Stories 2018
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Correa, Kaylee

Turning Point

Kaylee Correa

In the kitchen to learn the recipes of Japanese ancestors, the mother/daughter relationship changed.

St. George, Lucy

The Collector

Lucy St. George

Nobody knew what interesting character might join the family at the table, winter or summer, because Mum thought of a stranger as a friend not yet met.

Fields, Carmen

Going Home

Carmen Fields

The recipe for Mom's light-as-a-feather rolls came from the white lady that Grandma worked for.

Dane, Brana

Christmas Morning

Brana Dane

Some things never change: Mom's exaggerated memories, and Finnish pancakes for a holiday breakfast.

Sanz, Jennifer

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Jennifer Sanz

Learning to accept one another is a bumpy road for mother and daughter. Lasagna helps.

Rand, Virginia

Chaos and Sugar Cookies

Virginia Rand

It was a miracle that in the midst of chaos, Mom would be so tender and considerate as to stop and put on music to bake cookies with her kids.

Hobbs, Jennifer

Messy, But Irreplaceable

Jennifer Hobbs

In a holiday-obsessed family, the weeks of preparation lead to a golden moment of calm: Mom's sticky buns on Christmas morning.

Culmer, Gabrielle

Home For the Holidays

Gabrielle Culmer

Through her creativity and contacts, lavish holiday parties were Mom's way of investing in her daughter's future.

Browning, Emily

Sauce, Eggplant, Sauce

Emily Browning

In which Eggplant Parmesan is the greatest form of love.

Lampman, Peggy

Tasting Ancestry

Peggy Lampman

Generations have served oyster stew for Christmas breakfast. But a granddaughter's first Christmas will be spent with a group of oyster infidels.

Thorburn, Linda

A Real Mother

Linda Thorburn

It's hard being a teen. It's probably harder when you're adopted. Can Christmas baking help make peace?

Conway, Jennifer

Divinity

Jennifer Conway

In a little mining town near the High Sierras, mother and daughter make divinity (and get most of it in their hair).

Peck, Christina

Mirror Image

Christina Peck

There were typical teenaged clashes, but the kitchen was a place where mother and daughter often resolved their differences.

Keck, Katy

Tastes Like Home

Katy Keck

Mom found her recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini in a sorority cookbook—a tradition of sisterhood that she passed along to her own daughter.

Foglino, Annette

A Very Brady Thanksgiving

Annette Foglino

Both mother and stepmother were awed by an unconventional Italian grandmother's culinary skills.

Johnson, Beth

A Letter To My Daughter

Beth Johnson

Thanksgiving nostalgia for a simpler time, all the way back to a rural farm in Mississippi.

Brondo, Sammi Haber

Laughing Through the (Onion) Tears

Sammi Haber Brondo

For one mother and daughter, a big part of Thanksgiving fun is figuring out how not to cry over cutting onions.

Mender, Heidi

Don't Tell Your Mother

Heidi Mender

A mother learns to make the perfect noodles for chicken soup and the ideal crust for blackberry pie to help her daughter recover from surgeries.

Bross, Natalie

Cheese On A Stick

Natalie Bross

The best days always ended up in the food court at the local mall with Mom.

Beckett, Patsy Whitely

The Marriage Trance

Patsy Whitely Beckett

Making a traditional cornmeal porridge for their daughter was a peace offering and symbol of unity for dueling parents of different cultures.

Weissman, Kathy

Morning Glory

Katherine B. Weissman

For the kitchen-averse, a prescribed social role looms as a burden, an unwelcome destiny based on gender rather than desire or talent.

Weekes, Gabriella

Love In A Cold Climate

Gabriella Weekes

Mum didn't speak a word of English when she arrived in London, but the connection to her Nicaraguan roots—the memories and the tastes—went with her.

Moser, McKenzie

Less Is More

McKenzie Moser

Dinner was ready when the smoke alarm sounded. But grabbing a meal with Mom still meant something.

Grecuccio, Clara

Have You Eaten?

Clara Grecuccio

Getting through a beloved mother's surgery was made easier by thoughts of her orange cake.

Porretta, Jennifer Sisco

Crunchy Mom

Jennifer Sisco Porretta

Eating was survival for generations of her Yugoslavian family. Now she wants to give her children something more: food that’s an expression of love.

Garrard, Cindy

Trustworthy People

Cindy Garrard

Two young mothers, one from South Korea, one from Mexico, begin a lifelong friendship by sharing food for their children in a New Jersey park.

Goddard, Amy

Not Always Gourmet

Amy Goddard

With its endless cheap food and entertainment, the local mall was a baby-sitter for a young mother going through a divorce.

Schafer, Gabriele

Milk and Honey

Gabrielle Schafer

An unplanned pregnancy became a symbol of hope for a family in post-war Germany, with a bucolic life of love and comfort foods. And then it was over.

