Mothers and Daughters
Voices Past and Present
Stories and Recipes
Miss Mittie's Sweet Potato Pie
A woman whose birth was considered to be a stain on the family’s name was given one tool in life: how to cook.
One More Day
A daughter remembers an amazing cook and a generation of women who spent hours in the kitchen with no complaints (and no leftovers).
Tackling her mother’s recipes this holiday season, a daughter follows the cooking guidelines that were passed down, including: Don’t be afraid to try.
Lessons in Generosity
At holiday time, Mom loves sharing something homemade with others—who might include anyone from the clerk at Target to the gas station attendant.
Hip-Hop and Hoisin Sauce
Aimee Lee Ball
Learning from Mom how to live in the moment and embrace change.
The Worst Cook in the World
Mom could often be found at the kitchen table, lost in a book about the rich and famous, while her daughters ate spaghetti with ketchup.
Packing For Treatment
When a beloved daughter succumbed to the worship of thinness, her mother had to get her help.
T'was the Night Before Thanksgiving
Mama ruled in the kitchen, and her daughter admired everything about her. Then she decided, with no experience, to make one of Mama's famous recipes.
One reason Mother never cleaned is that things weren't changed, merely brought back to their original state. But she liked to tweak things, including food.
Not Another Sad Dinner
Mom was a beauty queen in Mexico, and cooking never interested her, so her holiday meals were inedible. One Thanksgiving, her daughter took over.
Cooking lessons created a loving bond between mother and rebellious daughter. This year, a new Thanksgiving tradition became necessary.
Amy Fischer Smith
Mom had lots of advice, especially about restaurants, like having a private Michelin inspector. Her advice lives on, even after she's gone.
Cristina Perez Edmunds
A daughter who learned to cook from her mom fantasized about carrying on those traditions with her own child. But other plans became necessary.
Mum dished out large portions of meals she'd prepared with so much love, but then criticized her daughter's weight.
She Fed Me
What she got from her mother wasn’t enough, or was too much. Her food tasted like love strained through a cheesecloth of resentment.
A Bumpy Road to Vegan-ville
While her classmates were eating bologna, it took a long time to appreciate her Costa Rican mother's bean sandwiches.
Lessons From My Daughter
An Italian mother teaches her daughter that food is knowledge, language, history, power—but takes her advice too.
Sophy Mesa Bejarano
While Mom stirred the pots, she helped with learning the multiplication tables. But the aroma of her fried plantains was distracting.
Layce Lynne Kieu
Most of the important things she wanted to say were said while her mom was cooking—never more important than as she recovered from a trauma.
The Dinnertime Wars
The ultimate threat from Mom was, "If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any dessert." Professional advice was necessary.
An occasional treat from a foster mother's kitchen was the only measure of caring.
Punch-Drunk With Freedom
With a mother who had a stellar career, a daughter assumed the responsibilities of running a household, which was a grand game—until it wasn’t.
An Irish poet remembers her mother's lists of the things she hated to eat and the things she liked.
Latonya Black Gilliard
Mom worked long days and came home tired, but dinner was a must, at a long kitchen table that always had place mats on it.
Bambi and Bullwinkle Stew
A cooking competition was exhilarating for a young girl, with most of the recipes passed down from her mother, and her mother’s mother, and so on.
Gumbo By Moonlight
Robin Winzenread Fritz
An imaginative mother, barely beyond her own childhood, fills her daughters' mealtimes with wonder and mischief.
Whatever, Betty Crocker
When Mom said, "Get out of the kitchen," her daughter got out of the kitchen. But it was still the coolest hang-out house in the neighborhood.
During a beloved daughter's year abroad, she and her mother converse in a language they both love: food.
Mom taught so many life lessons: a strong work ethic, the importance of character, kindness, and courage. But when it came to cooking, Granny ruled.
A Slowly Sinking Ship
Food used to be a comforting connection between mother and daughter. How do you re-jigger a relationship when one person’s filter goes awry?
