The concept of baking, sharing and passing on recipes is woven throughout the book. Have recipes played a part in your own childhood and adult life?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 06/19/12
Absolutely. I come from a long line of good cooks, and there are certain items I always cook the way my mother or grandmothers prepared them. Some of these are actual recipes, and others are simply defined processes, but preparing food the "old way" is a major family tradition.
Join Date: 04/16/12
Yes, very much so. Baking and cooking with my mother is a very fond memory for me and I have many stained and faded recipe cards of our favorite things to make. I also remember my grandmother cooking early in the day when it was cool and having food available whenever we came over to visit.
Join Date: 01/16/12
My mother's infamous chocolate cake conjures up special memories. In preparation for holidays, my daughter and I have a ritual of preparing a complicated recipe every year. I know that this is something she will carry with her forever. I also find when preparing holiday meals, I always think of my grandmother doing the same even though she's been gone for over 50 years.
Join Date: 03/06/12
Join Date: 11/28/11
Join Date: 03/05/12
My grandma actually lived through WWII and I thought of her often while reading this book. Food was more to her than anyone who has never gone hungry could understand. It meant love and security and giving her children and grandchildren what she didn't have. Sometimes I make something that tastes exactly like she would have made, and it feels less like a recipe and more like a spiritual heritage.
Join Date: 04/15/11
Definitely. Food is as much a social interaction as playing a game. I have both of my grandmother's recipe boxes & I love looking at their handwriting & remember the occasions in which we shared those foods. The holidays, especially bring the memories.
Join Date: 09/08/12
Somewhat, we had traditional meals for the various holidays and I tended to follow those in my family. Now that my kids are grown, married and have kids, if they prepare the meal they don't alway follow my traditions but will add some of their spouses, which is only natural. But if I prepare the meal, I have to follow my traditions or they get upset and tell me I am breaking tradition.
Join Date: 03/14/12
Absolutely, plus we have developed our own family specialties. In my family nothing was written down and measurements were based in items in the kitchen such as the big spoon or yahrzeit glass which we thought was funny at the time but has proven to be frustrating. It was also kind of ironic that Tobias was hidden in the oven which proved to be his salvation. Maybe I put too much symbolism into holocaust literature but I found it kind of creepy that the oven saved him but led to the deaths of many others in the camps.
Join Date: 09/01/11
My mother was a wonderful woman but, sadly, not much of a cook and we have no family recipes that have been passed down. I have made a real point of cooking with my children and now grandchildren. They all have favorites that they want me to make when they come to visit and I have made sure that they have those recipes to make on their own. It has made me so happy to spend time in the kitchen with my grandchildren and quietly get to know them while creating something yummy!
Join Date: 07/28/11
Absolutely! I love to cook - my grandmother and mother were great cooks. I have made many recipes from them and they always involve a story. My daughter is not yet much of a cook, but she does ask me to make special things for her occasions.
Join Date: 06/16/11
There are numerous recipes in my box that were copied from my mothers and I still use. It is really nice too when my children and grandchildren go through the box to copy recipes that are their favorites. I also get lots of requests for family get togethers for me to make certain dishes that they all love.
Join Date: 04/10/11
Over the last couple of months we have been sorting through old boxes and trunks. A lot of things were my grandmother's, and we--my mother, my sister, my husband, and I--have been so amused by all the recipes we have found tucked into her things, many written on whatever scraps of paper she could lay her hands on, and of course recipes cut out of magazines and newspapers. We can't say how many of these she actually used, but she was a great cook and baker and apparently didn't like to make the same
things over and over.
Join Date: 01/12/12
Cooking skipped a generation in my family. Both my grandmothers were wonderful southern cooks but my mother got no more adventurous than the occasional meat loaf when I was a kid. What we ate came out of a can or was pre-frozen/refrigerated and processed. As for me, I know how to cook but think of it as such a big chore I dread it. So all those great recipes are pretty much lost, unless I somehow come upon my grandmother's cookbook someday. They certainly weren't passed along to me.
Join Date: 05/30/12
Throughout this book the preparation of food is certainly the thread that weaves the continuity of the story. Food kept the family together, alive and even at the worst of supply shortages...the importance of having something to give to whoever came through the door, friend or foe, was vital. In our own families I believe the act of preparing food and eating together is somewhat akin to forming the "soul" of the family. In some families tempers flare when they find themselves together with other members of the family to sit down and eat...in others peace and calm reign..but no matter what direction it takes favorite recipes and food preparation does form the "family soul". I know if my home were on fire along with the family photos I would certainly grab the family recipe book.
Join Date: 04/15/11
They have been very much a part of my adult life, although not so much when I was a child. However, my mother's mother spent a lot of time developing her own recipe for a hearty brown bread that she hoped to enter in a contest. She also had a recipe for vegetable beef soup that didn't come from a book. As an adult I became more interested in recipes and in 1990 I wrote to all of the extended members of my mother's father's family (descendents of Ole Hansen of Denmarck and Valley City, North Dakota) to get recipes to make a Hansen family cookbook for an upcoming reunion. It was a big success. We typed up the recipes and stories that came with them and compiled a spiral bound booklet with about 45 pages on standard typing paper and printed back and front. Last year (2011) we updated and revised it and had it put into a 3-49ng binder by a company that does them for churches and other groups. We ended up with nearly 150 pages. Many of the recipes that are included came from cousins that are no longer living, so the book has a lot of sentimental value, as well as many excellent recipes.