Lewis-Clark, Natasha

Say What?

Natasha Lewis-Clark

From the mouths of babes.

Paiva, Daniela

Understood

Daniela Paiva

Maternal approval means a lot, at any age, and especially in the kitchen.

Stanion, Karen

Like Peg and Kelly Bundy

Shauna Bloom

No matter how much scrubbing and spraying of air freshener ensued, Mom would return from work and exclaim, "Who cooked in this kitchen?"

Kirpalani, Sonia

A Breakfast of Brown

Sonia Kirpalani

From addiction to aspiration—a daughter fights the legacy of drugs left by her own mother.

Bloom, Shauna

Little White Lies

Shauna Bloom

Mom served health fare; Nannie served buttery garlic bread. Nannie told tall tales; Mom was grounded in reality. A daughter appreciates them both.

Scott, Michelle

It's Complicated

Michelle Scott

When Mom serves low-cal everything and thinks her daughter looks fat in a bikini, body image gets distorted.

Leary, Heather

Parched

Heather Leary

There was rarely much to eat or drink. But Mom had a night job cleaning offices, where her children would check the refrigerators for food.

Magpayo, Monique

A Woman's Place

Monique Magpayo

The gift of an Easy Bake oven opened the world of burnt fingers and traditional Filipino food, even though Mom wanted nothing to do with the kitchen.

Deegan, Molly

Dinner For Two

Molly Deegan

A restaurant dinner alone with Mom seemed the height of sophistication to a pre-teen yearning for adulthood.

Browning, Denise

The Presence of the Past

Denise Browning

One dish, passed down through generations, can heal a feverish body or a bruised soul. 

Schoener, Leeane Melendez

Shelter

Leeane Melendez Schoener

Even living in shelters, with borrowed kitchen equipment, Mom had a way of making food taste like home.

Ballantyne, Alana

Tastes Like Love

Alana Ballantyne

Mom’s approach to dinner could be best described as “economic.” But it tasted like love.

Lowell, Clare II

Cujones and Cannolis

Clare Paternoster Lowell

Mom would kiss stale bread and say a little prayer before throwing it away so that no one she loved would ever be hungry.

Hollo, Suzanne

Famished

Suzanne Hollo

Family responsibilities were too great for sit-down dinners together. But frozen Tupperware containers of Mom's meatballs made a fine after-school snack.

Gibson, Rhonda

Letting Go

Rhonda Gibson

With a culinary heritage of all things Cajun and Creole, a daughter of New Orleans announces to her mother that she's now (quel horreur!) vegan.

Reinhart, Ariane Malia

Tea For Two

Ariane Malia Reinhart

Mom could find the most delicious meals anywhere in the world. It was at afternoon tea in Paris where a daughter found they could break emotional ground.

Irvin, Renee

Chaos Theory

Renee Irvin

Mom tried to work in a velvet cocktail outfit she made on a pedal foot sewing machine. But there was often nothing to eat until family came to the rescue.

Carling, Pilar

Out of the Shadows

Pilar Carling

An independent woman—a teacher who loved words—ages into a fog of unknowing. Her daughter helps lift the fog with…tater tots.

Rukvichai, Wasina

Anything For Love

Wasina Rukvichai

A mother known for blackened kitchen disasters does whatever is necessary to stay close to her daughters after their father dies--even learning his recipes.

Devitt, Alexandra

2000 Miles Pavlova

Alexandra Devitt

Mum moved to the other side of the world. A generation later: like mother, like daughter. But cooking keeps them connected.

Bhandari, Priya

The Lunchbox Trade

Priya Bhandari

Mom's reputation for deliciousness spread beyond the family. But her recovery from tragedy was even more remarkable.

Borden, Debra

Magical Thinking

Debra Borden

Somehow, baking brownies with Mom for a beloved brother and his fellow soldiers at war seemed to keep the troops safe.

Wilke, Lorraine Devon

The Tipping Point

Lorraine Devon Wilke

Eleven children in a tiny house in a tiny farm town—and Mom’s larder emphasized margarine and cream of mushroom soup. But Grandma was Greek.

Ruhoff, Gwen

The Taste of Love

Gwen Ruhoff

A lifetime is preserved in the pages of a homemade recipe book, and there is love in every bite.

Bubel, Victoria

Homeland Security

Victoria Bubel

How to stay connected to family and Russian heritage, thousands of miles apart? Cooking, via Skype.

Chapel, Tracy Ann

Let Me Show You

Tracy Ann Chapel

A daughter yearns for the love of a woman bitterly disappointed in motherhood, and finds some peaceful respite at the stove.

Brechtl, Jas

A New Life (x 2)

Jas Brechtl

They made their way from war-torn Bosnia to America, a beacon of freedom, with cooking as a connection to the past.

