Stories 2019
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Braxton, Jan

Miss Mittie's Sweet Potato Pie

Janie Braxton

A woman whose birth was considered to be a stain on the family’s name was given one tool in life: how to cook.

Paul, Phyllis

One More Day

Phyllis Paul

A daughter remembers an amazing cook and a generation of women who spent hours in the kitchen with no complaints (and no leftovers).

Brooks, Carol

Top Ten

Carol Brooks

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.

Mazon-Chambers, Kylie

Lessons in Generosity

Kylie Mazon-Chambers

At holiday time, Mom loves sharing something homemade with others—who might include anyone from the clerk at Target to the gas station attendant.

Ball, Aimee Lee

Hip-Hop and Hoisin Sauce

Aimee Lee Ball

Learning from Mom how to live in the moment and embrace change.

Klosner, Dana

The Worst Cook in the World

Dana Klosner-Wehner

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.

Twomey, Siobhan

Packing For Treatment

Sioban Twomey

When a beloved daughter succumbed to the worship of thinness, her mother had to get her help.

Brown, Ne'Untae

T'was the Night Before Thanksgiving

Ne’Untae Brown

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.

Brian, Bex

Tweaking

Bex Brian

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.

Becker-Spellman, Patricia

Not Another Sad Dinner

Patricia Becker-Spellman

Mom was a beauty queen in Mexico, and cooking never interested her, so her holiday meals were inedible. One Thanksgiving, her daughter took over.

Bianco, Rose

Bittersweet

Rose Bianco

Cooking lessons created a loving bond between mother and rebellious daughter. This year, a new Thanksgiving tradition became necessary.

Smith, Amy Fischer

Always

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.

Edmunds, Cristina Perez

Strawberry Preserves

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.

JohnPierre, Linda

Big

Linda JohnPierre

Mum dished out large portions of meals she'd prepared with so much love, but then criticized her daughter's weight.

Ferarri, Nina

She Fed Me

Nina Ferrari

What she got from her mother wasn’t enough, or was too much. Her food tasted like love strained through a cheesecloth of resentment.

Lambru, Angela

A Bumpy Road to Vegan-ville

Angela Lambru

While her classmates were eating bologna, it took a long time to appreciate her Costa Rican mother's bean sandwiches.

Pisano, Eleni

Lessons From My Daughter

Eleni Pisano

An Italian mother teaches her daughter that food is knowledge, language, history, power—but takes her advice too.

Bejarano, Sophy Mesa

Improv

Sophy Mesa Bejarano

While Mom stirred the pots, she helped with learning the multiplication tables. But the aroma of her fried plantains was distracting.

Lynne, Layce

The Rock

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.

Sebastian, JP

The Dinnertime Wars

JP Sebastian

The ultimate threat from Mom was, "If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any dessert." Professional advice was necessary.

Leigh, Rachael

Love/Hate

Rachael Leigh

An occasional treat from a foster mother's kitchen was the only measure of caring.

Brian, Bex

Punch-Drunk With Freedom

Bex Brian

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.

Molloy, Audrey

Fish Bake

Audrey Molloy

An Irish poet remembers her mother's lists of the things she hated to eat and the things she liked.

Gilliard, Latonya Black

Safe Harbor

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.

Jones, Mary

Bambi and Bullwinkle Stew 

Mary Jones

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.

Fritz, Robin

Gumbo By Moonlight

Robin Winzenread Fritz

An imaginative mother, barely beyond her own childhood, fills her daughters' mealtimes with wonder and mischief.

Artman, Hannah

Whatever, Betty Crocker

Hannah Artman

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.

Poser, Toby

The Wanderer

Toby Poser

During a beloved daughter's year abroad, she and her mother converse in a language they both love: food.

Damron, Kristal

Mushy Stuff

Kristal Damron

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.

Ballinger, Barbara

A Slowly Sinking Ship

Barbara Ballinger

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?

Dennigan, Andrea

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.

Moss, Thylias

Bitch Soup

Thylias Moss

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.

Van Hefty, Jillian

Must Be Gorgeous

Jillian Van Hefty

Mom was a “cigarette girl” with a strawberry-blond beehive. These days, people stare for different reasons.

Luque, Silvia

Spoiled

Silvia Luque

Mom said it was easier to advise her students than to talk to her three daughters, but her food always made them feel loved.

