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  • Writer's pictureMonika Byrd McGhee

Summer Recipe Share

In my family, great recipes become part of our ancestry and DNA. I can't tell you how many times that I've personally benefited from my mom's newspaper recipe clippings and handwritten notes about substitutions or alterations she makes in her many cookbooks.

Growing up, I was never interested in learning how to cook, and my desire to learn came much later in adulthood. I would always tell my mom that I planned to marry a rich man that loves to cook so that I wouldn't have to, and if he didn't want to cook, we could eat out because he had the means to do so. Yes, I know that was somewhat unrealistic, but I managed to marry a man who loves to cook, and he is a great cook! Just so you know, though, we're both working on the rich part, and we share the cooking.

Looking back, I realize that I missed a few valuable opportunities to learn some cherished family recipes from my mom and my grandmothers. To sit at their feet, ask questions, and get those recipes in my DNA.

My grandmother Lillie Mae made the best chicken and dumplings - but her recipe is lost. She passed away when I was in my early 20's, and she did not record the formula anywhere. Unfortunately, my mom and aunts don't know her exact recipe either. I've searched all over for a recipe that compares to hers but haven't found it. This experience made me realize just how important it is to keep a recipe book to pass for generations to come. So, you'll find me now diligently curating my recipe collection and looking forward to the day I can gift them.

This summer, I'm sharing a few recipes I love from the collection. The first two are below.

Even though I'm a late bloomer, I've learned that passion must come from the cook's heart to stir the soul indeed. I inherited that passion from the village of women that influenced me.

What family recipes do you wish would've been preserved for you? Share in the comments below and if you decide to try these recipes, tell me what you think.


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