Guimaraes, Liliana

Sweet Revenge

Liliana Guimaraes

Mom made fabulous crispy doughnuts—based on Portuguese and African traditions—especially to please Dad’s sweet tooth. Then Dad left.

D'Agostini, Allegra

Raspberry Season

Allegra D'Agostini

From tearing up Mom's garden for rose petal "soup" to gorging on luscious summer fruit along a rural path, memories of a Canadian farm childhood.

Sands, Cordelia

The Finicky Eater of Pease Street

Cordelia Sands

Her Bahamian family defined a new neighborhood, and fresh local catch produced delicious dinners. But not for a dramatic and devious child.

Lippert, Barbara

Weight Watching with Mommy

Barbara Lippert

With perfect thinness an almost unattainable goal, a lot of childhood was spent watching Mom watch her figure with Weight Watchers.

Smith, Madeline

A Language of Love

Madeline Smith

Sometimes a true Mom is someone else.

Kumar, Sapna

The Entrepreneur

Sapna Kumar

As her mother embraced American culture, the Indian home cooking of her heritage got left behind—which was fine with her daughter, until it wasn't.

Rucci, Rosina

Moxie

Rosina Rucci

Like many of her Italian neighbors in South Philadelphia, she had no filters or fear, and left an indelible impression in the kitchen.

Iniguez, Bertha

The Wiz

Bertha Iñiguez

A daughter comes to understand her mother as a sweet soul with a tough life, transported from Mexico to Iowa, and still feeding the world.

Moine, Anna

Satisfaction

Anna L. Moine

A not-skinny mother of skinny girls shares the abiding satisfaction of good food that begins with her French heritage.

Smalley, Marie

Comrades

Marie Smalley

Mom was a former nun who left the order to have a family. With four boys and four girls in nine years, the only time to relax and engage was while cooking.

Brennan, Madeline

Finding Mom In A Coconut

Madeline Brennan

Peeling potatoes and cracking open a coconut, a daughter rediscovers a mother who seemed like a gentle ghost but was there all along.

Perez-Gallardo, Carla

Three Mothers

Carla Perez-Gallardo

A chef traces her career back to the three matriarchs of her family, who stirred the pots along the way.

Lariccia, Ann-Marie

A Delicate Balance

Ann-Marie Lariccia

In an Italian family, sauce can enhance, bind, disguise, drown, or overwhelm a meal. And Mom can do the same.

Moore, Jessie

Small Acts of Sweetness

Jessie Oleson Moore

With one of Mom's cupcakes in hand, all is right with the world.

Soliman, Isadora

The Dark Side

Isadora Soliman

A daughter of Egypt becomes vegan. It does not go well with her mother. Baklava is the peacemaker.

Barger, Brittni

Mother's Day Special 2018

Our storytellers

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

Kouns, Marjorie

The Scotcheroo Lady

Marjorie Kouns

A first generation Greek-American helps win World War II (only a slight exaggeration) and then feeds with the world with her sweets.

Johnson, Anisa Nyell

My Two Mommies

Anisa Nyell Johnson

Three generations make their lives about service, gratitude, faith, and daring to be different—along with the proper way to snap green beans and shuck corn.

Sieger, Carrie

Soft in the Center

Carrie Sieger

Nine kids, eight of them girls, all trying for the same bite of Mom's cookie dough.

Dockery, Meliora

No Appetite

Meliora Dockery

A mother cajoles, remonstrates, chastises, and hugs, but can't get her daughter to eat, until....

Almosleh, Hajer

Drama Queen

Hajer Almosleh

For a decade, Mom lived apart from her four daughters. And when she returned home, she'd forgotten how to cook—or so she claimed.

Flowers, Christine I

Bel Paese

Christine Flowers

Three generations of women shared a deep-fried, ricotta-filled, marinara-soaked love of Italian food and tradition.

Bernstein, Serina

Significant Simplicity

Serina Bernstein

A simple breakfast, modified over the years, connects four generations of French women.

Nakashima, Sui

Magic Time

Sui Nakashima

A Japanese mother gets up at the crack of dawn to prepare a lunchbox for her daughter, but it's leisure time in the kitchen when they share secrets.

Parish, Catherine Valentine

Lost—and Found

Catherine Valentine Parish

Time, understanding, and cooking make a fractured mother/daughter bond whole again.

Boulianne, Karine

Old Soul

Karine Boulianne

Seeing her daughter grow up in an exotic new world (and take over the kitchen), a French-Canadian mother realizes who's the mature one.

Simon, Linda

Momisms

Linda E. Simon

She wore perfectly applied scarlet lipstick, but those lips never touched peanut butter or pork chops.

Anderson, Raj

Digging Deeper

Raj Anderson

Arranged marriage, assimilation, estrangement, and ultimately understanding—a powerful Indian odyssey.

