Stories 2017
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Brems, Makella

Remembrance of Crepes Past

Makella Brems

The origins of a family tradition may be forgotten, but not its enduring importance.

Ball, Aimee Lee

A Melting Pot

Aimee Lee Ball

An ecumenical Christmas, with a cranberry relish that made Mom famous.

Woudstra, Liv

The Forager

Liv Woudstra

From the South of France, Mom (or Maman, en français) and her nose for truffles lead to a new business--and the world's most luxurious Christmas breakfast.

Stump. Ashley

Santa Is Real

Ashley Stump

Even when the childhood fable has lost its luster, even when the holiday celebration must change, a family tradition is honored.

Ballinger, Barbara


Barbara Ballinger

With the pancakes of any culture, Mom is always the last to eat, or takes the smallest portion.

Goldsmith, Margie

Dueling Christmases

Margie Goldsmith

A common dilemma: mothers, mothers-in-law, and the competition about who gets whom for the holidays (but one of them has vichyssoise).

Ding, Linda

Painting the Past

Linda Ding

Memory is mutable when it comes to Mom and Chinese cooking—a perspective with clarity and heart.

Hurst, Sally

The Blue Binder

Sally Hurst

A legacy of recipes is a tribute to both a hometown and a globe-trotting life.

Fox, Kara

Shirl the Pearl

Kara Fox

How not to baste a turkey.

Ball, Aimee Lee

A No-Thanks Thanksgiving

Aimee Lee Ball

A wacky Thanksgiving with a well-meaning mom--but is the turkey stuffed or dressed?

Burns, Cherie

The Importance of Pie

Cherie Burns

A culinary tradition is a loving bond over generations.

Dore'an, Erycka

Tiny Pastry Chef

Erycka Dore’an

One daughter has her hands on the rolling pin; the other is the taste-tester. And the kitchen is citrus-scented.

Bianchi, Dafne

Canned Corn

Dafne Bianci

The most humble of meals nourishes and unites in Italy.

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From Russia With Love

Kristina Zalesskaya

From Soviet-era bread lines to pastries in Hollan—

an odyssey of keeping old traditions and creating new ones for a young daughter.

Ball, Aimee Lee

French Chicken

Aimee Lee Ball

How to handle a picky eater—one mother's trick.

Ramsperger, Kathryn Brown

The Taste of Memory

Kathryn Brown Ramsperger

Preserved along with frosting drips in the pages of an eclectic Southern recipe book, a life well-lived.

Black, Bonnie Lee

Cooking Under Pressure

Bonnie Lee Black

Kitchen duties changed when Mom went back to work.

Tsolka, Julie

The Secret Ingredient

Julie Tsolka

Food is a metaphor for the sweet and the sour of a mother-daughter relationship in Greece.

Rowlands, Penelope

The Coming of Quiche

Penelope Rowlands

Glamour, joy, status—or maybe not.

Blasberg, Anne

The Gardener

Annie Blasberg

A Dartmouth student reflects on the nourishment of her mother’s garden (and not just from the vegetables).

Henderson, Helene


Helene Henderson

She didn’t look like her mother (or, really, anybody she knew), but the aroma from the kitchen meant love and safety.

Koner, Pam

The Movie Star

Pam Koner

When dad was away, mom and daughter would play--a dinner party just for two.

Habjanic, Thea

Learning From "I Love Lucy"

Thea Habjanic

A memory of the irresistible Slovenian pancakes called palačinke, and a mother who learned English from American TV.

Hart, Anie

Kicked Out of the Kitchen

Anie Hart

A priceless image of a mom channeling Peg Bundy--along with her unusual topping for waffles.

Burian, Natalka

The Ref

Natalka Burian

The answer to battling in-laws? Pounding pork chops.

Howington, Bri-Aleya

Partial Truth

Bri and Aleya Howington

Secrets, lies, and spring rolls—two sisters make peace with their history, and make delicious Filipino food.