Ball, Aimee Lee

Water Baby

Aimee Lee Ball

The rule was:: No swimming for an hour after eating. But Mom's fried green tomatoes were worth the wait.

King, Katherine

Superpowers

Katherine King

Mom was disappointed if someone showed up well fed because it was hard for her not to cook something.

Mamou, Souwaila

Big Girl Boots

Souwaila Mamou

For a young woman from Cameroon, Mom is the ultimate culinary teacher, but sometimes the student becomes the master.

Brian, Bex

A Little Blue Around the Edges

Bex Brian

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.

Curtis, Shabnam

Through Compassionate Eyes

Shabnam Curtis

Released from the confinement of a childhood in Iran, a daughter comes to terms with both a dictator regime and traditional strict parenting.

Clarke, Jane

Hers

Jane Clarke

A poetic tribute to a mother who shared her tricks of the trade.

Gray, Nicole

Radio Days

Nicole Gray

All kinds of music helped mother and daughter bond and get rid of negativity, until the day the music stopped.

Altman, Elissa

Baby Food

Elissa Altman

Mom stopped eating—it was a form of grief. Just as her appetite was returning, her daughter introduced the love of her life.

Reed, Jordan

To The Moon And Back

Jordan Reed

From toxic to tender: With patience and therapy, a mother and daughter change the channel of their relationship.

Tierney, Anna

What Not To Do

Anna Tierney

A daughter regrets that her mother did not enjoy  life more without the words “I am fat” constantly playing in her head.

Fessel, Juliet

Appreciation

Juliet Fessel

Friends gush over Mama's Thai food, but she won't make it for her own daughter.

Dey-Venturella, Tamara

Next Time

Tamara Dey-Venturella

Mom’s kitchen M.O.: messy.

Daughter’s kitchen M.O.: OCD.

But deep, insightful conversations went on there.

Era, Kyoko

Yamato Spirit

Kyoko Era

A traditional Japanese mother teaches the value of "longevity food" and living with conviction.

Aber, Dana

My Mother Makes Pies

Dana Aber

Joining the family to enjoy, and really taste, Mom's sweet or savory treats again marked a triumph over trauma.

Davis, Daijaha

The Firecracker

Daijaha Davis

Knowing how to cook and play with flavors was passed down from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother. Then it skipped a generation.

Gonzalez, Karen Karatz

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.”

Wells, Kelly

Unicorns

Kelly Wells

​A young daughter teaches her mother to be more open to bliss, and to make time for rainbow waffles.

DeRosa, Nancy.jpg

Dinner From Dented Cans

Nancy DeRosa

​For a child of divorce, Mom's meals conveyed love, comfort, and consistency, no matter where the food came from.

Ball, Aimee Lee_edited.png

Sleep-away Camp

Aimee Lee Ball

​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.

Slaboch, Silentia

Mom Can Cook

Silentia Slaboch

​Apparently Mom always knew how to cook, but why should she if there was someone in the house more passionate about it?

Fieldsteel Granny

Her Ladyship

Patricia Fieldsteel

Mother was horrified when her larger-than-life grandmother ate a dozen deviled eggs.

Raffelock, Stephanie

The Poetry of Food

Stephanie Raffelock

​Mom and daughter were “the girls,” hanging out over slow simmering sauces, avoiding the subject that was heaviest in their hearts.

Poff, Natalie

Culinary Boot Camp

Jessie Oleson Moore

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

Canlas, Ileana

The French Connection

Ileana Canlas

​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.

BryantBruce, Cheryl.jpg

Cookies, Bok Choy, and A Lot of Love

Cheryl BryantBruce

​A daughter leaves home early to salvage her own psyche, finally coming to understand her mother, and that understanding unfolded around food.

Izzo, Alexandra

Sinatra and Sauce

Alexandra Izzo

​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.

Bolton, Sandra Lee

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.

Takashige, Hanna

Go Fix Yourselves A Snack

Hanna Takashige

​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.

Asare, Nicola

Sneaking Out To See Mum

Nicola Asare

​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.)

Andrus, JoAnn

Raised Like A Soldier

JoAnn Andrus

​In a military family, Dad was in charge of the kitchen, but Mom "cooked" his uniforms in a large pot with starch.

Yavitch, Emily

Clones

Emily Yavitch

​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.

Lachi

A Ring God Placed On My Finger

Lachi

​Newly arrived in America, Mom made sure all of her children could cook Nigerian food and were independent, especially her handicapped child.

