For most of us, there’s nothing like home cooking. For many of us, though, home cooking is pretty much just a memory.
Instead it’s more like fast food lunches, dinner-time meals cobbled together from the frozen food aisle, breakfast burritos from a drive-through or alien-tasting toaster popups snagged while heading out the door in the morning.
Those of us who value real food cooked by real people in real time are, whether we know it or not, soldiers in what has become known as the “slow food movement.” We are the conduits by which favorite recipes of our past can be passed along to our children. Some of us do this merely by our actions, preparing tasty, healthy meals for our offspring on a regular basis. Some go a step further and make sure the recipes are shared, sometimes in the form of a family cookbook.
Passing on recipes can be an exasperating experience. Many recipes may call for a pinch of this, a dash of that, a jelly jar of water or similarly vague measurements. Back in the day, many recipes were passed on orally, often in a hands-on manner. We demand more precision today. One solution to this would be to video record the person as they actually prepare the dish. At the very least, you should taste test your recipes before passing them on to others. Many common ingredients of the past have been revamped or are no longer available.
What constitutes a family recipe is a matter of debate. If a family favorite originated elsewhere, give proper credit. A brouhaha surrounding recipes on John McCain’s web site in which his wife, Cindy, passed on Food Network recipes as “McCain Family Recipes” led to their being pulled. Don’t create your own family “spaghetti-gate.”