This story from the Star News in Wilmington, NC. Reminds me a lot of the bond that cooking has forged within my own family.
One of the things I did for my mom’s 80th birthday was to take her mother’s handwritten leather-bound journal of “receipts” – as they call recipes in the south – and preserve the dried, delicate paper they were originally written on. I’ve mentioned my own mother’s baking savvy many times on this blog – she baked to supplement my father’s income growing up and to this day she churns out her famous brownies, pies, cakes, and cheesecakes for eager friends, family members and colleagues, charging only enough to cover the basic ingredient expenses.
Food and its creation has been the one abiding constant in my life, and something I’ve always shared with my own mother. Many of you may not know this, but my daughter has now fallen in line with the family legacy and she helps me run Feast on the Cheap, suggesting posts and muddling through some of the technical challenges that the internet can present. She has tasted every single recipe that is on this site, flags her favorites, reminds me of forgotten meals, and she’s even started making a few of my recipes herself – adding her own unique twists – from her tiny kitchen in Manhattan’s West Village.
Like the family in the Star News piece, my own family uses, reuses and reworks recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation in an effort – either conscious or subconscious – to remain connected, to honor each other and to honor the past. It’s a way to stay close as everyone starts to move farther and farther apart.
Just the other night, my Rhode Island-based brother – an amazing home chef in his own right – called me to help him plan a menu he was creating for an upcoming dinner party. Even my 96-year-old uncle in California has joined in and sent me a bunch of my late aunt’s recipes, some of which I plan to experiment with and post on the blog. My uncle swears they’re budget-friendly, simple, and delicious!
I know it’s not quite Mother’s Day yet, but to all you young mothers, old mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, I hope you have a wonderful week. And if you have any family recipes you’d like to share, please do so!