Connecting with family traditions always seems especially important this time of year. I remember my mom’s recipe box was that dated olive green plastic that matched the living room curtains and modeled green wall-to-wall carpet. Don’t laugh, that was in style when?
Her recipe card box was always overflowing with cards and irreplaceable scraps food stained paper with faded handwriting from family members I never got to know. It had my pencil-printed recipes, like Everyday Drumsticks, from my childhood cooking classes with Sister Marcianne and Jeannette the school cook, Granny’s chocolate cake and sarmales (stuffed cabbage leaves), from the old country.
I enjoyed a lot of sarmales and stuffed peppers – two of the traditional Romanian recipes made by the Romanian and German women in the family. My Aunt Sylvia, who could speak Romanian fluently, had made the translation for my mom when she married my dad – probably to make sure he got fed as he’d become accustomed.
The green recipe box is still at my Mom and Dad’s home, on a closet shelf behind their winter hats and gloves stuffed with many other recipes that remain unmade because they are written using metric and weights. What a loss of tradition, connection to the past and opportunity to taste something that someone thought was extraordinary enough to write down and share.
You may not have a recipe box like my mom’s, but with the Internet the ability to share traditional recipes is bigger than ever. From limoncello, to sweet sufganiyot and authentic, at last, international sharing of traditions, memories and scrumptiousness has been made easy! Click here for tips for translations.