For some folks, food is just a way to stay alive. They go on about their everyday lives eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner while never being excited about anything on their plate-- and they don't really care to be.
I am not one of these people. I will actually clap when a wonderful meal is placed in front of me. There is something in me that resonates with the effort and love that I know goes into good food. I think of food as a form of art; an expression of ones self and one's family. There is something intimate about preparing a meal for someone you love. I believe it is a connection to the past; my history. I hold a deep emotional connection to many of the recipes that I own. They have been around for years, and passed down to me from my mother, her mother before her, and from others I hold dear. When I was small, my mom would stand me up on a stool beside her in the kitchen, and we would cook and bake together. Times spent in the kitchen are some of the fondest memories I have from my childhood.
The roots of my love for food (especially baking and sweets) run deep. My mother has 5 sisters who have all stayed very close throughout the years. I have 15 cousins, and 12 (if i have counted correctly) first cousins once removed... just on my Mom's side. We are all spread around 5 states, but we keep in touch (thanks to the wonderful world of social media and some very determined mothers).
As early as I can remember, whenever all of us were together, which is at least once a year at Thanksgiving, there was ALWAYS a dessert/snack table in addition to our meal table. All of us kids would sneak by the dessert table and grab the mint chocolate brownies, peanut butter balls, and the homemade chex-mix, thinking we were getting away with something. All along our mothers knew what we were up to. I remember so many evenings sitting around the dining room table with my Grandma, my mom, and my aunts and cousins after dinner, just talking... about whatever. It didn't matter what we talked about. The important things was that we were all there together.
[The early days before us cousins were even thought about]
Every year at our Thanksgiving get-together, the sisters give "sister gifts" to each other. Several years ago, however, they gave a "cousin gift" instead. All of the sisters, and my Grandma, got a collection of recipes together and made us a cookbook of all of our favorites.
...It is one of my most cherished belongings.
If you were to ask me to choose one recipe that I would consider a family recipe that I will pass down to my children, I would tell you about 5 flavor pound cake. I don't really know if it is a true "family recipe", as in, I'm not sure if it was completely made up by a distant relative. This doesn't matter to me. It is something that has been a part of our home for years. And I plan to keep it going. 5-Flavor Poundcake is the first cake listed in this book. There is a reason.
I had a request to make this cake recently, so I whipped one up today. Actually, this is not a "whip it up" sort of recipe. While it is fairly simple to make, it has to bake for and hour and a half, and then you make a glaze for it. It is a labor of love.
If you would like this recipe, I will share. Just leave a request in the comment box and I will email it to you. I think it is a little too special just to post online.
I hope this post inspires you to look into your family's past and find some of the cherished recipes that have made it through the generations of your history. I have been blessed by God beyond all my imagination. He has chosen to place me in one of the most loving, wonderful families and I hope that I always remember to thank Him for this.
The women in our family started a recipe club, and we started a blog to help keep up. If you are interested in seeing any of these recipes, click here.