Rounsavall, Sara

A Continuous Lesson In Letting Go

Sara Rounsavall

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.

Mills, Yuliyah_edited.jpg

Mom's Way

Yuliyah Mills

​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.

Maiuro, Jessica

Scary Green Dots

Jess Maiuro

Fond memories of a family-run restaurant where Mom worked long hours but always found time for the drive-through at Burger King.

Jones, Khaleelah

Step Away From the Stove

Khaleelah Jones

​There are different ways of showing love; one way is to stay out of the kitchen.

Tjersland, Trina

House of Miracles

Trina Tjersland

Mom embraced convenience foods with a passion—why toil in the kitchen when the grocery store is full of fun and easy shortcuts?

Moghalu, Ngoma Evelyn

Losing A Piece of Myself

Ngoma Evelyn Moghalu 

A Nigerian daughter transports memories of Africa and her mother's kitchen to Texas.

Ballinger, Barbara

A Twist On Tradition

Barbara Ballinger

​The splendid table of past Passovers becomes a sweet memory, and new traditions with an older mother take shape.

Heising, Dawna Lee.jpg

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.

Herandez, Amanda

Something Extra

Amanda Hernandez

​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."

Pressberg, Erica

Family Business

Erica Pressberg

For a mother and daughter who work together, the rule is: Leave work at work.

Simmons, Autumn

The Tornado

Autumn Simmons

A mother's adventures are legendary, as is her reputation for drama at home.

Nau, Sophie

And She Never Looked Back

Sophie Nau

​A daughter tries to understand her mother's decision to leave satisfying work for a more traditional gender role.

Silvas, Autumn

Love In A Jar of Jif

Autumn Silvas

Mother and daughter counted calories together, demonized carbs, and dreamed of svelte bodies. But something broke along the way.

Bobak, Ela

Coming to America

Ela Bobak

A Polish immigrant in Chicago wants a better life for her daughter, while instilling the native culture: the language, the church, and the foods.

Loeb, Jessie

Beauty and the Beets

Jessie Loeb

​Imagine a naughty Snow White. What emerged from her kitchen seemed just as magical.

Bilu, Sandra

Uniting the World with

Mac and Cheese

Sandra Bilu

Three daughters, who each describe their mom differently, are agreed about her iconic dish.

Bologna, Patty II.jpg

Finding Fault

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.

Botula, Maryll

What Women Did

Maryll Botula

​Mom was a beautiful woman without the confidence to model. But while she ironed, she watched Julia Child, nudging her towards her true self.

Fieldsteel, Patricia

Stay-a-bed Stew & Snapper Blues

Patricia Fieldsteel

There was a mother who took French cooking lessons and a grandmother whose food was reliably awful. But Nana was the one who cared

Ammann, Jennifer

Curves

Jennifer Ammann

A mother and daughter who become vegetarian rejoice in a trip to India, but still wrestle with body image.

Sangossango, Magdalena

Where's the Food?

Madalena Sangossango

​On the southwest coast of Africa, lunch is a party of colors, and after the meal, there is family history.

Cameron, Kerry

Keds

Kerry Cameron

Pancakes bring back countless memories with Mom in the maroon pleather seat of the Holiday House restaurant.

McDougal, Casey

No-Drama Mama

Casey McDougal

​Mother joins daughter in exploring a new diet, and becomes even more badass at clean, healthy living.

Tretiakova, Nina

Wild Thyme

Nina Tretiakova

​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.

Burton, Lisa

Amazing Grace

Lisa Burton

​​Mothers are not supposed to bury their daughters. But sometimes with grief comes inspiration.

Coleman, Tamala

A Chance to Rise

Tamala Coleman

​A mother-daughter relationship is a lot like baking a cake; each ingredient changes the final product.

Atkins, Jackie

No Pantyhose, No Bra

Jackie Schifalacqua Atkins

​Though rarely in the kitchen, an Italian mother had definite ideas about how a young lady should comport herself.

Strati, Sara

A Clear Sign

Sara Strati

​A hearty appetite from the time she was born leads inevitably to a talent in the kitchen.

Moliere, Babs

Culinary Calligraphy

​A box of handwritten recipes was assembled for a new bride, by a mother who talked to herself as she stirred at the stove.

Jacob, Jessica

Que Sera Sera

Jessica Jacob

​Singing in the kitchen with a matriarch who held a diverse Middle Eastern and European family together.