tra·di·tion- (trəˈdiSH(ə)n) -noun- the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Traditions have always been a big thing for me. I love time honored traditions and the idea of being connected to our past through these customs or beliefs. The picture in this post is from a family cookbook published in 1948 and it belonged to my great grandmother. I never got to meet her but she apparently loved to bake and was a creative woman who loved to make ceramics. She passed her cookbook down to her daughter, my maternal grandma. She used it to bake pies, cakes, cookies and meals for her family who included my mother. As a child, my mom used it to bake chocolate chip cookies often. She even checked off the ingredients as she went along…in pen. (!) I can only imagine Grandma’s delight at that discovery.
My Grandma was famous for her egg noodles. It was a recipe from this cookbook that her mother taught her as a child and she continued to make throughout her life. The holidays weren’t the same without them and even when others tried to make them, they were good but you always knew the missing ingredient was Grandma’s experience and love. One year, my Grandma and her husband went to their home down south for Thanksgiving. It was the first time that ever happened and she said they didn’t plan to make it a habit as she was not pleased at his decision to not be here for that holiday. It affected me greatly because, for me, it wasn’t the holidays without Grandma’s noodles. I sent them a Thanksgiving card that would arrive the day after they got there. In it, I told her that I hope they had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed their time down there. I also said that while I appreciate the person who volunteered to make her noodles that year, it wouldn’t be the same because the main ingredient that would be missing would be her love. In that moment, she and her husband realized how important that tradition was and turned around and drove right back home a few days later! It was a wonderful surprise and while I may have done a little heart string manipulation on that one, I am eternally glad I did.
Two years later, my Grandma was diagnosed with dementia and we only got those two years with her famous tradition before it stole her ability to be able to cook something she made for over 60+ years with her own mother. That cookbook was given to my mother and is to be passed down to each generation. My mom has it now and will have it for as long as my grandma continues to hang on because it’s a very real connection to her and her heritage before she passes it down to me. I did take many pictures of recipes that interested me so in case God forbid something ever happened to it, we’d at least have pictures and some of the recipes.
The pages that were dog earred and food covered were the first to be photographed because they meant something to important women in my life. The spots of vanilla extract…the hardened dough that had been scraped off the page…the molasses fingerprints. These were shadows of my past of women who I am still connected with because of this cookbook…because of these recipes. It is a bond that is immense, comforting and overwhelming to say the least. When the time comes that my Grandma is no longer here, I can make her noodles that she so lovingly and pridefully prepared for many years for her family and it’s like she never left. It is that feeling and connection of spirit that this YouTube channel was created.
Starting next week, there is a playlist on the channel called From Grandma’s Cookbook and at the end of every year, any money made from ad revenue of videos on that playlist will be donated to the Alzheimers Association in my grandma’s memory. This disease is grossly underfunded and while breakthroughs are always being reported, they couldn’t save my grandma in time. I want to make sure another granddaughter doesn’t have to feel the soul stinging reality of the day her grandma no longer knows who she is. I know it’s not big…I know it won’t save the world but it’s my contribution to the fight.
Please subscribe to the YouTube channel as Mrs Kringle’s Kitchen is open all year, just like yours! When you watch any videos on the “From Grandma’s Cookbook” playlist, please consider letting the ad run to help fund Alzheimer’s research.