Recipes continuously have been passed down from generation to generation, but do we really know the meaning behind these recipes? The meaning in cooking-related terms behind recipes, is simply “taking back,” or “receiving. ” Whether it is just a simple recipe, such as my grandmother’s “chicken and spaghetti”, it’s important because there is always a story attached to the recipe from those who originally made it. People often use the making of the recipes as an opportunity to tell stories of the past and of how the recipe was originated.
There are many people who believe that recipes aren’t important and don’t have any meaning; that they are just simple instructions to making food. On the other hand, there are people that believe that recipes have many different connotations. In my opinion there is no end to the meaning and importance of family recipes. Every single recipe has a unique meaning to them, in my case my grandmother’s recipe helps bring our family together. Cooking from the heart, side-by-side with the people you love, is more than just keeping your family fed; it’s keeping them united.
There are many ways in which a recipe travels, but the traditional way is in person from one hand to another. For example, getting hands on activity by watching the originator make it and helping them out. Recipes are passed down to the children by their ancestors. Some recipes have even traveled through many different generations and geographies. In my case the first to ever make the recipe official was my grandmother. She was the first one that took her time to write down the instructions and steps into making her chicken and spaghetti recipe.
My grandmother’s recipe is unique, there is no other like her’s. Her recipe consists of a magnificent sauce, spaghetti, and tender chicken. This mixture of ingredients contributes to the flavor, texture, and appearance of the dish. She said to add vegetables to the side of the plate so that it can bring a more attractive color to the dish. The creamy sauce is so tantalizing, it’s truly what I would consider “the cream of the crop”. As I twirl the fork full of spaghetti, the fresh and comforting aroma makes me feel the urge to eat it all.
Also as I start chewing it I can feel the warm and slippery strings of spaghetti going down my throat. While eating such a desired meal it is easy for me to forget my manners, I may slurp the spaghetti so fast that the mouth-watering sauce may end up on my face. The chicken is used as the substantial filling for the spaghetti. My opinion is that no meal is complete without a serving of thick savory meat. The tender chicken is what actually keeps your stomach satisfied and full. The recipe is special because my grandmother made the sauce with her own private ingredients.
Everyone always wanted to know the ingredients and instructions to making the sauce. The sauce gives the dish that little extra ingredient that makes the plate mouth-watering and appetizing. Furthermore, the most important ingredient in the recipe, is making it with lots of love and with a special intention. On the written recipe she wrote down, “This plate should only be made on special occasions for all the family to enjoy! ” We view her request as an important one and we always follow it in respect to her.
The chicken and spaghetti recipe was made special and unique by my grandmother. If someone takes their time to write down some sort of instructions carefully and save it over time, then we should definitely follow their instructions. If the recipe is being passed down over time then the person “receiving” will more than likely be interested, because things that have been saved for so long are interesting. One way in which they are interesting is that you can learn from your ancestors and what they use to do in their times. Everyone wants to learn from their ancestors.
My mom said that she was really intrigued when her mother was teaching her how to make the recipe, because it was something that only she was going to know. Nobody else in the family had the recipe except for her. She felt on top of the world, because she was trusted enough to be the only one to know her mother’s recipe. Passing down cherished dishes over time is important, so that family members remain connected to their past and their culture. My grandmother’s dish helped me and my family stay connected with her even though she was no longer with us.
It also helped serve as a connection to our culture, with the dish we will never forget where we came from. When I was child I didn’t really know about the importance of certain foods. I used to think that all food was the same and was just there to be eaten. I would just eat the food without caring what it was or what was put in it. As I grew up and started learning more about food and my culture, I started to notice that everything is made for a reason and with a purpose. For example, the chicken and spaghetti that I loved so much that my mother made.
It had a special purpose. Its purpose was for all the family to get together and enjoy a great feast. My mother only used my grandmother’s recipe on special occasions. For example, she would only make the chicken and spaghetti on Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, or during Lent season. These were all special days in the calendar, that only came once a year. Therefore, all of our family would get together and celebrate with food on those days. The recipe helped us come together and enjoy ourselves. It helped bring family that we wouldn’t normally see on a daily basis.
