My family shares a rich tradition of “must have” foods at holiday meals and family gatherings, and we love to recount the stories that make us laugh and sigh. Some stories are simple, such as the time my sister squirted my grandfather with the yellow mustard while eating hotdogs. (“I though I saw a yeller streak go by,” my cousin Becky proclaimed.) And some are more involved, such as the traditional sharing of my father’s deer jerky at Christmas (which all the grandchildren fight over). I’ll never forget winter gatherings at my maternal grandmother’s home when the games came out and the popcorn flew from the stove. Popcorn never tasted the same as it did out of my grandmother’s colorful metallic bowls.
The heart of a family beats stronger at mealtime. Breakfast together provides an anchor for the family’s day, and the evening meal together can provide closure to hectic schedules. Research has shown that family mealtimes can promote language development in young children, and that family mealtime discussions can provide an avenue for adolescents to connect with the family in an otherwise chaotic world.
No matter the story or the food, the common bond is family. It would be my hope that this book reflects that relationship.
Why write this book? Since the origins of time, people have valued food and good conversation. Stories and recipes are passed down through families. Some families embrace the tradition, and sadly others have let both family stories and recipes be lost over time. Family Stories, Family Recipes will provide an avenue for families to share their favorite mealtime memories and recipes and archive them for all time.