Stories 2022
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Willmes, Désirée

European Union

Désirée Willmes

A German opa was not happy that Dad had married a “foreigner" and made Mom’s life difficult. But at Christmas, there was peace, with culinary highlights.

West, Heather.jpg

A Fork in Each World

Kareen Morrison

Remnants of a pioneering mindset run through a family, from mother to daughter, recalling a time when dining and the role of women were different.

Asquino, Giulia

Beyond the Recipe

Kareen Morrison

The kitchen was where mother and daughter spent time together, where they could discuss a difficult decision, not unlike one that Grandma had faced.

Morrison, Kareen

The Comfort of A People

Kareen Morrison

After yet another miscarriage, a woman on a fertility journey finds herself thinking about her “Ma Lizzie" and a family secret she needed to uncover.

Cravens, Stephanie

Into the Woods

Stephanie Cravens

What happens when a mother and daughter, once close but now locked in a rocky relationship, camp out together under the stars?

Tallent, Jenny

Borders and Boundaries

Jenny Tallent and Hannah McKee

Mom grew up picking dandelions for rich people’s salads, in a family that failed to protect her. Creating a secure, loving family of her own was an act of will.

Priven, Carole

Side Thing

Carole Priven

Mom was known as The Cossack, born in a small town near Kiev, Ukraine, and she had fighting spirit. But she couldn’t cook worth beans.

Gonsalves, Jo (sisters)

Mama's Not-So-Little Secret

Jo Gonsalves

Aunt Virginia, holding fast to her Sicilian ways. Aunt Theresa, openly scoffing at tradition. And Mama, the buffer between them, whose secret they kept.

Sullivan, Tricia

The Mother of All Road Trips

Tricia Sullivan

A cross-country drive, with bungee cords holding a mattress on the roof of the car, let mother and daughter discover some of the stuff they’re made of.

Davison, Victoria

How It Should Be

Victoria Davison

How does it happen that teachers, neighbors, doctors, and relatives turn a blind eye to an obviously undernourished child who’s always crying?

Bell, Candace

When Mom Wasn't Looking

Candace Bell

Among the five sisters in the family: one who couldn't tell a lie if her life depended on it—and two whose mischief was the usual reason for a coverup.

Duggan, Lillian Yates

Pierogi Palace

Lillian Yates Duggan

Mom and the church ladies carried out a devoted ritual of making their pillowy treats. Then the priest wanted to know why she stopped attending church.

Nolting, Niya

Relinquish

Niya Nolting

Motherhood was a surprise for a young songwriter, who nourished her daughter both in and out of the kitchen and found a way to immortalize her in music.

Martin, Lesley

To Die With Dignity

Lesley Martin

Mom’s spaghetti Bolognese was spicy and messy, meant to be shared and enjoyed. But when she could no longer enjoy it herself, it was too much to bear.

McTigue, Mary

The Clean Plate Club

Mary McTigue

Mom was trim, slim, and proud, and never gained a pound with any of her pregnancies. Guess who picked up the message about feeling fat?

Klein. Kate

Sweet Mess

Kate Klein

A lack of storytelling and lack of family recipes seem linked—a loss of inheritance as a daughter and granddaughter. But that can change.

Lowe, Alice

Lobster Legacy

Alice Lowe

Mom would indulge in the forbidden fare of her childhood, then sit back with a contented smile on her face and a greasy smear of butter on her chin.

Stirling, Vanessa

American Slop

Vanessa Stirling

In a peripatetic childhood, Mum's practicality kept everyone grounded, housed and homed, and fed—no matter the country or family finances.

Cacho-Negrete, Michelle_

Three Matching Plates

Michelle Cacho-Negrete

The words and physical manifestations of love seemed absent from Mom's vocabulary, but could be surmised—just not with food.

Dodson, Ebony

My Momma Said...

Ebony Dodson

It was her mother’s voice—about drugs, drink, and “rolling with the homies”—that a daughter heard when she needed guidance.

Ball, Aimee Lee

A Silver French Twist

Aimee Lee Ball

Bathing suits and summer dresses showed off Mom's great legs, and although didn't want to get her hair wet, summer, with luscious pleasures, was her season.

Barrett, Yasmine

Petals of A Yorkshire Rose

Jasmine Barrett

Tenacity and adventure (evident in a move halfway round the world) informed a woman who passed the traits along to her daughter and granddaughter.

