When my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law gave her recipe boxes to my husband. Three small, matching metal tins filled with the recipes she made dozens and dozens of times during his childhood. Some are clipped from newspapers or magazines, but most are handwritten on index cards. And among the handwritten ones are countless recipes that go back many generations – special dishes that were only made in the tiny village in Sicily where both her parents grew up. When we cook those dishes, my husband is instantly transported to his childhood – the smells and tastes are exactly what he remembers from his mother’s kitchen. And it always makes him think of her.
We regularly receive condolence messages from friends and family members who have fond memories of the dishes their loved ones prepared. Some are even lucky enough to have copies of their favorite recipes, and they share them in the obituary Guest Book. This week we share 5 condolence messages about the ways in which recipes and food connect us to those who have meant the most in our lives (and we share a couple recipes along the way):
- I miss you, Mom. I have been cooking a lot of your recipes lately. I feel your hand on my hand as I stir the ingredients. My kitchen smells like you. I love you. Thank you for being you. [Published in Eureka Times-Standard]
- Back in 2005, for our Halloween bash, Jeremiah made a chicken & chili dip that was out of this world. Many of us requested his recipe. He was very kind to share it with us. He was such a nice guy. I still think about him from time to time. He will be missed! Enjoy his recipe! “Chicken and Cheese Dip”: 2.5 Lbs Velveeta cheese, 2 Cans Pace Salsa, 1 Can Refried Beans, 1 Can green chili, 1 small can chicken. Put together in crock pot and melt. Stir occasionally. [Published in Battle Creek Enquirer]
- One of my most treasured gifts in the whole world was that she gave me a recipe book as a wedding gift. Inside, she had collected some of her favorite recipes and they were hand written. Through the years, I have made every single recipe- the lemon chicken, the alphabet soup, all of them. That book is even more special, now. [Published in Patriot-News]
- Days before he passed away, he gave me a recipe for zuchinni because Ken and I were getting tired of them growing in my garden one after another. Chop zuchinni in little cubes, he said, saute and add onions, garlic, corn and chopped Roma tomatoes, not regular, Roma, then pour in red wine until it sizzles. You will never tire of zuchinni again. So when you all make his concoction, you will think of Del. [Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram]
- On last Wednesday i know must of made you very proud by perfecting the one recipe you shared with me and i know that i warmed Papa heart when i had the honor to feed and to him and watch the joy on his face when he had the love of his lifes cooking one more time made by his grand-daughter. [Published in The Patriot Ledger]
Legacy.com reviews one million condolence messages each month. Each week, we highlight 5 condolences with a common theme.