Starr Ridley/Black Mermaid
So close that they even graduated from high school together, a daughter tries to coax her aging mother out of stubborn, life-surrendering behavior.
Mom is a kitchen magician. Her daughter took pride in developing no cooking skills, and their differences resulted in friction. Then life led to reassessment.
The family might eat cereal three times a day, but for 50 cents, a daughter got an hour of ballet, tap, toe, and “elocution” at Miss Donner’s Dance School.
Carol Lippert Gray
A favorite recipe nourishes a family through grief and loss, through miles of separation, and through generations.
It took years to discover a family secret: sisters she didn’t know she had. But wherever she found family, they were eating something delicious.
In a 400-soul German village, a daughter learned that food is sacred. Decades later and thousands of miles away, that lesson has even more importance.
Melissa L. Weber
There was pride of place about having a recipe in the kindergarten cookbook. But the teacher insisted that only real recipes were acceptable.
As a child, she often went hungry. As an adult, she wanted to feed people. As a mother, she extracted a tacit promise that she would be repaid with adoration.
Her mother named her Zarela because it would look good in lights. Then she helped her become one of the culinary world's leading lights.
A new stepfather brought chaos into her life, and her mother could barely be coaxed from her bed. But one day, in a pie-baking mood, everything changed.
Mom enlisted her daughters as helpers in the kitchen, Sarge-style, reflecting her experience in war-torn Korea.
She could dance on the expansive vinyl floors of their suburban home, but Mom had better things to do than cook there.
Mom was the black sheep in her family, willing to speak the truths that others preferred tucked tightly away, and inspiring her own strong daughters.
Mom liked to “put on the dog” for others, but the fear of something going wrong generally led to an outburst, and a good slapping once the company left.
The family's history puts the tragedy of a pandemic in perspective. But it is a time to look inward, to look for meaning, especially with Mom so many miles away.
A teen hooligan and a helicopter parent grow up to form an al dente bond through shared meals, finding ways to say "I’m sorry" and "I love you" with food.
A mother reintroduces herself to the three young daughters separated from her by custody arrangements.
Beef meant rules and regulations, calculations and ceremonies. Steaks were grilled—the domain of men. But Mother did what she did best—give orders.
In war-torn Europe, a young woman made dolls that she bartered for food, often just turnips. When she became a mother herself, turnips were off the table.
Mom didn't cook. Neither does her daughter. But a pandemic-inspired Zoom class provides an opportunity to learn.
A family log cabin in the woods sounds idyllic, but not when the contraption for cooking has Mum swearing and burning the food (and almost herself).