A Family Treasure

Family cookbook cover page

December 31, 2020

Beyond the global events that shaped 2020, this has been a reflective year. And while I feel the connections from past generations slipping away, I am forever grateful that one link remains that connects the past to the present to the future, that of food.

In a non-descript, unassuming 9” x 7” binder lies a family treasure – a collection of recipes from aunts, uncles, cousins, and, of course, our Popo (grandmother). It took nearly 10 years to collect, interpret, organize, and type the more than 300 recipes contained in our cookbook. Each of the cousins created section dividers, often with our own brand of humor.

At nearly 20 years old, this cookbook is a family time capsule of sorts. While there are several favorites that I continue to make, and have shared here in my blog, there are still more that I don’t remember ever making, much less eating. It is fun connecting recipes with family celebrations and every day meals, remembering those who shared them with us.

We also mourn the recipes that never made it to the cookbook, made by family members no longer with us. Kau yuk from my Popo, oyster rolls from my mother. These are recipes we may never recover, the tastes living only in our memories.

Over the years I’ve collected recipes from family members with the idea that one day there might be a second edition of the cookbook. The recipes are handwritten, stained, some held together with tape. In some way they will make it into the hands of my family so we can continue to collect and grow our treasure.

A pile of recipes written on paper and recipe cards
Handwritten recipe cards, many from my Popo

I hope you find something that connects your family across the generations. May you have a happy, safe, and healthy new year!

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