Avashia, Neema


Neema Avashia

Mrs. Avashia, newly arrived from India, bonded with Mrs. Bupp, Mrs. Warren, Mrs. Rosenberg, and Mrs. McGovern over (what else?) food. 

Ahrns, Dunya

Culture War

Dunya Ahrns

You might not be making “lapsha" unless you’re feeding a crowd, but the story of conflicting cultures, assimilation, and sacrificial love will resonate.

Robertson, Maggie

Everything Just So

Maggie Robertson

Some people respond to grief by pulling the bed covers over their head. Others find comfort in organization and duty (and a mean mocha cake).

Ho, Olive

Scallops In My Suitcase

Olive Ho

A mother’s message to “remember where you came from” has an unusual delivery system.

Rouchati, Maha


Maha Rouchati

There’s a moral code to Moroccan cuisine, scented with mint and honey and fresh yeast.

Woy, Vanessa

The Art of Thinness

Vanessa Woy

Mom: disciplined, elegant, skinny.
Daughter: not so much.
Fun ensues.

Crane, Margaret

The Clean-up Crew

Margaret Crane

Motherhood substitutes for a life on the stage--plus there are really good chocolate chip cookies.

Ballinger, Barbara

The Party Secret

Barbara Ballinger

The masterful mix of a hostess who knew that food was secondary.

Karp, Liz Susman

Sleeping Late on Sundays

Liz Susman Karp

A mother who cleverly figured out how to stay in bed, and a meditation on French toast.

Silverstein, Amy

An Unexpected Gift

Amy Silverstein

A brutally honest woman tells how her mother prepared her for facing life’s adversities, but really, really not in the way you might think.

Bernstein, Jane

Proof of Pleasure

Jane Bernstein

The joy of cooking was evident but not easily expressed.

Zelig, Eva

Back of the Restaurant

Eva Zelig

An immigration story that takes us from Czechoslovakia to Ecuador to America—and from goulash to ceviche to Jell-O.

Clancy, Christi


Christi Clancy

A mom who thought the miracle of the microwave might change her harried life.

Harper, Joan M_

A Recipe For Memories

Joan M. Harper

Selling meringues in the snow, and a recipe left to memory.

Morgan, Lorraine Puz

The Black Sheep

Lorraine Puz Morgan

A town where everybody knows your name and Mom’s kitchen garden is surrounded by marigolds—memories of a childhood in coal-mining country.

Leone, Marianne


Marianne Leone

She was Christopher’s mother on "The Sopranos," but her real-life “Ma” handled church dogma and cooking with similar irreverence.

Heller, Jane

The Peacemaker

Jane Heller

One mom commands peace among querulous siblings at the dinner table...with stuffed cabbage.

Farone, Deborah

Cookie Mom

Deborah Brightman Farone

A daughter learns about diligence, creativity, and imperfection—via cookies.

Spaulding, Jessica

Chocoholics Anonymous

Jessica Spaulding

A mother’s love plus a legacy from 9/11 combine to make a young woman’s dreams come true, and A Chocolate Factory Grows in Harlem.

Barr, Jennifer

Following Her Own Recipe

Jennifer Barr

The lingering smell of Chanel, a pineapple surprise for dessert, and memories of a mother’s culinary collections and curiosities.

Goodrich, Sarah

Grits and Grit

Sarah Goodrich

Appreciation for a mother who couldn’t spend time imparting kitchen wisdom or recipes because she was desperately needed elsewhere.

Marshall, Kim

The Mom in the Mink-Collared Sweater

Kim Marshall

A pear tree (no partridge), buckwheat pancakes with gravy, and a mom who went to work.

Viorst, Judith

No Talking

Judith Viorst

The renowned author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day shares her recipe for chicken schnitzel.

Hatfield, Julie

The Hoarder

Julie Hatfield

What's it like to have a mother who's a fabulous cook but could be a candidate for the "Hoarders" show?

Douglas, Kay

Seven Green Beans

Kay Douglas

The tribulations of a "picky eater." Plus an exotic miso-glazed doughnut.