Van Hefty, Jillian

The Tea Party

Jillian Van Hefty

Mom’s beloved beverage, forfeited when a stove or microwave buttons were beyond her ken, returns for a glorious tribute in her honor.

Zeversenuke, Sarah

Sunday Sweets

Sarah Zeversenuke

Mom didn’t inherit Grandma’s love for baking. But sacrosanct Sunday visits ensured that her recipes were passed on to another generation.

Levine, Beth

We Have...

Beth Levine

Mom lived in panic that someone under her roof might not be fed. But when her daughter tried to recreate her recipes, the yummy factor was missing.

Muse, Hani II

No Room For Failure

Hani Malaika M

An immigrant from Somalia, determined to leave behind her mother’s paycheck-to-paycheck life, learns about the sacrifices that were made.

Millberger, Carol

Sales, Coupons, and Specials

Carol Milberger

Dented cans and day-old bread filled the grocery cart of a mother who grew up during the Great Depression. Her daughter had a different world view.

Zinna, Diane

Festive Celery Logs

Diane Zinna

A classic recipe inspires a reverie about Mom—her beauty marks, her throat-clearing cough—and about the hope that nothing will go wrong.

Stout, Ann

A Proper Bake

Ann Stout

Both mother and daughter felt unsettled by a move to Texas. But a yeasty recipe from another group of displaced people brought solace.

Young, Cindy

The Lost Recipe

Cindy Roos Young

Sorting through Mom's clothes and jewelry in the weeks after she died was one thing. Looking through her cookbooks was something else.

Middleton, June

Pigs' Feet and A Satin Dress

June P. Middleton

A plate of food waiting on the back burner when the library closed at midnight was just one of the ways Mom helped her daughter's dreams come true.

Gallardo, Tatiana

The Best Rice of Your Life

Tatiana Gallardo

A Cuban immigrant to the United States makes next-level rice out of economic necessity. What's her secret?

Ball, Bethany

An Ad Hoc Scramble

Bethany Ball

One of Mom's meals might be a candy bar, canned soup, or the “river stew” of her Tennessee childhood. But in other ways, she was curiously domestic.

Rae, Coral

A Lobster Tale

Coral Rae

When a little girl learns the provenance of her favorite fast-food chicken nuggets, her animal-loving mother rethinks family meals.

Jones, Viviane Rain

Magical Chocolate Cake

Viv Jones

A beloved daughter was struggling with a learning disability. A magical cake made all the difference.

Herman, Lisa

Red Diaper Baby

Lisa Herman

It seemed a typical ‘50s childhood, with tomato soup and tuna fish for lunch, and Mom on the radio giving advice on raising children. But that was just for show.

Lofton, Kathy

Table For Two

Kathy Lofton

It took a village to raise the only child of a single mother, but one benefit of being with friends and family was seeing how the women cooked.

Howard, CJ

Co-existing

CJ Howard

A daughter recognizes an oxymoronic truth: that she has stolen her mother’s life of freedom, but also that her mom wishes she were needed more.

Weiss, Deborah

A Recipe For A Funeral

Deborah Weiss

There was a rift in the family, the source of which nobody seemed to know. But a cache of lost recipes offered a chance for reconciliation.

Rout, Kasturi

C'mon, Mom, Chill

Kasturi Rout

A special mother/daughter bond is like the Indian street snack of panipuri—simultaneously sweet, savory, and salty.

Aaron, Elizabeth

Turned Tables

Elizabeth Aaron

A long-awaited mother/daughter visit, after a pandemic separation, renewed an important question: whether chocolate is a vegetable.

Warnock, Kresha

Let Them Eat Cake

Kresha Richman Warnock

A daughter inherits both her mother's love of cooking and fear of fat—a legacy passed down particularly through female branches of the family tree.

Fernando, Beatrice

Innocence

Beatrice Fernando

Mom didn't always have answers to her daughter's questions, but had a perfect response when asked: How can I be mad at you and still love you?

James, Ursula

Clutching Life

Ursula James

A German mother in a bunker at the end of WWII, with almost nothing to eat, clutched her two babies and swore she would never have more.

MacCallum, Nicola

The Maternal Bungee Cord

Nicola MacCallum

A poignant poem reflects a daughter who wanted to be accepted as she was, and tried running in the opposite direction from her mother, to no avail.

Bolton-Fasman, Judy

Course Correction

Judy Bolton-Fasman

A dear friend recreates a recipe from Mom's culinary intentions gone awry, burnishing memories of the burnt dinners thrown into the sink.

