Ties From The Past


A few months ago, my daughter Elizabeth, freshly graduated from High school, left for an extended stay in Germany, eighteen months to be exact. Recently, she has taken up baking. To be honest, this new found interest in cookery caught me by surprise. Cooking and baking have a long tradition in my family of which, while growing up, my daughter wanted no part.

She also claims no interest in family history. Do you hear the sad sigh from my heart?

You can imagine my delight when she asked me for a couple of cookie recipes. She already had my chocolate chip cookie recipe which I got from my mother. Here was my chance to be sneaky by slipping in a family history tidbit while recipe sharing.

I sent her my great-grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe along with a short history.

She did not say anything about the small history lesson. However, she was happy with the recipe, although finding Cream of Tartar in Germany was an adventure. A few days later, she sent me pictures of the cookies.

She may not yet realize the significance of the sugar cookie recipe. It bonds her together with her 2nd great-grandmother Annabelle Evans Pinkerton, a lady she never met.

Food is a part of our genealogy. Recipes, cooking and baking techniques and flavor profiles get handed down from one generation to the next. My daughter is baking cookies for her friends with a recipe that is over 80 years old.

Someday, I hope she understands that she is a part of a living family tradition and one day passes it on to her children.

How often do we forget that food is a living history that connects us with our past?


Thank you for reading.

J. R. Findsen

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