Saturday, October 3, 2009

Treasure Your Family Recipes

A dear friend of mine lost her father last week after a long illness. I found the email she sent me this morning so moving she's kindly agreed to let me share part of it with you.

'Hi Indira,

I've been enjoying your blogspot for the past hour. It's offered some light and humour after a very heavy going week...

My father passed away last week, and it still seems horrible to actually write those words. He had been unwell for quite some time now. Knowing that there is no more pain for him is rather a relief. It sounds cliched to say that, but now we have lived that experience as a family, it's so true. But gee, I'll miss him a LOT. You can never have enough chats with those you love.

I think you would have enjoyed a chat with him about food... it was a major part of his life. Eating it, Cooking it, Growing it, Pickling it... not to mention "Curing it". He had a very comprehensive recipe file in his memory which was passed onto him by his father, and his soups especially were capable of fixing up anything that was wrong with you - something to cool the blood, something to warm the blood... something to clear your headcold in winter.... you name it. I tried to write some of his family recipes down, as he was always telling us that if we didn't, we wouldn't have them when he was gone. So now I have lots of scraps of paper here and there with hastily written notes, which isn't what I intended to happen... I was hoping to have everything neatly written in a nice book with photos. So I think I will now set myself the task of gathering all the rough scribbles together and trying to make a recipe file. It might be a good thing to do.'

What a lovely way of remembering your father. I'm looking forward to reading the finished result. My friend's heartfelt words have inspired me to collate my own family's recipes before they're lost too. I hope you will do the same.


  1. what a lovely post! I too feel that my recipes from my childhood and my partner's family need preserving for the next generation. I have turned to technology to create a recipe book that has my handwritten family recipes. Each hand written recipe can be saved as a pdf. I will be printing each page and will then have them heat bound with hard covers; one for each of my daughters, with extra blank pages for them to write the recipes that will become a part of their own food history as they grow.
    thanks to you and your friend for sharing such a personal aspect of your friendship.
    This is how i did it:

  2. I have all my recipes online but I think preserving them like how your friend intends to do ,will be passed on from geration to generation.Thanks for sharing her ideas with us.

  3. That is so special Indira. Congrats on an awesome blog.

    Deano Power @byronbayfood

  4. Hi suziwong66,
    love the electronic pen idea. I'm off the Officeworks today to get one! Indira

    Hi Aynzan,
    All your recipes online? You're way ahead of me. I'm going to have to start downloading my mother's recipe brain vault when I see her next month. Indira

    Hi Deano Power,
    My friend is a very special person and extraordinarily generous. She's also an awesome foodie. Her father's recipe book will be a gem! Indira

  5. My mum died a few years ago from cancer. We were able to look after her at home right up till her last day with us. In the last month of her life she poured over her recipe books, selected her favourite recipes and actually sat in the kitchen in a comfy chair and instructed me on how to cook her favourite recipes. These ranged from curries cooked in a pressure cooker ( a very old pressure cooker, that I still have), simple things like scones and date loaf, and some lovely vegetarian recipes. I treasure these moments with her, she was a brilliant cook and we grew up with a huge variety of meals. I now encourage my daughter to cook as much as possible, and I continue to pass on my mums gorgeous recipes.

  6. Hi mvmishani,
    thank you for such a moving post. And what a lovely way to spend the last days with your mother. If you ever want to share some of her recipes on Saucy Onion I would treasure the opportunity to pass them on to my readers. Just email me at Indira