My husband’s birthday was Friday (as I have mentioned), and we celebrated with his family on Saturday, which always means his mom makes pineapple upside down cake.
I’ve had the recipe for years but I’ve never actually made it because, well, hers is surely better. But I mentioned that it would be good sometime for her and the girl to make a batch together in order to pass the tradition along.
We don’t have a lot of family recipes on either side that are treasured that much — our banana bread is based on a family recipe from my side, but that’s about it — but I understand the importance of keeping traditions alive and passing on those recipes and those foods that have meant a lot to us through the years.
That’s where my friend Sarah Shotts comes in. She’s a storyteller and preserver of family memories, and through her Project STIR Kickstarter she hopes to travel the globe documenting that generational passing on of a recipe from one family member to another.
It’s a great idea and makes me wish we had some heirloom recipes to document in this way. If it sounds like something you’d love to have, too, I hope you’ll consider donating. The Kickstarter is open through Oct. 31, 2015, and the rewards include printable food passports, recipe kits, a digital magazine, engraved spoons and more.
Cooking with Kids
Even though we don’t have a lot of classic family recipes, we do believe in cooking with the girl, though we don’t do it as often as I would like. The rush of life makes it so much easier a lot of days to just do it all ourselves, but we do bake together regularly, and we’re planning to make family pizza night a homemade affair more often (especially since husband just got a cheese making kit for his birthday!).
It’s super important for a lot of reasons. Not only is it a way to pass on memories and valuable life skills, it helps with math and science, is a sensory experience, gives you a chance to talk to your kids in a way you might not otherwise and can make them more willing to try different foods.
It boosts kid’s self esteem by allowing them to contribute to the family and helps them to appreciate the work that goes into preparing a meal.
And eating that meal together, of course, is hugely beneficial throughout a child’s life, and is linked to higher grades and self esteem and lower rates of eating disorders and substance abuse. So start spending time in the kitchen together early in your child’s life and keep that habit as long as you can.
Where to start? Baking is a great place to begin because it’s not on the stove. Try some simple snacks and easy things like sandwiches to start. Or check out this list from My Life and Kids of 30 simple recipes kids can make.
What do you cook with your kids? I’d love to hear your ideas and see your recipes if they’re online!