DeSantis, Anne

At Home

Anne DeSantis

For a home-schooling mom, broad life lessons—and brownies with a surprise twist—are on the curriculum.

Towers, Deirdre

The First Hippie

Deirdre Towers

Barefoot, wearing blue jeans and no makeup, Mom was content with her books and bourbon. Then she discovered Julia Child.

Holmes, Prudence Wright

I Could Have Danced All Night

Prudence Wright Holmes

Flashback to the days when dinner might include Henny Penny Salad, and the Little Juniors dancing school might produce a young lady.

Pastore, Phyllis

Shirtwaist Dresses and Bedroom Eyes

Phyllis Pastore

Mom was a character, but one who kept the family together, body and soul (especially in the kitchen).

Filios, Kelly

Biting the Bullet

Kelly Victoria

A revealing conversation with Mom—eased by pecan pie.

DePaulo, Lisa

Anatomically Correct Easter

Lisa DePaulo

Maria Grazia DiPaolo and her daughter-in-law had issues, ever since the former thought she should have been invited on the latter's honeymoon.

Marie, Gabriella

Past My Bedtime

Gabriella Marie

A rare lapse in the rules leads to a memorable night in the kitchen with Mom—and Easter sweet bread.

Crane, Margaret

Fried Cardboard

Margaret Crane

The kitchen was seldom the scene of warm mother-at-the stove moments--with one exception: delicious fried matzoh for Passover.

Starr, ReW

Mermaids

ReW STaRR

Like Cher as Mrs. Flax in Mermaids, finger foods were a favorite. But it was important to teach her daughters that eating habits could be risky business.

Givey, Melissa Jeanne

Cheaper By the Half-Dozen

Melissa Jeanne Givey

Quick and easy, in bulk, was the general theme of cooking for a large family, but Irish soda bread was the crown jewel in Mom's kitchen.

Celozzi, Christine

Layers

Christine Celozzi

Homemade spaghetti sauce, Chanel No. 5, and bleach—and lessons about respect. That's what Mom is made of.

Dunaway, Ann

The Best Thing Since

Robert Redford

Ann Dunaway

A journey away from simple Midwestern style, and back again, to find a connection with Mom.

Curtis, Joy

Sunny Side Up

Joy Curtis

It took decades to meet her mother--and to discover how a simple bacon-and-egg breakfast led to her birth.

Weissman, Kathy

In the Soup

Katherine B. Weissman

Two prime (and intrinsically contradictory) obligations for women: making food and losing weight. A look back at one mother's mid-century messages.

Newbery, Shirley Beth

Trying Her Best

Shirley Beth Newbery

A challenging childhood with adult responsibilities leads to the art of forgiveness.

Irwin, Jennifer

The Magician

Jennifer Irwin

With flowers in orange juice glasses, a spritz of perfume, and a mad mix of guests, it was magic time.

Babooram, Miriam

Rebellious Soup

Miriam Babooram

A bowl of lentils constitutes a bit of mischief--and a poignant entry in the memory bank.

Kertz, Victoria

Her V-Day Is Also A B-Day

Victoria Kertz

February 14th means Mom's birthday, a cross-country chat, and stuffed cabbage.

Weir, Candyce

Mother Earth

Candyce Weir

How could steel-cut oats compete with Count Chocula cereal? A daughter grows up.

Rosenthal, Aviva

A Woman of Principle

Aviva Rosenthal

Pirates and Jane Austen and turkey gonads—oh, my. From movies in the bomb shelter to “Commie muffins,” a memoir of kibbutz life.

Coton, Melissa

Fusion

Melissa Coton

A young mother brings a bit of her Parisian upbringing to a new life in Mexico--in the form of crepes.

Leckey, Jennifer

Quality, Not Quanity

Jennifer Leckey

Mum was tiny, but a towering fortress of strength and love (with a hint of spice).

Bruno, Sara

Perfectionist

Sara Bruno

An Italian pastry chef likes everything precise and symmetrical. But Mum's apple tart is perfection.

Houlahan, Sheila

Spice of Life

Sheila Houlahan

A mother from Mumbai becomes a food detective for a daughter who can't eat.

Levine, Morgan

You Could Eat Off the Floor

Morgan Levine

Mom was best at making reservations, but the house was impeccable.

Taibah, Maram

A Feminine Thing

Maram Taibah

Watching her mother in the kitchen seemed like the height of femininity, but in the Muslim culture, the feminine mystique is complicated.

Carney, Samantha

Glop Was the Glue

Samantha Carney

Despite being overworked and overlooked, a mother finds happiness in creating a favorite comfort food.

Fieldsteel, Patricia

And Yet...

Patricia Fieldsteel

Love was withheld, but cooking was taught.