery Slope. Lemony mentions his grandmother when describing what happened in the stronghold and the Baudelaires would never experience. Considering he and his siblings had been kidnapped and he'd only be able to meet with VFD operatives pretending to be parents I'd assumed his family was new to the VFD. This one little throwaway line has me thinking and I'm lost.
I don’t think Lemony’s family was new to V.F.D. The Snicket mansion was built with Sir’s special emerald wood, which is mostly for the headquarters or the organization. The cheesemakers of the Volunteer Farm Dairy are also mentioned as members of V.F.D.
In fact it is said that V.F.D. usually kidnaps the children of people who were already part of the organization. In the reunion transcript of the V.F.D. building committee, it is explicitly said that the volunteers ask the parents’ permission before taking in the children, which would require them knowing about the organization.
On the day you officially join the organization, you will hear a noise outside your home. It may sound like the howl of a wolf, the cawing of a crow, the hissing of a snake, the chirping of a cricket, the engine of an automobile, the keys of a typewriter, the striking of a match, or the turning of a page. The noise will come in the middle of the night, the middle of the morning, or, in very rare cases, late in the afternoon. Ask your parents what the noise was. If they reply “nothing”, they are replying in code, because there is never “nothing” outside one’s home. If you are interested in volunteering, answer your parents with the following question: “If there’s nothing out there, then what was that nouse?” We will be listening, and will know it is safe to act.
[The un-Authorized Autobiography, pp. 190-191]
So the Snicket family has clearly worked with V.F.D. for at least one generation. Besides Lmony never says his grandmother was part of it, only that his grandmother’s almond cookie recipe was used at one of their headquarters. But we know Lemony lived there for some time so it’s equally possible that he simply introduced V.F.D. to his nana’s recipe. We know from “All The Wrong Questions” that Lemony is very partial to almond cookies and a great cook.
Sunny would never operate the projector in the movie room, or practice the art of the fake mustache in the disguise center, or sit in the parlor at tea time and eat the almond cookies made from my grandmother’s recipe.
[The Slippery Slope, Chapter Twelve]