I hold old photographs of my Great Grandmothers and Grandmothers and reflect on our shared culinary heritage. Did Great Grandmother Veta Melnotte Sannebeck Owen enjoy chocolate as much as me? Would Great Grandmother Marion Presely Bebout drink champagne? Was Great Grandmother Margaret Hunt Ligon as stern in real life as she appears in the photograph? How competitive were my Grandmothers, Marcia and Hildegarde, toward one another? I’ve heard stories or their bake-offs for Bridge Club–but no one is around to share the good gossip anymore.
Going through family recipes does funny things to a person. The past becomes tangible–so tangible that I start believing I know these women. Maybe one day my great granddaughter or granddaughter will feel the same way. Call me nostalgic and sentimental (I blame postpartum hormones), but with my first Mother’s Day approaching, I cannot stop thinking about the past and how it informs my present. I have many questions and a place to start researching the answers to them.