Food preparation is one of the most important things families can pass on between generations. While traditional heirlooms have their place, they are sequestered to shelves or displays while food is consumed and enjoyed repeatedly. Most people who love how to cook or bake say they got the love from their parents, who got it from their mother (presumably) who got it from her mother. These traditions are as important as oral storytelling in shaping the heritage of a family.
This summer, I was fortunate enough to receive a recipe box from my mother that she got from her mother. Many of the recipes are from my grandmother, great-grandmother, and great aunt, while others were gathered by my grandmother from other family members and friends.
One of my earliest memories of time spent with my grandma was baking with her. She and my great aunt passed down to me a love for crafting and baking. Recently, I sat down and sorted through each recipe, fascinated by the popular ingredients at the time (so many dates and nuts, and oleo!) and blown away by the amount of dairy in almost everything.
From there, my objective has been clear: I want to restore these recipes and compile them so people can enjoy the food my grandmother and great-grandmother and great aunt made. Granted, I’m planning on making a few adjustments (making everything dairy-free for a start) but I’d like to bring this food into the 21st century and share it with everyone.
While it’s a work in progress, in the months to come, you will see some posts labeled “Family Recipe:”. Know that each one came from an index card that my grandma wrote and stored in her recipe box. Eventually, a cookbook will be released with any favorites I select along the way.
What recipes are passed down in your family?