The school year has wound down and it’s definitely been an eventful last half of the school year for our family. A life changing decision, a whirlwind move to a new city, new neighborhood, new schools. The kids had their legs swept right out from under them, and they’ve been wonderful about it.
While the kids are at school and Nathan’s at work, I spend my days recipe testing, cooking, photographing, writing, and of course – cleaning. When they get out of school it’s after school snacks, homework, chores, and then a couple of hours outside to play before dinner, showers, reading and bedtime. The days are full and wonderful, and I feel blessed with the pure goodness of our lives, but I want a little more.
I want quality time. Some of my favorite memories growing up are being in the kitchen cooking with my Granny, or my Mom and Dad. Learning which family cake is whose favorite, which casserole dish is passed down from generation to generation – hearing our family’s history and stories, while cooking our family’s history, there’s magic there.
There’s a living history inside recipes, especially handwritten recipe cards. Every single time I pull my Granny’s recipe cards out of the sleeve of my recipe book, or thumb through one of her recipe books and see splatters of food, notes in the margin, or run my fingers over well thumbed pages and well worn faded recipe cards, I feel closer to her. I hear her voice, I see her hands mixing, kneading, stirring and spreading.
I want to help my kids to learn the beauty of cooking, and I want to do that with family recipes. I have some of my Granny’s aprons, Nathan’s Gran’s handwritten recipes, and I have cooking utensils, pots, pans, and other kitchen miscellany from both of them. I want them to value home cooking, and history.
I want to get floured up with my kids, while teaching them that their Dad’s favorite cake is Granny’s Sock-It-To Me cake – I want them to see her handwriting on the card, I want them to taste the cake with newly formed knowledge of the recipe.
There is magic to be made in the kitchen in the form of memories. Cooking through history is more than just cooking it’s passing on legacies, making memories, and allowing the past to continue to live on in the hearts of future generations.
This summer I’ll teach my kids the basics of cooking, but what they’ll learn while we do it is much more valuable.