In families, people become known for certain recipes that they perfect and make their own by a certain flair.
This creates a connection between the particular food and the love of the cook for their family and friends.
When the dishes reappear annually on holidays and special occasions, the indispensability of those foods is a symbol for the indispensability of the person.
Without certain dishes, the table would seem as incomplete as it would if family members were delayed or absent.
My mother showed me this cookbook (pictured) that belonged to my paternal grandmother. About it she said, “It’s a real connection to your grandmother’s love for our family. She embellished it with many recipes she received from her own friends over the years and handwrote inside, making it a one-of-kind book that could not simply be re-purchased or replaced.”
In fact, after my grandmother died, my mother used the flourishes in this cookbook to inform the dishes she prepared for my grandfather. Of course, being served the same foods his wife had lovingly prepared during their sixty-eight years of marriage was a great blessing and consolation for him.
Recipes passed through generations can season life with the flavours of those who came before us.