Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apples and Thyme ~ a celebration of mothers and grandmothers and time spent with with them in the kitchen

For the last few months, Inge at Vanielje Kitchen and I have been going back and forth about creating a blogging event to honor our mothers and grandmothers and the traditions and recipes that they left us. I see so many posts from all kinds of blogs referring to "my grandmother used to make this" or "my mother taught me this", etc... These ties to our predecessors are universal and obviously strong. As we were tossing this around, my mother's health took a turn for the worse, and she passed away last week (see my post about her passing.) While spending much of these last six week's at my parents' house, I have been surrounded by memories of my mother's love of cooking. From her well stocked kitchen, with every cooking gadget and apparatus a gourmet could ever want, to her bookshelves overflowing with recipe books and binders of collected recipes with notes, her passion for food was strong. Her palate and olfactory senses were some of the best I've ever known, and I've been surrounded by professionals in the wine and food business for years. Her mother cooked fairly traditional southern foods, much of it cooking of the poor, relying on foods that they had grown, raised or caught or picked wild, but all of it delicious. My mother was raised in a community full of immigrants from all of Europe. She would tell countless stories about eating in many of these different households, savoring the different smells and flavors, and loving everything she ate. It was through those experiences that her curious palate was born; she would try anything. I never heard my mother say that there was a food she wouldn't eat. My mother did not follow in her mother's footsteps, but only took up cooking out of necessity once she was married, and then tried to cook everything but what her mother cooked. She was also trying to please my father, who was accustomed to the fairly bland Swedish food of his mother and was not willing to experiment in the way her palate wanted. Over the years, my father's palate broadened, a bit, and she delved into learning how to cook cuisines from all over the world, including some of her mother's tried and true dishes.

After returning home, just yesterday, I have been busy catching up on life's necessities and hadn't found the time nor energy to put our thoughts of a blogging event into action. So, it was a real blessing that Vanielje Kitchen took hold of the reins and got this idea off the ground.

Please see African Vanielje's
post to read her thoughts on the idea behind this round up. In short, she very sweetly dedicated her post to my mother, and thought the announcement of this event was timely in honor of her passing. I couldn't agree more.

The event which African Vanielje has named Apples & Thyme (which I love) is a celebration of time spent in the kitchen with our mothers and grandmothers (or anyone else you wish to blog about) and what they did or did not pass on to us that influenced how we cook and eat today. We would love you to enter and share with us a person and a dish that celebrates your relationship with them. The closing date is 10th November, with the roundup being posted on 15th November, the first monthly Apples & Thyme Day. Event rules are as follows:

1. Post on your blog before 10th November about your mother or grandmother (or any other person special to you) and time spent with them in the kitchen that influenced how you cook and eat.

2. Include a dish which reflects the relationship.

3. Take a picture of the dish and/or person.

4. Include the words Apples & Thyme in your blog title.

5. Add a link to this post.

4. Please send an email to
passionatepalate@gmail.com with the following details: Your name, URL of blog, URL of your Apples & Thyme post and a 100 x 100 pixel picture for your entry in the round-up.

You can also enter through Inge's blog
African Vanielje.

Have fun sifting through your memories. We look forward to reading all your stories and recipes.

21 comments:

katiez said...

What a wonderful event! I didn't know a grandmother and have a mother who would rather eat out so I'll have to give this one some thought....there must have been someone.... wait - I see a glimmer of an idea...gotta run...

The Passionate Palate said...

Katie - oh good...it will be interesting to see who else influenced you in the kitchen!

myfrenchkitchen said...

A great idea from the two of you and I can already think of so many memories to recall!
Ronell

african vanielje said...

Well Bella, your idea has come to fruition and I hope that the stories of other peoples memories helps you to face your own with joy as well as tears. I'm lighting a candle, and having a glass of wine for your mom, and for you. with love. xxx

Figs Olives Wine said...

What a wonderful idea for an event!

Rebecca Lemke said...

Jeni and Inge -- This is delightful reason for me to ponder my memory bank of kitchen time with my Grandmother. I'll be submitting a traditional family dish which I have updated (less fat and salt but yummy just the same.) I'll bet your event garner some wonderful recipes and stories. I'm happy to participate.

sognatrice said...

Awesome idea, and what a lovely tribute to your mother and, now, to all the mothers and grandmothers and other kitchen muses out there. Can't wait to participate and see the roundup!

Paul said...

Jeni- I find it interesting how a movement has begun (I guess!) My partner & I had decided to start writing about the foods that our grandmothers and mothers made when we were younger. Inges & your idea for “Apples and Thyme” fit perfectly with our thoughts. I love moments like these when everyone seems in-tune!
Thank you for the event and invitation.

The Passionate Palate said...

Ronell - Looking forward to reading about those memories!

AV - thank you and thank you. My mom would appreciate the candle and the wine!

Figs - Thank you. I know you will have something wonderful to share as always.

Rebecca - I'm really glad you like the idea and I can't wait to read about your grandmother.

Sognatrice - It feels like a great idea and a great tribute to my mom. I bet you even have some stories/recipes to share from your husband's relatives.

Paul - Indeed we are on the same wavelength. I can't wait to read about your memories and family recipes.

M&Ms... said...

Just discovered your blog. Sorry to hear about your mother.

I really like the blog event - my most recent posting was a soup recipe from a close family friend who is almost like a mother and influenced me in many ways and then there is another one - a soup my mom made and I never had as a kid...wrinkling my nose at it. And now it's my favourite soup! Amazing how patient mothers can be!

The Passionate Palate said...

M&Ms - Welcome! I love your comment about the soup and your mom. I do hope you will particpate in our event and regale us with more stories!

Dana said...

What a wonderful idea. I look forward to reading everyone posts and putting one together myself honoring my grandmother.

The Passionate Palate said...

Dana - glad you like our idea. I can't wait to read about your grandmother.

Ruth Daniels said...

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Mine passed many years ago, but she's still with me, especially in the kitchen. I will definitely be contributing.

Thanks for thinking this up!

The Passionate Palate said...

Ruth! So glad you will participate. I think there are many of us who "feel" our mothers and grandmothers with us in the kitchen. I know I do. :-)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This sounds great! I have been away for a while so I haven't been checking my emails. I am sorry to hear of your monther's passing. This is a great event to honor her. I would be honored to participate. Thanks for the invite.

My Melange said...

Jeni,

What a lovely tribute. My heart is so in it, however, unfortunately my Mom and Grandmother were not really known for their cooking. We never really shared recipes or cooked together...I have gained my cooking skiils and recipes over the course of the last few years..thanks to the Food Network and some really great cookbooks ;)

Robin

The Passionate Palate said...

Jenn - Thank you for your kind words. I hope you can particpate.

Robin - thank you, too. Oh, well, sorry about the lack of cooking influence there. However, if you have anyone else in your life who influenced you in the kitchen, please use that person.

melissa @ the inspired room said...

What a lovely idea. I wasn't really taught to cook (decorate, yes, cook, no!), but both my mom and grandma have some recipes I still use. Lovely idea, I will try to join in!

The Passionate Palate said...

Melissa - welcome to the party! I hope you can participate. You have a beautiful blog.

Heloise Bottomley said...

I am so sorry I only came accross this wonderful post now and could not participate. So many great memories of the past make the future a richer place to be.