Family Traditions

I learned to cook the same way a lot of us do, in the kitchen with my Mom and my brother.

Eating home churned ice cream with my Mom

Chemotherapy in August 2009

We’d help her with the smaller tasks, while she whipped together a meal from the various items we had in the fridge. We didn’t have much money, and she was a wizard at stretching pennies and keeping good food on the table.

We would pick up cookbooks at the Thrift Shop, and then cook our way through them. I remember going cover to cover in a Chinese Sunset Books cookbook, and the different dishes we made. The roast peking duck was the most memorable! We had to keep opening the oven and pricking the skin to release the fat, and by the time we finished cooking the duck, none of us wanted to eat it!

We’re a proud Polish family, and she loved cooking the foods she grew up with, and also trying new twists on them. She had a kapusta recipe that she’d honed to a science using pre-shredded cabbage and onion soup mix! She was legendary in the family for her use of onion soup mix. It was like her version of ‘tussin, fixed anything that ailed a dish!

Sadly, my culinary (and life’s) journey with my Mom was cut short in 2009. She finally succumbed to complications from her 8 years of cancer treatment. She was a fighter right until the end, and even had me send her pictures of the Thanksgiving meal we’d prepared while she was in the hospital. (We didn’t know it would be her last holiday, things were sudden.)

This site is a way to stay connected with her, and to share her recipes and viewpoints with others.