01 April, 2019

Recipes as legacy

A quick post today - the very reason Microblog Mondays is a thing - that grew from a comment I read elsewhere.

Someone noted (I've forgotten where) that they would like to pass down favourite or family recipes, but because they don't have children, they were grieving about that. It's a legitimate sadness, and one I've noted before too. But I have an idea, one I've been thinking about for quite a while. These days, it is really easy to put together recipe books online. And one day, I intend to put my favourite recipes - some family recipes, some my own - in a recipe book, maybe even take photos of the dishes for illustration, and then give it to my nieces and nephews - and anyone else who might want it. Or maybe I'll just download them all on a blog sometime. I have to be a bit more creative if I want to spread the things I love. But that way too, more people get to try them. So it's a positive both ways.

We don't even need to be particularly creative. I make a recipe regularly, that I always think of as "Aunty Kenzie's" recipe, because that's how it was explained when my MIL gave it to me. I never met Aunty Kenzie, and I don't even know if she was related, or a family friend. Aunty Kenzie may not have known me, but her simple recipe has given me much pleasure. Our recipes - and legacies - get passed on sometimes in ways we never expect, or perhaps even know about. But not knowing about it doesn't lessen the legacy that is left. And I for one take comfort in that.


  1. I love this idea, this sharing widely and passing on in unexpected ways.

    And now I'm curious about Aunty Kenzie's recipe!

    1. It's a very simple mince (ground beef to Nth Americans) recipe. Essential flavours (along with onions and garlic) are tomato, curry, and pineapple. It's an easy one pot meal, or two if I throw in some macaroni or spiral pasta.

  2. Love this: "I have to be a bit more creative if I want to spread the things I love. But that way too, more people get to try them. So it's a positive both ways."

    My grandparents made a cookbook for their 50th wedding anniversary, and it was such a special collection of memories and recipes they had to work to write down as they just did it, usually. I love the idea of Aunty Mali's Recipes going out into the world!

  3. This is such a refreshing way to look at it. It got me thinking about how many of my country's (Dominican Republic) recipes and customs i have gotten to "pass down" to my close friends that have become my family. I think i will start something new with my godchildren "Tia Jerika's Recipes".

    Can i also say, i'm loving #microblogmondays

  4. Mali, I would LOVE to learn some recipes from New Zealand. If you ever decide to upload them on a blog, please let us know :-).

    Also, one of my godchildren likes helping me in the kitchen when she is visiting. She is still small, but I could imagine teaching her some of my favorite recipes when she is older (if she is still interested then).

    Wishing you a good rest of the week!

  5. Whether we have our own children or not to pass them on to, sharing family recipes is something I think many people appreciate. :) My mother's cousin put together a family recipe book for one of our family reunions about 10 years ago. There was only one recipe that we could determine as coming from my great-grandmother (the common ancestor of all of us), but there were several that came from my great-aunts & my grandmother, & everyone threw in their own favourites. It was great.

    When my mom got married back in 1960, my grandmother wrote out a whole bunch of her favourite/most-used recipes for her in a school notebook, all in her own handwriting. Plus basic stuff like how to cook a roast. One year at Christmastime, my mom had it photocopied & put together with page protectors & binding into a little booklet and gave it to my sister & me for Christmas. She had several copies made & gave the rest to my cousins' wives & daughters, as well as a few of her own cousins who knew & loved my grandma. It's one of the best Christmas presents I ever got. :)