Stories 2021
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Ridley, Starr

Stuck in the House

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.

Foster, Stephanie

A Well-Practiced Rebellion

Stephanie Foster

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.

Bellen, Sheila

The Distraction

Sheila Bellen

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.

Gray, Carol Lippert

Life Of A Muffin

Carol Lippert Gray

A favorite recipe nourishes a family through grief and loss, through miles of separation, and through generations.

Rodwell, Ashley

Southern Exposure

Ashley Rodwell

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.

Willmes, Désirée

A Year of Living Dangerously

Désirée Willmes

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.

Weber, Melissa L_

Wacky Cake

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.

Marks, Paula

Spiritual Hunger

Paula Marks

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.

Martinez, Zarela

Mexican Geisha

Zarela Martinez

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.

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A Southern Sin

Evangeline Wurst

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.

Park, Frances

Between Us

Frances Park

Mom enlisted her daughters as helpers in the kitchen, Sarge-style, reflecting her experience in war-torn Korea.

Sturza, Laura

What Mom Didn't Cook

Laura Sturza

She could dance on the expansive vinyl floors of their suburban home, but Mom had better things to do than cook there.

Shelton, Tsara

Tomato Aspic, No More

Tsara Shelton

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.

Louise, Lynette

Tomato Aspic

Lynette Louise

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.

Erez, Sigal

An Angel Imprint

Sigal Erez

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.

Daidone, Gina

Warming Our Chili Hearts

Gina Daidone

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.

Bradshaw, Terilynn

The Green Bench

Terilynn Bradshaw

A mother reintroduces herself to the three young daughters separated from her by custody arrangements.

Fieldsteel, Patricia

Where's the Beef?

Patricia Fieldsteel

Beef meant rules and regulations, calculations and ceremonies. Steaks were grilled—the domain of men. But Mother did what she did best—give orders.

Saje, Natasha

The Dollmaker

Natasha Sajé

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.

Goldsmith, Margie

Never Too Late

Margie Goldsmith

Mom didn't cook. Neither does her daughter. But a pandemic-inspired Zoom class provides an opportunity to learn.

Brian, Bex

Pyrotechnics for Breakfast

Bex Brian

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).