Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Sunday May 10, 2009

Ms Murky Mondays:
Heirloom Meals is a Tribute to my Mom and Nana

Today is a special day for Mother's and their children. Just preparing this inaugural blog post has brought a flood of tears to my eyes. I grew up in a family where the kitchen and food was the center of the universe, and would ultimately be the place that I am the most happy and comfortable.

Of course, I didn't know that growing up. I took handmade food for granted, doting parents and grandparents as a nuisance and their food as overkill (typical kid, right!) Despite that, I was forever in the kitchen, watching and helping Nana making ravioli from scratch, stirring the pots, making sauces and treats because I did really want to be just like them!!

So as I navigate through adulthood and have sampled several careers from finance to interior design, it is the kitchen that beckons. And it is a craving for those meals and those memories that has brought me to the development of Heirloom Meals - a soon-to-be TV show/series,cookbook and website that provides a culinary journey into the kitchens and gardens of anyone who has a treasured family recipe(s) with the goal of exploring our diverse culinary history and preserving our ancestors’ tried and true recipes and dining traditions.

My goal is to only use local and in season ingredients. We will explore old wives tales leading to some of the great recipes and concoctions and explore the connection between food, farming, the earth, nutrition and family life.

This a show dedicated to my grandmother and my mother, my teachers. There wasn’t a day in my life growing up that fresh home-cooked meals were absent. As a very young girl I would stand by my grandmother’s side and watch her make pasta from scratch, roll it out, cut it into ravioli, spaghetti etc, make manicotti crepes that are so light and fluffy you might think they were French crepes – I think there’s an episode here! When I grew up in the late 60’s and even the 70’s there was still a butcher shop where we would go for the freshest of meats and poultry (owned by my grandfather’s cousin, Johnny Pippi) My grandfather was a butcher at one time and before that he owned an apple farm in Claverack NY, which he lost during the Great Depression.

My point with all this is that they didn’t teach me per se; - I observed, participated, listened and learned by being part of the process of cooking the family meal.

Come along on the journey while I raise the funds to produce the show, write my cookbook, post to this blog and develop the website. And please send me your recipes and stories so I can share them and build them into the content.

Thank you and Enjoy!!