Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cooking Through My Family

Cooking and family. Anyone who knows me knows that I put family up as one of my greatest priorities. My brother Adam and sister Sheryl feel the same way. So it is of no wonder that some of our best family memories revolve around the dinner table. Mom and Dad insisted on nightly meals. Mom did most of the cooking as Dad was off teaching art at (then) Glassboro State College until dinnertime. (Dad, on the other hand, mastered the BBQ grill and brunch!) Our dinners were "all hands on deck." Everyone would help out setting the table, getting drinks, putting out the condiments, and generally participate in the making of the meals.

One of many holiday dinners at Wenonah (Brother Adam was taking the pic)

During dinner, the conversation was loud and lively, with each of us recounting what happened that day.  We were not a big "grace" family. I only remember saying "grace" a handfull of times, usually when the grandparents were visiting. Mom and Dad were big on the communication. They would ask , "What did you do today? What did you learn?"  in between telling us to eat our peas, get our elbows off the table, or to stop kicking each other.

Mom's Birthday Dinner at Lake Wynonah

The breakfast room, where we ate most meals, served as a gathering spot for the day's activities.  Mom and Dad had their first cup of coffee there. Mom, her first smoke of the morning. It was a perfect place to talk on the phone as the phone cord stretched right around from the kitchen to Mom's seat. We worked on homework there, art projects, watched TV on the small black and white, or Dad read  The Gloucester County Times. On different occasions our parents sat in the breakfast room waiting for us to get home late after our 1 AM curfew. You know if you only saw Mom's cigarette burning in the pitch black darkness, she was there waiting and boy, were you in trouble!

Mom and her beloved grandchildren, Angelica and Johnny

The formal dining room was left for special occasions: holidays, birthdays, visiting guests and of course, whenever the grandparents stayed over.  The dining room was off limits for our art projects. In fact, not much occurred there besides the formal meals! It was sacred to Mom and we were fine with that. That's just what we grew up with: a breakfast room and a formal dining room. When I started renting houses instead of apartments, I always picked one with a formal dining room I think as homage to my mother.
Celebrating John's Dad's 90th birthday, another great meal and memory with family around the dining room table

Dinner in 2011 with Dad, myself, and my other mom, Martha, who is an incredible cook and inspiration as well
Over these next several months, I will be stepping back from my usual blog topics and instead begin exploring the recipes of my family. Follow me as I cook the recipes which brought us together for each meal including how they were an integral part of my family at large:  grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins included!

Lunch with Dad and Sheryl in 2011. We were having lunch with our friends, the Roosevelt Elk of Northern California!
With each blog I will cook a recipe of my mother's, sister's, or other family members', include an anecdote about it, as well as the actual recipe. These recipes helped bring together my family for birthdays, holidays, and other events . You may be surprised at how many of us have the same experiences. I may add a short video talking about it or a favorite kitchen gadget which I cannot live without.
I want to begin this series with a video that my sister and I created for the National Museum of American Jewish History which my sister and I visited in 2012. I posted it once before but I am posting it again as it seems very apropos for this new project. We had to pick a topic related to our family and discuss it. Our topic we chose about food in our family. Hope you enjoy.

The National Museum of American Jewish History video that my sister and I filmed in 2012:



  1. Marc, this was a great post. So many of us have these same great memories. Like your new wallpaper and the different Blog set up too.


  2. Thanks so much Skip. I really appreciate the support!