A few years ago, I went to New Orleans where I took a cooking class with a woman who was native to the area. She taught us how to make some of the traditional Cajun meals she grew up with, explaining that for her it wasn't just about the art of cooking, but also about carrying on these recipes that were all but lost with passing generations.
This made me think about my own family and the recipes that were precious to us. While I had picked up a few of them along the way, I realize that there were many that I didn't know. So when I came home, I sat with my grandmother to learn a few of my favorites from her collection.
As thankful as I was for that opportunity, I knew they were so many that I didn't get, as she died shortly after that trip.
In the years since her passing, I have appreciated when I've been able to find other recipes that were integral to my family's fabric, many of which my aunts, brother, and father continue to make now.
When my cousin recently posted the beautiful stuffed artichokes she made using the recipe of my great Aunt Lee (pictured here with my mom), I immediately asked if she would be willing to share it. I nearly had forgotten the request until a beautiful surprise came in the mail just a couple of days later: my very own printed copy. Holding it in my hands, I felt like I was holding a key to a past world, able to revisit a time and place (and the people) long gone.
If you have a family recipe you love, I encourage you to write it down. Share it with the others who love it. (And feel free to share any of them with me!!)