Join Date: 06/13/11
Yes, particularly from my grandmother and some friends. Cooking with my grandmother led me to purchase books she used as well as save some of hers. I liked the senses that the author used to set the stage or the two bakeries. Adding Mexican recipes to the El Paso bakery was a kind of metaphor for Riki and Reba and what their future life will be. I was a little surprised at the inclusion of the recipes in this more serious book- more used to seeing them in light mysteries but guess it was because of their use throughout the story.
Join Date: 04/10/11
Pegh: I also was surprised with the recipes being included. I actually found them before I started reading (always check to see how many pages there are), and I did think the book would not be as serious. It's a nice touch, though.
Join Date: 10/19/10
I loved seeing the recipes and may try a couple. Because I am majorly senior, I will soon have to give up on some of the cooking and baking that I'm accustomed to doing. The Jewish High Holidays are upon us, and I have just finished cooking and baking for my family. I make all the old recipes, and, in that way, I am connecting with the past. Some are from my mother and some from my mother-in-law. They are gone for some years, but they live on at our holiday table. Both of my daughters know how to do it all, so I know that our family recipes will continue to please future family members.
Join Date: 10/19/10
I also wanted to mention that I thought the cookbook compiled by Beth350 was a fabulous idea. I have a book that was compiled by family members of a dear friend who is now gone. I knew many of the people even though they lived in another part of the country & cherish the book and recipes in it...
Join Date: 01/12/12
Such wonderful posts! I'm really enjoying these. I wanted to say since self publishing is so readily available there's no excuse not to publish a little collection of your special family recipes. For example, every year, for about a decade, my best college buddy and I get together and bake cookies for Christmas. We have certain staple recipes we MUST make every year. What's to stop us from writing those down, taking photos (with us in the pictures would be the best - especially if I can get my hands on a chef's hat...) and self publishing them for us, my children, etc.? I may just do that this year...
What would be a lot of fun, too, would be a "Failed Recipes" cookbook. Or "This Dish Really Sucked." I can just imagine the photos...
Join Date: 07/19/11
Some of my most treasured keepsakes are family recipes in my Mothers own hand writing. I framed her tuna casserole which called for an entire large bag of cruched Jay's potato chips and 2 cans of mushroom soup... a real heart attack on a plate. When I was little, women bonded over washing dishes or baking 35 apple pies because the fruit would go to waste otherwise. Today we live such seperate lives and many women are very isolated due to technology and our mobile society. Sister, mothers, aunts and cousins are no longer just down the street. Shared experience is the core to strong bonds
Join Date: 09/13/12
My mother was an exceptional cook; however, I was not that interested in learning when I was young. When I married, she handed me a wonderful cookbook with a warm smile and said, "You can do this!". She was right. After a year of teaching myself the basics and asking her for advice, we started preparing some of her recipes together when she visited. Some of my treasures include her recipes written in her own hand. I realized later that she had written these for me. My mother was the type of cook that used "a handful" here and "a pinch" there and only looked at a printed recipe to get the idea and then adapted it as she saw fit. She never served a dish I didn't love! A glance at her handwriting on those recipe cards instantly sends me back to her kitchen---treasures indeed!
Join Date: 05/12/11
The title being about baking was one of the drawing points to this book. I've always loved to cook and bake and it is something passed on from my mother and grandmother. I continuously share recipes with friends and purchase too many cook books. Because I can relate to it, it made the book more enjoyable.
Join Date: 07/28/11
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking, and though my mom was really good at it, my grandmother really enjoyed it. I loved baking cakes and cookies with her, and she helped me with 4-H projects and such.
As an adult, my young sons and I bake breakfast (muffins/coffeecakes/breads/pancakes) every Saturday morning as a part of our routine. It is something we enjoy and look forward to - and we enjoy looking up new recipes or re-making old favorites.
One of the ways that I think that recipes were a particularly important part of this story is that it showed how an ordinary family struggled through a most horrific time and were able to help their community... it gives you a look at "the other" and realizing that the ordinary people who were part of "the other" are very much like "me."
Join Date: 01/16/12
Join Date: 04/21/11
Recipes play a part in our holidays. My husband and I both have recipes from our mothers and grandmothers that have been passed down and are now expected by our children at Christmas, especially. My mother was not a great cook so, in general, recipes have not played any part. Just holidays
Join Date: 05/10/12
To a certain extent. I have fond memories of certain things my mother and aunt cooked throughout my childhood. Neither were particularly good cooks but some things they made were memorable. I am an okay cook. What frustrates me is the lack of time in our busy lives for cooking together. There are always sports and homework etc. We do manage to sit down for dinner as a family almost every night and I think this will be a memory for my children. I wish I could find time to really cook with them.
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