Food and Memories

familyMy mom always made pancakes, waffles or johnny cake for Sunday lunch. Bacon or sausages would accompany these much-loved meals. In my mind’s eye, I can picture sitting around the kitchen table with my siblings.

When I started my own family, these Sunday lunch foods were continued. Now that my children have children of their own, they often make these favourites for their families.

On Mother’s Day, my husband and I made waffles using my mom’s recipe. I enjoyed every bite. Afterwards I thought of the many memories I have that revolve around family meals. Also, there are foods that automatically make me think of a certain person.

Well into her 70’s, my mom enjoyed gathering her family for a meal. When we arrived, we’d go directly to check the paper she had taped to her hutch. There we could read the entire dinner menu. It was much later I learned this was not done for our benefit, but so she wouldn’t forget anything!

For many years now, the words “clubhouse sandwich” invoke memories of much more than food. On December 26th we gather with our children and grandchildren for Clubhouse Sandwich Day. What started with food has turned into a gathering that’s a priority on everyone’s schedule. Not all the grandkids like clubhouse sandwiches but everyone enjoys the fun, laughter and stories that are shared that afternoon. Family memories are relived and new ones created.

When asked, my grandchildren could easily identify a food they thought of in relation to me. I know that even when I am no longer with them, they will think of me when they eat this. Memories are so often intertwined with food.

What memories do you have around certain foods? I’d love to hear your stories. You may inspire me to start a new family tradition!

Christmas Traditions

#inspiration, #Christmas, traditions
image from Pinterest

Do you have any special Christmas traditions? Are there activities, outings or special foods that signify the season for you? They may have been carried forward in your family for years, decades or generations.

How easy is it for you to adapt to changes in your traditions?

I grew up in a home where we were able to choose one of the presents under the tree to open on Christmas Eve. When I got married this changed. My husband was of the opinion that all gifts waited until Christmas morning. It was time to form new traditions together.

When my children were young teenagers we would pick my mother up in the afternoon of Christmas Eve and bring her our house to spend the next few days.

She would come to church with our family on Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we would drive around various neighbourhoods admiring Christmas light displays. Upon returning home it was time for hot chocolate and cookies.

One year, my husband made us clubhouse sandwiches on Boxing Day. Little did he know this was the start of a brand new tradition! Boxing Day has been synonymous with clubhouse sandwiches ever since!

Some traditions change out of necessity. My mom is no longer with us and our kids now have families of their own. One thing has not changed in over twenty years. We may not all be together to open gifts or enjoy a turkey dinner on Christmas Day but nobody wants to miss out on our clubhouse gathering on Boxing Day!

It’s funny how something little like this takes hold and becomes such a big part of our lives. Tell me about the traditions that have become part of your family heritage?