Ball, Aimee Lee

Holy Water

Aimee Lee Ball

A Jewish mother's attitude toward religion was all-encompassing: Any holiday that included friends and food was worth celebrating.

Kesler, May

Gefilte Fish and Ham

May Kesler

Mom had an infectious laugh that her daughter longed to hear again. Closest thing to it was her aunt's voice, but religion got in the way.

Heintz, Starla

Chitlins and Hog Head Cheese

Starla Heinz

A heritage of soul food travels from pre-Civil War slaves to Mom's kitchen in Haight-Ashbury and breaking bread with the Black Panthers.

Gigante-Brown, Catherine

Navy Bean Special

Catherine Gigante-Brown

There are loving surrogates for Mom, not incidentally following her credo: that if you knew someone liked a dish, there was no greater joy than feeding it to them.

Gothoni, Lin

Violins and Chili Peppers

Lin Gothoni

Although her mother was from Szechuan, China, she grew up in Germany, knowing: Die Liebe geht durch den Magen: Love goes through the belly.

Stillman, Sheryl

The Familiar Taste of Tradition

Sheryl Stillman

Mom thought a nutritional breakfast was nicotine and caffeine. But for holidays, she perfected one dish, made in a bowl with almost mystical powers.

Equitz, Loreen

Carpe Diem

Loreen Equitz

A teen whose mom works late hours in health care sometimes has to cook dinner, but is inspired by her mother’s strength, compassion, and zest for life.

Sallade, Jackie

My Mom Eats Fish From Her Purse

Jackie Sallade

After her family fled their homeland, with jewels and papers stuffed into her underwear, Mom grew up believing that she was too special to cook or clean.

Gurwitch, Annabelle (cropped)

A Platter of Second-Wave Feminism

Annabelle Gurwitch

Mom was raised on a menu that was strictly kosher, utterly utilitarian, and verging on penitential. It was no surprise that she did not teach her daughters to cook.

Waddell, Sarah

Let It Be

Sarah Waddell

Mom's kitchen counters were a magnetic field that mirrored her life: envelopes, oatmeal, Tylenol, a few dog collars, a stuffed blue owl....

Kelly, Seymone

Harlem Bound

Seymone Kelly

An African-American odyssey: from South to North, from water fountains marked "colored" or "white" to new opportunities—and from mother to daughter.

Fay, Jennifer Joan

First Born

Jennifer Joan Fay

A high-risk pregnancy, in the middle of a pandemic, presented plenty of stress. But preparing the "big sister" for the new arrival was also a priority.

Correa, Karina

The Red Suitcase

Karina Correa

She was usually indulged, but when she didn’t get her way with her mom, she’d pack a bag and threaten to run away to her true protector: Grandma.

Kim, Jean

Fat Baby

Jean Kim

An accidental immigrant at age two, a Korean girl was embarrassed by the kimchi buried in the yard, but had an enduring taste for homeland comfort food.

Cull, Samantha

Shooting Star

Samantha Cull

What's an expectant mother to think when the sonographer wielding the wand over her growing bely announces, "It's a hamburger!"

Axler, Amy

Salad Days

Amy Axler

A reunion meal (with calculations of who ate what and how large the portion was) becomes a metaphor for generosity, family ties—and retaliation.

Broxterman, Coraly

Teacher's Pets

Coraly Broxterman

A second-grade teacher was great with her students, but her own six kids were another story. Maybe she was just exhausted by the time she got home.

Aizenman, Gaby

Cockeyed Cake

Gaby Glass Aizenman

In apartheid South Africa, the family cook grumbled as mother and daughter interfered with his dinner prep to make a cake from The I Hate to Cook Book.

Cunningham, JoAnn Ross

The Orange Roll Ticket

JoAnn Ross Cunningham

A state fair champion bread maker finds delicious independence in the big city. And her ticket to ride is the recipe for Orange Rolls perfected by her mother.

Vuckovic, Stephanie

The French Do It Better

Stephanie Vuckovic

Mom couldn’t afford the Chanel or Lacroix clothes prized by the industry in which she worked, but French food was accessible to all.

Conniff, Ellie

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

Ellie Conniff

A daughter who stopped eating meat hears the dreaded question from Mom: "Then what are we going to do on Christmas Eve?"

Siy, Sherilyn

Anyone Can Cook

Sherilyn Siy

The stove outside her childhood home in the Philippines made a young girl conclude that cooking well was extremely difficult and best left to experts.