I recently had the opportunity to care for my aging parents. This blessing has allowed me to re-connect with my roots.
Enjoying meals together has always been a priority in my family, and I have strived to continue this priceless tradition within my own home. Knowing that I will be serving a meal to join the family for fellowship helps me be more intentional with both meal planning and preparation. No food fads required!
While some people prefer to eat a very limited diet and rotate the same meals week in and week out – meatless Monday, fish Friday, Sunday roast, etc. – I like to mix things up! I am definitely not a Cheerios-for-breakfast-every-morning kind of person.
I have a deep love for food and nutrition. It is not uncommon for me to voyeur Pinterest, flip through the pages of the many cookbooks in my collection, and, lately, even go so far as to dig deep into my mother’s recipe box for inspiration and ideas.
I rarely abide by a recipe; it is more of a baseline idea. However, while inspecting the hundreds of handwritten recipe cards and notes within my mother’s archives, I was inspired by the legacy and community of my ancestors.
Before Julia Child, Betty Crocker, and even Martha Stewart, there were our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Granted, there are males in my family that know their way around the kitchen, but the majority of the history lies with the women.
It was the women who took the time to handwrite recipe cards, even documenting the men’s “secret” recipes. Although many are memorized, I only have one hardcopy recipe written in my mother’s hand. It is faded and stained (evidence of being well-loved)! That recipe, although I have adapted it over time, connects me with my mom (and her mom).
My parent’s generation is soon coming to an end. The responsibility to continue family traditions and legacy for future generations now fall on us and our children. Remember, you learned your diet lifestyle habits from the example of your parents. Your children and their children are learning from your example now. Gather around the supper table, and enjoy the fellowship and connection.
What do you do if you don’t have a family recipe box? Start your own. Town & Country Market has an excellent recipe database. Often their featured recipes can be sampled. They focus on premiering seasonal ingredients and items that are special. Build your own binder with your favorites.
Give those recipes a personal touch by handwriting notes on them. Personalization is the key to adding sentimental value. I have seen far too many “family cookbooks” that are filled with recipes off of soup cans. I know you can do better!
Here is an heirloom recipe for bread. My grandmother learned to make this as a child. I have made this twice during my stay with my parents, and it is easy to make, delicious, and keeps well. It is great for sandwiches and toast. Give it a try and let me know what you think.