Some of my most treasured possessions from my relatives are their recipes. Whether they’re handwritten in Grandma H.’s spiral-bound handwritten collection, published in a church cookbook, or typed and saved on my computer, each recipe represents special times spent with loved ones throughout the years. For those of us who love food, meals conjure up memories. My mom and I are in the process of putting together a family history through recipes, so I was thrilled when author Suzan Colón, who wrote “Cherries in Winter: My Family’s Recipe for Hope in Hard Times,” gave me the opportunity to tell the story behind one of them on her blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
It was late summer 1992. Grandpa M. had just passed away. T-boned while driving through an intersection. Months in a coma. Gone.
On that September afternoon—in the church where two generations of my family had worshipped God and relatives had gotten married—we all gathered in the steel blue sanctuary to say goodbye.
When you’re ten years old, things hit you in a peculiar way. You store away the details in your memory—little things like the silly nickname you gave your grandfather and the way you used to lock him out of the house and giggle while he pretended to not see you hiding inside. You remember a seven-syllable medical term you can’t define–subdural hematoma–and the quiet helium confidence you felt as you walked up the blue carpeted stairs to give a eulogy at your grandfather’s funeral.
“What I’ll miss about Grandpa was his hot dish.”
What a strange, insensitive little girl, those who didn’t know me must have thought. But in a way that’s inexplicable to those of us who are no longer children, that was the most evocative–and, in a way, profound–honor I could give my beloved grandfather.
You can read the rest of the post and find out what made Grandpa’s hot dish–or egg noodle doop, as he called it–special at suzancolon.net. Then, if you’re willing, please share your food-related family memories in the comments below–I’d love to read them!