Front Door Open
Andrea Cherkerzian Dennigan
Bringing an ordad—a non-Armenian—into the family was a big deal. Mom knew the way to an Armenian's heart was through the stomach.
Mama wanted meat cooked like shoe leather, burnt, the way she felt about herself, the way life had treated her, and also about her daughter.
Must Be Gorgeous
Jillian Van Hefty
Mom was a “cigarette girl” with a strawberry-blond beehive. These days, people stare for different reasons.
Mom said it was easier to advise her students than to talk to her three daughters, but her food always made them feel loved.
The rule was:: No swimming for an hour after eating. But Mom's fried green tomatoes were worth the wait.
Mom was disappointed if someone showed up well fed because it was hard for her not to cook something.
Big Girl Boots
For a young woman from Cameroon, Mom is the ultimate culinary teacher, but sometimes the student becomes the master.
A Little Blue Around the Edges
Mum survived wartime deprivation, but later seemed to be at war with food, held by an iron grip of guilt and the private scold in her head.
Through Compassionate Eyes
Released from the confinement of a childhood in Iran, a daughter comes to terms with both a dictator regime and traditional strict parenting.
A poetic tribute to a mother who shared her tricks of the trade.
All kinds of music helped mother and daughter bond and get rid of negativity, until the day the music stopped.
Mom stopped eating—it was a form of grief. Just as her appetite was returning, her daughter introduced the love of her life.
To The Moon And Back
From toxic to tender: With patience and therapy, a mother and daughter change the channel of their relationship.
What Not To Do
A daughter regrets that her mother did not enjoy life more without the words “I am fat” constantly playing in her head.
Friends gush over Mama's Thai food, but she won't make it for her own daughter.
Mom’s kitchen M.O.: messy.
Daughter’s kitchen M.O.: OCD.
But deep, insightful conversations went on there.
A traditional Japanese mother teaches the value of "longevity food" and living with conviction.
My Mother Makes Pies
Joining the family to enjoy, and really taste, Mom's sweet or savory treats again marked a triumph over trauma.
Knowing how to cook and play with flavors was passed down from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother. Then it skipped a generation.
Better Than Nothing
Karen Karatz Gonzalez
One night when she was six years old, her mother whispered happily in her ear, “It’s time to go to the United States.”
A young daughter teaches her mother to be more open to bliss, and to make time for rainbow waffles.
Dinner From Dented Cans
For a child of divorce, Mom's meals conveyed love, comfort, and consistency, no matter where the food came from.
The only child of an older mother longs for sisters. Summer with a bunk-ful of girls is the answer—except for the dreadful food.
Mom Can Cook
Apparently Mom always knew how to cook, but why should she if there was someone in the house more passionate about it?
Mother was horrified when her larger-than-life grandmother ate a dozen deviled eggs.
The Poetry of Food
Mom and daughter were “the girls,” hanging out over slow simmering sauces, avoiding the subject that was heaviest in their hearts.
Culinary Boot Camp
Jessie Oleson Moore
With one of Mom's cupcakes in hand, all is right with the world.
The French Connection
Shoes and purse had to match; perfume had to come from Grasse; and coq au vin was a dish to be savored with family history.
Cookies, Bok Choy, and A Lot of Love
A daughter leaves home early to salvage her own psyche, finally coming to understand her mother, and that understanding unfolded around food.
Sinatra and Sauce
Mom: a combo of red lipstick, Opium perfume, shoulder-padded dresses, a big pouf of dark hair, and a pot of marinara simmering on the stove all day.
Estée Lauder Of The Kitchen
Sondra Lee Bolton
A bargain hunter with a flair for creativity and rules about good manners left a kitchen legacy.
Go Fix Yourselves A Snack
After a day in her studio, she returned to the mid-century responsibilities of motherhood. Much later her daughters realized what she had given up for art.
Sneaking Out To See Mum
A daughter is forbidden to see her mother as a child, but the two make a remarkable rediscovery of love and support (and British food.)
Raised Like A Soldier
In a military family, Dad was in charge of the kitchen, but Mom "cooked" his uniforms in a large pot with starch.
