November 28, 2012 by Allanah M. Pinhorn
Family tradition is a huge part of who we are in the kitchen: if your mom used fresh basil in her pasta sauce chances are you will too.
Generations upon generations pass down secrets and tips, from young-to-old, over years and eventually it becomes family canon.
Two Christmases ago my mother gave me one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received: a custom-made cookbook filled with family recipes. From far and wide she sent little minions out to gather the most cherished dishes from all ends of my family tree (including friends). Handwritten, emailed and even faxed, they came from all corners – Newfoundland, Petawawa, Ottawa, Afghanistan – and from all times: I have my grandmother’s handwriting noting how many hours to cook her mother’s baked beans on a stained paper.
It made me cry.
History is important. It helps you grow and to realize who you are; things about yourself you never knew ran true in your blood. I think families connect in the kitchen and I’m not just talking about the traditional Irish or Italian mother wielding a wooded spoon, but modern families, young couples (every family begins with just two people in love) and retired married folk who now have time to spend together.
If there’s a meal on the table there’s a family to eat it.
Along this journey we’re going to take together, on this page, I’m going to try out some of these recipes. Some I already know, but some I’ve never even eaten so I’m sure it’ll be an expedition.
I think I’ll start with my Nana’s homemade bread – the smell of my childhood and what, according to my Poppa, has kept them together for over 50 years.