Also family that live in other countries would come over. The day of my 18th birthday I asked her to make it, and to teach me. Surprisingly she said yes. I was surprised because I never thought that I was going to get the privilege to learn her mother’s recipe. So, it was during my 18th birthday when my mother decided to teach me how to make my grandmother’s recipe. Before we started cooking I remember her telling me, “Son, you are now ready to learn your grandmother’s recipe. ” First, she started getting all the ingredients together. Then she pulled out the recipe and started the process.
As she continued with the process, I watched closely. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that I was actually learning how to make my grandmother’s special recipe. We continued by reading the instructions off the paper and started cooking. In my head I was reading the instructions off the paper, in my grandmother’s voice. I felt a connection with my grandmother even though she wasn’t there. That day was very special because I felt as if she was there spiritually. That day I noticed something really interesting, which was that recipes can serve as mementos.
The recipe brought back memories of when I use to be a kid, and when she was still with us. I could remember her always playing with me and telling me that she was going to teach me how to cook. She would tell me this because I was always with her in the kitchen. My mother and I at times, make the chicken and spaghetti together to speak about things that I wouldn’t normally bring up any other time. For example, like talking with her about personal problems or just freeing my mind on anything that was bothering me. We tend to talk about the past and of what the future has in store for us.
The recipe not only brings my mother and I together, but it provides us with a special meal and the reliving of great memories. It also allows us to share it with our whole family and close friends once we have the finished product. When my mother and I make the recipe on those special occasions she always starts talking to me about my grandmother. She tells me a lot of stories that she remembers about when she was a kid. Those stories I really admire because I want to be able to do that with my children. I want them to be able to have a connection with the past, just like I do.
We have never thought about changing anything on the recipe paper because if would almost be as if we’re changing the past and the memories of my grandmother. Changing the recipe seems unacceptable in every way, but sometimes it isn’t just the recipes that get passed down and changed. Even the way food is cooked depends on so many cultural traditions, and can change as we grow. As each successive generation learns what and how to cook, they often just accept that what they’ve learned go hand in hand. But then, without even realizing, they do something different.
When I’m cooking my grandmother’s recipe on my own, I try not to change anything because I don’t want to feel guilt for changing the past. Recipes are made how they are for the exact same reason, which is so no one will change them. Sometimes recipes even embody a lost place or a lost person. In my case the chicken and spaghetti recipe embodied my grandmother. It helped me remember her. She was a person that I would have never like to have lost, but it brought me happiness to know that she left something that she will always be remembered by. With this recipe, whenever we eat the food she will always be in our hearts.
Conversations will always be about her during the occasions her recipe is made. She will never be forgotten, all thanks to the recipe. Ever wonder why recipes exist? In reality there are many different reasons on why recipes exist, but I think the most important reason is so one knows about his culture and history. Sometimes even more important than history is the importance of communicating with your loved ones. Eating dinner as a family has long been known to strengthen the bond between kids and their parents; cooking together can double that.
Food helps families come together at times and when everyone is together, everything is much better. Above all else, sharing your past and present with your loved ones in ways such as this are what cherished memories are made of. The main importance of family recipes is that they are tool in which to create moments in life that your great grandchildren will hear about generations from now. The thought of “taking back” or “receiving” in recipes is not simply receiving instructions from someone to show you how to make something, it is being connected to something or someone.
The most important thing that gets received from recipes is the memories and the knowledge of your culture. Just as recipes are made up of many different ingredients, so is life. If it wasn’t for recipes what else would help you remember your past besides pictures. Recipes are there so you can have a little taste of the past and the present mixed together. As I stated earlier, in my opinion there is no end to the meaning and importance of family recipes. We can go on and on talking about all the different reasons in which recipes are important but the most important one is based on what we receive in our hearts from our ancestors.