One morning while I was making breakfast I turned on the new FamilySearch recipe videos for the children to watch.
The little boys watched and watched oohing and aaahing over the traditions and recipes shared. The fourth time through the videos they moved to a bigger screen for closer inspection if ingredients and they needed their hands to eat their breakfast burritos. They critiqued the ease and/or difficulty of the food preparation. They discussed how they would alter the recipe, leaving out ingredients they did not like or additions that would enhance the food. Apparently, Si, from A Bountiful Kitchen, did not add enough chocolate chips in her family cookie recipe. The boys were not convinced even after I told them that they were indeed perfect, having tried such cookie from Si. We will have to make them ourselves and see what they think.
An impromptu dance party happened when the French onion soup music came on and the morning turned into an unexpected teaching moment, in a way that was relatable and fun the children were learning about how food and family history are connected. Often when I bring up a topic, they roll their eyes and tune me out, this morning they were engaged and asking questions, and I just sat back and enjoyed the process.
"Mom, let's start a tradition."
"We already have food traditions. Can you think of any?"
I was met with blank stares and doubting minds. They are not convinced that we already have food traditions. They wanted to adopt one of the ones featured in the videos.
Then I proceeded to tell them all the different ways food is part of our family history and narrative, from holidays to comfort food our lives are filled with memories that revolve around food. The boys quickly joined in talking about their favorite foods and how we could make our own food video.
Steve Rockwood of FamilySearch said, “No matter where you live and no matter where your family is from, in all cultures throughout the world, we have all gathered joyously around food in the kitchen, around the dinner or breakfast table, centered around homemade dishes prepared thoughtfully by a loved one. We perpetuate these wonderful experiences and, in a very real sense, honor our heritage when we share these wonderful recipes with our children and grandchildren."
You can watch his RootsTech presentation here: "What is your Rocky Road." His talk doesn't have a title, so I made one up from a question he asked the audience after sharing one of his family food traditions. He talked about food traditions in such a beautiful, engaging, and delicious way and inspired me to want to create more meaningful cookbooks and recipes.
I am viewing our food preparation and time together in new ways. It also comes at a perfect time for us as our family meal time is harder to have with conflicting schedules. Family dinners have always been important to us, something I learned from my parents and grandparents. It would be so easy to let this time go in the business of our lives, but the value is irreplaceable, so I appreciate a beautiful reminder of the learning and memories that take place in our home.
I hope you will join me in documenting those smells and tastes that fill our memories with love. If you want to learn more about FamilySearch/Recipes go here or here. You will find examples and questions to help you think about your family food traditions. I have a few stories I am just finishing up to share with the family. Legacies and heirlooms that will help them remember who they are and where they come from because that is what is important.