Tastes of a Family – How Memories Are Passed on Through Food

This is more of a post that belongs at the end of the year, around the holidays, but I have been craving my Gramma’s oatmeal cookies lately.  If they are on the brain, I thought I’d shake things up and discuss them here.

I don’t know what it is about my Gramma’s oatmeal cookies, but man!  That stuff makes me think of ‘home’, whatever that is.  When you move, move, move your whole life, the idea of home is blurred.  But I digress…

These cookies.  The cookies.  Right.  Somehow they became legend in our family.  Every Christmas, every branch on the family tree would receive a box of “chex mix” (homemade) and her oatmeal cookies.

Actually, I think both her “chex mix” and her oatmeal cookies should be discussed.  I was so curious.  Curious about the history, mainly.  Now that my grandparents are gone and I am now a mother and supposedly ‘grown up’, I don’t want to lose sight of those moments, the taste of that oatmeal cookie.  The chex mix was so crisp, salty, goooooood.  It brought me right back to my grandparents’ kitchen, where smells of the oven and stove-top mixed with the sounds of aunts and uncles playing cards, cousins laughing and playing ping pong just outside the door.

I just love how food takes you back.  It teaches you.  It changes how you feel. How you see something, someone.  These cookies and chex mix did exactly that.  And since my family is a large one (the said grandparents had six children…and so on), I decided to take advantage of this thing called social media and reached out for some answers.

Man, I think I started something.

Yeah, man.

It took a few replies before the stories started flowing.  But when they did, I could tell this was the beginning of something bigger than the cookie recipe.  The whole family started chiming in…and then they went to stories of chili and this and that.  It was awesome.

Sure the chex mix was good.  But it turns out it really is just a couple of steps off of what the recipe on the back of the box calls for.

You didn’t think I’d actually give the secret recipe away, did you?  No, nor the oatmeal cookie recipe.  Both will remain a secret, as far as the internet is concerned.

In the end, it probably doesn’t matter all that much what really makes up the actual cookie.  What matters are the memories that come flooding back and the love that I feel as I eat them, or even before that, when the cookie tin arrives in the mail.

Now that my grandparents are no longer with us, my aunts have been carrying on the tradition.  And I’m betting if they read this, they are saying, “It’s YOUR turn next!!!”

And with the hesitation within, knowing how many tins might have to go out, I take a deep breath and say, “Only if [insert cousins’ names] want to help!”

I kid.  I honestly will do my best to carry on this custom, if the family wants me to.  It’s all about tradition, ya’all.

To wrap this up, I leave you with a tune I can’t seem to get out of my head.

You’re welcome.


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