A similarity between mother and daughter extends to the kitchen, where they share the joy of finishing bags of food and then reorganizing the pantry.
A Ring God Placed On My Finger
Newly arrived in America, Mom made sure all of her children could cook Nigerian food and were independent, especially her handicapped child.
A Continuous Lesson In Letting Go
A long line of Kentucky homemakers helped form an image of what motherhood would be like. But sometimes there is a different set of circumstances.
When Mom says “time to eat,” you must eat. Never eat outside the house. (Other places are not clean.) And in the kitchen, always wear your hair up.
Scary Green Dots
Fond memories of a family-run restaurant where Mom worked long hours but always found time for the drive-through at Burger King.
Step Away From the Stove
There are different ways of showing love; one way is to stay out of the kitchen.
House of Miracles
Mom embraced convenience foods with a passion—why toil in the kitchen when the grocery store is full of fun and easy shortcuts?
Losing A Piece of Myself
Ngoma Evelyn Moghalu
A Nigerian daughter transports memories of Africa and her mother's kitchen to Texas.
A Twist On Tradition
The splendid table of past Passovers becomes a sweet memory, and new traditions with an older mother take shape.
An American Story
Dawna Lee Heising
Forced to live in a U.S. internment camp during World War II, Japanese-Americans put soy sauce on Spam to remind them of their heritage.
Mom's usual volume was somewhere in between yelling and a loving scold, especially if anyone dipped into the cookie dough before it was "set."
For a mother and daughter who work together, the rule is: Leave work at work.
A mother's adventures are legendary, as is her reputation for drama at home.
A daughter tries to understand her mother's decision to leave satisfying work for a more traditional gender role.
Mother and daughter counted calories together, demonized carbs, and dreamed of svelte bodies. But something broke along the way.
A Polish immigrant in Chicago wants a better life for her daughter, while instilling the native culture: the language, the church, and the foods.
Imagine a naughty Snow White. What emerged from her kitchen seemed just as magical.
Three daughters, who each describe their mom differently, are agreed about her iconic dish.
Patty Bologna and Susan Cipollaro
A Portuguese avó taught her daughter to cook. But “good enough” was never enough, which made Mom sensitive to criticism from her own daughters.
Mom was a beautiful woman without the confidence to model. But while she ironed, she watched Julia Child, nudging her towards her true self.
There was a mother who took French cooking lessons and a grandmother whose food was reliably awful. But Nana was the one who cared.
A mother and daughter who become vegetarian rejoice in a trip to India, but still wrestle with body image.
On the southwest coast of Africa, lunch is a party of colors, and after the meal, there is family history.
Pancakes bring back countless memories with Mom in the maroon pleather seat of the Holiday House restaurant.
Mother joins daughter in exploring a new diet, and becomes even more badass at clean, healthy living.
Thanks to a clever Soviet mother, a challenging life of sleeping in the car and foraging for food seemed like the best kind of childhood.
Mothers are not supposed to bury their daughters. But sometimes with grief comes inspiration.
A mother-daughter relationship is a lot like baking a cake; each ingredient changes the final product.
Jackie Schifalacqua Atkins
Though rarely in the kitchen, an Italian mother had definite ideas about how a young lady should comport herself.
A hearty appetite from the time she was born leads inevitably to a talent in the kitchen.
A box of handwritten recipes was assembled for a new bride, by a mother who talked to herself as she stirred at the stove.
Singing in the kitchen with a matriarch who held a diverse Middle Eastern and European family together.
Mom's philosophy about savoring the joy of what's available extends from the kitchen to life.
Mom's spatula often was used to hold the kitchen screen door open as she swept. But once a year, melt-in-your-mouth treats showed her love.
There is dancing and pride in the kitchen of a home in Kenya when a daughter takes over at the stove.
A nurse who knew a lot about nutrition had to protect her daughter from the body insecurity fostered by a cultural obsession with weight.
Good parenting is more complicated when you don't have the option of "Wait until your father gets home."
After visits home, Mom's hidden packages ensure that her daughter doesn't forget where she came from.