Penn, Amy

Roy Cohn's Yacht

Amy Phillips Penn

Barbecued chicken in the driveway, Elizabeth Arden red lipstick, and Roy Cohn (yes, that Roy Cohn).

Cooper, Amy

Mother's Day Special 2017

Our storytellers

Whether you're kissing, missing, or dissing Mom, a collection of anecdotes for the holiday.

Sortun, Ana

Food Snob

Ana Sortun

A celebrated chef still includes Mom’s dishes in her restaurants.

Leonard-Adler, Lisa

Under the Redwoods

Lisa Leonard-Adler

How to make twins feel special and unique? Separate birthday cakes.

Ball, Aimee Lee

Good Juju

Aimee Lee Ball

It's not easy to dismiss maternal rules and wisdom--about eggs or anything else.

Hunter, Jeanne

Sole Custody

Jeanne Hunter

What happens when Mom confesses an indiscretion? A cinematic wartime story that ends with chocolate mousse.

Pell, Gina

The Samoan Princess

Gina Pell

A Samoan princess never cooks (who knew?) so her daughter poured ketchup over meals of dubious distinction. 

Tapia, Aimee

Little Hollows

Aimee DeMartino Tapia

Learning that it's cool to be "ethnic."

Shutt, Buffy

A Pianist in the Kitchen

Buffy Shutt

A long shadow is cast by a mother’s culinary prowess.

DePaulo, Lisa

Easter Pizza—Oh, Brother!

Lisa DePaulo

The five DeSanto sisters—Olympia, Margaret, Frances, Blanche, and Josephine—all made Easter pizza, but Josie made the best.

Singelenberg, Rebecca

The Baby in the Lunch Basket

Rebecca Singelenberg

In one of life's ironic full circles, a daughter teaches her mother to cook.

Roselin, Nancy

Thanks to Louisa May Alcott

Nancy Roselin

From an arranged marriage in the old country to a tight budget in America, a family thrives--with love and pot roast.

Goldsmith, Margie

Encyclopedic Seder

Margie Goldsmith

A Passover celebration taken straight from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Plus there’s Matzoh Crack.

Josell, Jessica

Cooked Into Submission

Jessica Josell

Butter and ballet and books, a yellow Chambers stove, and a dinner table where the food was incidental to the conversation.

Goldsmith, Margie

The Maytag Repairman

Margie Goldsmith

Mom's hot dogs and canned peas did not bode well for a daughter's kitchen prowess.

Montgomery, Ivy

Silver Napkin Rings and Spam

Ivy Montgomery

Mom was not a cook, but she had standards.

DePaulo, Lisa

Seven Fishes

Lisa DePaulo

Peering over Mom's shoulder, a lesson in tradition--and squid.

Eisenstein, Stella Osorojos

Boil-in-Bag Mom

Stella Osorojos Eisenstein

Nurturing the development of a cook, even when Mom wasn't one herself.

Kellman, Adele

The Damn Yankee

Adele L. Kellman

Gender roles were clearly defined, and part of the marital bargain, even when a mother's mental health was fragile.

Monroe, Valerie

The Safety of Soup

Valerie Monroe

Sharing a favorite comfort food makes it possible to have a difficult conversation.

Lenkert, Erika

Two Birds Plus A Turkey

Erika Lenkert

She could run but she couldn't hide from a begrudged, but ultimately beloved, tradition.

Weinstein, Beverly

Southern Comfort

Beverly Weinstein

Mom's remarriage means bacon and eggs convert to bagels and lox.

Harbaugh, Tizzy and Isabel

Recipe For Life

Tizzy and Isabel Harbough

Calamity can lead to creativity, and other tenets of a culinary philosophy shared by mother and daughter.

Tavris, Carol

A Career Seemed Easier

Carol Tavris

Calamity can lead to creativity, and other tenets of a culinary philosophy shared by mother and daughter.

Ball, Aimee Lee

The Working Girl Must Eat

Aimee Lee Ball

A new bride, famous for her boiled water, figures out how to feed a family.