At the writing workshop a week ago, I chose to write about a family recipe I copied from my mother’s index cards when I was ten. Proud of my cursive penmanship, this first recipe started my preparations for living on my own, cooking favorite dishes. Yes, at age ten I did think like that.
One card, oil and water stained with frayed edges, woke memories that found their path to the page. The words flowing from the pen provided a window through which I witnessed the passage of time in my life. A simple recipe for apple crisp stirred up aromas of cinnamon, apple, and sugar. I felt my hands mixing the butter, flour and sugar for the crisp. I remembered conversations, celebrations, simple family meals. I heard the sound of laughter.
Reading my own story aloud to the others nudged deeper feelings to the surface. At one point, tears came to my eyes. I remain fascinated by the depth of feeling and breadth of memory evoked by writing about this dessert and its place in my life. I resolved to write and share more stories triggered by the recipes in the small wooden box with a red rooster painted on the front.
Writing this post at the end of a very full Mothers Day with children and grandchildren, I appreciate the past generations of mothers in my family. I have some of their recipes. I know some of their stories. I treasure the current mothers in my family. I look forward to participating in their stories and sharing their recipes.
Although the drive home lasted longer than one minute, I spent a minute thanking the generations of mothers whose existence formed me.
Take one minute to appreciate the generations of mothers in your family. Ask them to tell you their story. Pass the story on to the next generation.