How do you celebrate your family roots in the kitchen? Most people would say with food, of course! All of our family celebrations seem to include food and there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen, especially when we are trying to pass down traditions to our children. Fascinating research featured in the book, The Secrets of Happy Families, shows that kids who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face life challenges. And knowing a lot about family history can happen over preparing traditional recipes made right in our kitchen or at the family dinner table through conversation. As we received our monthly Raddish Cooking Kit in November, the theme was celebrating our roots, a time to explore our family’s history. Check out my blog post on the subject featured on the Raddish Blog! That cooking kit inspired my kids to ask questions like these at our Thanksgiving meal and it was so much fun to hear the answers of my great grandma, mom, dad and mother-in-law all sharing their stories about their childhoods and even stories about my husband and I as kids. We all learned a lot more about each other that day. Answers to questions like:
- Where did your grandparents grow up?
- Where did your mom and dad meet?
- Where did your mom and dad go to high school?
- What was something terrible that happened in the family and how was it dealt with?
- What was your favorite food as a child?
- What piece of advice do you have for me as I go through life?
Knowing these answers shows our kids they are part of something bigger than themselves. It’s more WE, instead of ME. Here are some fun ways to bring family history into the kitchen:
- Cook with a kit. Companies like Raddish Kids and Kid Stir, are creating cooking kits for families to connect in the kitchen. As a subscriber, you receive a themed kit every month via the mail that features kid-friendly recipes, kitchen skill-building ideas and even table conversation to create family conversation. Perfect for families that yearn to make the kitchen a place to create and have fun, these kits also create a lot of quality time in the kitchen to share essential family history.
- Make a fun cooking video with a relative. This is an entertaining way to get that famed recipe on tape and it’s just a whole bunch of fun to do!! Grandma’s Apple Pie or Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup, the recipe doesn’t matter, just be sure to get the details on where the recipe came from, how long it’s been in the family, favorite kitchen tools and secrets…share them all inside the video. You will love the memory you created. Be sure to share the video with family.
- Spend a day with a relative making a traditional recipe that’s been passed down from generations before. Favorite holiday recipes lend themselves well to this, as there are so many favorite family recipes that are prepared year after year. Why not make an event of it?
And of course, after making that special recipe, be sure to invite the family to the table for a memorable meal for more story sharing. Sharing recipes can be part of sharing our family’s history. I can’t wait to hear more about how you are celebrating your roots! Share your ideas in the comments!