Memories of my Mother's cooking

We celebrate our moms by sharing beloved memories from the kitchen

Sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying delicious foods that bring back memories of mom or grandmom. Mother's Day is about sharing stories of these special times and recognizing the women who made home cooking fun, created recipes that continue to be enjoyed, and fostered a sense of belonging and community through their food. 

This year we want to celebrate the tradition of mothers cooking with their children and grandchildren by sharing stories from the Cookbook Project participants about preparing and eating food together.

A holiday tradition

Dian and her mother.

“My mother made a stuffing for holidays that was my favorite. She was diagnosed with cancer in January. The following Easter, when it was time for her to make the dinner, I had to step in. I didn't know how to make the dressing, but she sat in the living room on the sofa and taught me how to cook it from there. And I mean this, we had a good time.

She did a lot of canning, too. We had a peach tree in the yard, and she canned the peaches. The peaches looked so pretty, like they came out of the store the way she peeled them, and she just lined them up in those jars.” - Dian R.

A cherished cookbook

“My mother was an excellent cook famous for her recipes. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins loved her food, and they all had their own favorite dish they’d ask her to make. She always said that a house that smelled of baking and cooking was a warm house. 

I watched my mother cook. She didn't exactly teach me; I just picked things up by watching her. I remember when I came to the States, I would call her and ask how to make recipes. She would stay on the phone with me while I cooked, which got very expensive because of long-distance charges. She finally said, "I’m just going to send you the recipes. We can't spend this much time on the phone!"

So, when she came to visit, she gave me an original cookbook that she had handwritten with her own original recipes. When she stayed with me, we would cook together. It was the best time ever, ever, ever! I cherish that time so much because I lost her unexpectedly. She wasn't old, so that time was so special. I make sure I make time for my kids and grandkids.” - Eva H.

Old and new

Nancy and her mother.

“I learned baking from my grandmother. My sisters and I loved spending the weekend with her and cooking with her. She was very specific and precise, and frugal about baking as she had grown up during the Depression. People couldn’t waste money on fancy ingredients. I learned to make apple pie, blueberry coffee cake, and banana bread - don’t waste the bananas! She baked traditional, basic recipes, and I learned a lot from her. 

My mother was more experimental with her cooking, rarely following a recipe. She used whatever she happened to have in the garden or what was on sale at the grocery store.

They both influenced my cooking as I enjoy cooking traditional recipes as well as experimenting with new techniques and foods.” - Nancy F.

Cooking with heart

“I was raised by my grandmother. One of my favorite dishes of hers is Caldo Gallego, a Galacian broth that includes navy beans, collard greens, salted pork, beef with the marrow bone attached, white potatoes, and chorizo. She also used to make arroz con pollo. She would make the rice with Schaefer beer instead of water. The alcohol evaporates, and the taste it gave to the rice, along with the seasonings, takes me back. She also made the best fried chicken. My grandmother told me to cook with my heart. We are surrounded by energy. We are energy. If you're upset, walk away from the food. I cook with my eyes, my heart, and intuition. - Helen C.

We'd like to invite you to share your pictures and special memories of your mother or grandmother. Please share on the GetSetUp Community Cooking page.

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