It was the Mother’s Day theme on food52, a popular site where I have competed on recipe contests, that inspired me to develop a blog. I spent the week in tears, recalling recipes from my Mom, both grandmothers and one great-grandmother. On my mother’s side, I am British, mostly Scottish, and proud of my MacPherson roots. My father and his family were Hungarian, and came from an area of Transylvania that is now a part of Russia.
The older you get, the more you value your family background. When I lost my mother to lung cancer in 2007, I lost the last tie to her side of the family. It was such a joy to inherit her precious recipe box and discover recipes dating back over one hundred years. When I read a recipe written in either my mother’s or my grandmothers’ hand-writing, a feel a comforting pull towards the past when these special women in my family showered me with love and gave me so much during the years I shared with them.
Photo here of four generations, including me, my mother, her mother and my maternal great-grandmother:
I grew up in my mother’s kitchen and both my grandmother’s New York City kitchens. All three women were excellent cooks and managed on tight food budgets for much of their lives. They always enlisted me as a helper and one of my earliest memories is stirring the custard for our Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. In fact, I still have my mother’s ceramic bowls that we always used in our kitchen.
I wouldn’t be writing a food blog without the support I still feel from my family. At my age, most of my family is gone. Never blessed with children, I have always searched for ‘adoptees’ and have a small circles of friends I consider “family”. When I am cooking in my kitchen, I often sense the presence of my mother and both grandmothers and feel comforted by their closeness.
Recently I was sorting through my mother’s stuff and found a huge envelope, labeled in my grandmother’s handwriting, “Mother’s Book”. There are so many hand-written recipes from my great-grandmother, Gram Norcross and her daughter, my maternal grandmother “Moo Moo”.
I look forward to cooking my way through all of their recipes and writing about them here, from time to time.