A few years ago, when my grandmother was being put into a hospital care home, my family was dealing with allocating the inheritance from my grandmother between the families of her three daughters (including my mother).
The only item of any real importance to the three sisters was my grandmother’s old, battered recipe book; my grandmother spent most of her life in the kitchen and expressed her love to others through food…
Each sister treasured the recipe book and there was a building tension over who would take the book.
In the end my mother, who is a photographer and digital artist, took the book and scanned all the pages and all the family photos found in storage.
She put all these together into a new layout, including some written history of the family and memories of times/events/experiences particularly in relation to relevant recipes. Notes such as “this particular treat was prepared on hot summer days to enjoy out on the deck after school…” were included and the entire collection was printed out into books.
A copy of the new book was given to each sister, as well as each grandchild, to share the family memories and to let the recipes continue on, being used by members of the whole family.
Finally, one copy of the new book was given to my grandmother in the hospital care home, who cried when she saw it and later slept with it tucked beneath her pillow.
The new book has been a precious present, relieving the potential conflict over who would hold the old cookbook and, in fact, bringing the family together – not just the three sisters but all the grandchildren and extended family as well.
– A story by Eat.co community member, Rob Neilson
Has your family bonded over the legacy of cooking? We’d love to hear your favorite family memory involving food as well!
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