photoWhen I was a wee bit younger, I wrote a cookbook for my sister, the Home Ec teacher, for her wedding. I put in all our favorite family foods, and added some from her soon-to-be mother-in-law as well. The book was called Our Family Recipes. Catchy, eh?

I quickly found out that no one in my family can just tell you a recipe. What they tell you is a story with the occasional measurement involved. And in many cases, the story would begin with, “I don’t have a recipe written down, so I’ll tell you what I do…”

For months as I gathered recipes, I found myself enjoying all the stories behind them. The end result is a book filled with food and memories, and some advice like, “Don’t toss the pizza bread on the ceiling. You’ll have to get a broom to get it down and it’ll leave a mark.” And the dreaded, “If ever you want to make these horrible things, call me and I’ll talk you out of it” that is found on the Potato Pancake page. My sister and I couldn’t stand those as kids. The actual recipe for those is not included in my book, on principle. And if you’re familiar with my Sauerkraut Soup blog, the first ever written recipe for the soup was done for this book.

You don’t have to be a writer or a chef to record these moments for generations to come. In my family, we had no idea that within a year, we would lose some of our older family members, those who were the keepers of these ancient recipes. What we have are our memories and their stories—with the occasional measurement.

My novel, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.