November 14, 2008

Can You Taste the History?

1 cup of history
4 grandparents (seasoned)
1 tablespoon of humor
3 teaspoons of conversation
1 dollop of questions
1 pinch of interest

Combine ingredients at any family function. Stir, simmer and bake. Serve generously to anyone. Add marshmallows on top for the kids!

Of the many sources of my family history, one of the more unusual has been cookbooks. Not only because they usually contain family pictures and information but because they also contain my culinary heritage. I’m not sure how popular the trend of publishing family cookbooks is today but I find it interesting and my wife finds some of the recipes both fascinating and entertaining. These cookbooks are simple publications created by family members with the help of a Kinko’s or any of a wealth of web sites that help any would-be cookbook author/family historian.

The family cookbooks I’ve seen usually start off with a tribute to a mother or grandmother, have pages and pages of old photographs and go on to list the family tree as best as the publisher knows. Sometimes the recipes are ones passed down for generations. Some of the more interesting ones come from The Great Depression when creativity and ingenuity replaced more costly ingredients. I especially love when the recipes include a story or just a statement like “My mother used to make this when I was little” or “This was my grandfather’s favorite.” You can see, smell, touch and hear your history but who knew you could also taste your history?!

Discover, preserve and pass down your culinary heritage. We might submit a recipe or two to the next family cookbook or even publish a cookbook of our own. Look out, Paula Deen! So eat, drink and be…a family!

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