Hello, writerly friends!
Happy New Year! While this post is happening a little bit later than I wanted, the sentiment is the same. With the passing of the 2015 holiday season, I am poised to reflect on something wonderful; a gift that I received from my mother. I hope that reading this will give you a warm feeling on these cold winter days.
One of the fondest memories I have from my youth is baking with my mother. Mom was a first grade teacher for many years, and her attention to details is what made her a fine baker.
I mention this, because several years ago at the holidays, my mom presented me with a book she had put together; a journal of sorts, or perhaps more of a scrapbook, which was filled with stories, cookie recipes and pictures. The stories told about my female relatives and their Italian heritage. Each story was adorned by a photograph of the relative whose recipe it was.
These were special cookie recipes. I knew the cookies were Italian in origin, but these particular recipes held a special place in my mother’s heart. She had enjoyed baking cookies with her own mother (my Nana), just as I had enjoyed baking with mine.
I had grown up making the same cookies with my mother in our kitchen, but I hadn’t realized from whom the recipes came. My mother added her own special holiday cookie recipes as well, making the book something of a time capsule.
A photograph of my great grandmother, Nana’s mother, with a favorite of her recipes sits on the final page of the book. That is so special to me. The photo is very old and faded, her wavy silver hair apparent. Clearly, Nana learned to bake special cookies from her mother. It’s a family tradition worth keeping, and I intend to add a page with my own photo and recipes into the book as well, so it may be passed on.
So there you have it; a bit of a sentimental journey, but a fond one, nonetheless. Does your family have any special holiday baking traditions? Are there family recipes that hold sentimental value to you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!