One way to keep special family memories alive is to use family recipes in your celebrations.
When my mom brings cheese-stuffed celery sticks to Thanksgiving dinner every year ("because my grandmother always made these"), or when my girls make "boiled cookies" for Ron's birthday, or when Kati takes a coconut cake to the Christmas party for Ron's side of the family, it demonstrates the significance of family food traditions.
As long as I can remember, my mom has been making sugar cookies for Christmas. They are sweet and buttery and decorated with red and green sprinkles, and is it okay to think that they are better than any sugar cookie ever? I think it. Every year, Mom brings these wonders to our Christmas gathering, and she also brings a small package of them to my sister and to me.
Last Christmas, I told Mom that I had never made these cookies, because they were her domain. She insisted that not only would she not mind, but she would love to turn these over to me! So this year, I will be venturing into the business of making THE sugar cookies.
(Of course, Mom makes the best potato salad and cole slaw too, but those will stay in her domain. For one thing, there would be mutiny...)
In family lore, Ron's grandmother is famous for her banana pudding. I hear that she made a huge bowl of it when family was coming, and that it would feed a crowd. I don't have her recipe, but I made banana pudding (from scratch, as I imagined that she would have) one year for Ron on Father's Day.
A few weeks later I made a bowl for Ron's dad for his birthday. In a little over a week, he had passed away, and I was glad that I had favored him with a good memory of his mother.
I have a yummy sloppy joe recipe from my Great Aunt Minerva. She cooked this for Ron and me when we visited her as newlyweds, and she shared the recipe with me.
I served Aunt Minerva's sloppy joes at a family party to welcome my youngest granddaughter Alaine. I have also cooked them for several informal suppers with friends.
When I reorganized my recipes a few years ago, I decided to add a few photos of loved ones beside their recipes. It's a pathway to memory, not only for me, but hopefully one day for my children and grandchildren.
Do you have specific foods or recipes associated with certain family members? Do you incorporate family recipes into your celebrations?
This is Day 28 in the series CeLeBRaTe!! Click ~here~ to see more.