Family Recipes and Family History

One of the basic things families do is prepare food and eat together – Sunday dinners, family reunions, holidays, birthdays – you name it, we will prepare a feast for it. These family gatherings serve as as an opportunity for family members to gather and discuss life with each other, especially if you have not been together since the previous year. These gatherings also demonstrate togetherness.

We all have memories of sitting around the family table. Whether these are happy memories or not so happy ones, it’s still family history. I have very fond memories of the big pot of collard greens my grandmother would cook with a big pan of cornbread. She and my grandfather had fourteen children, so you had to get in where you could fit in. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of the Waltons. What was left after all the greens were gone was the “potlicker.” If you were hungry later, just warm up the “potlicker” and heat up the cornbread(there were no microwaves in those days). Some restaurants now have this southern eatery on their appetizer menu.

Along with family history, it’s a tradition for families to pass on recipes. The idea of combining family history with recipes is nothing new. We do it each time we talk about “Grandma’s Fried Chicken” and how she made it or you tell of something you loved growing up as a child. I love telling people about my mom’s Sweet Potato Pie and her famous Chicken and Dressing. I can get it “almost” like hers. She has even shared the dressing recipe with my daughter – a piece of history.

Wouldn’t it be rewarding if my grandchildren, in years to come, remembers “Grandma’s Chicken and Dressing” recipe with the fondness that I remember it?

Now that’s family history.


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