Some of my most cherished memories include long-time family traditions. This last Thanksgiving, we pulled out an old box of family photos to rummage through. During the evening, pictures floated around the room from holidays, family vacations, weddings, and anniversaries that helped us to relive hilarious memories. As we kept flipping through albums, we found a collection of photos taken over a couple of years of my mother and my aunt on Thanksgivings in the kitchen.
At Thanksgiving, my cousin goes home the week before to help her grandmother make a berry sauce that has been a tradition for as long as anyone can remember. There are weeks of planning and coordinating between the two of them, and it becomes and adventure to go to the market and pick up all necessary ingredients. The process of cooking the sauce is quick, but the quality of time leaves a lasting impression on my cousin. When we lived together she would bring a small jar of the sauce home for the two of us to share and I would hear about the three generations standing in that kitchen reminiscing and relishing the experience. ‘Grammy’ is now in her nineties and the responsibility of making the family’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce has fallen to my cousin, to which she receives rave reviews.
One Christmas several years ago, ‘Grammy’ preserved the original recipes written generations ago and had them all framed for my cousin to keep in her kitchen. Next to the carefully displayed, half-torn, handwritten recipes was a framed picture of her grandmother. To this day the famous Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce recipe is still featured proudly in her home and turns into a highlight at any family holiday gathering.
If you plan to have lots of family and friends over this holiday season and have boxed memories from years past, bring them out to share and reminisce. You can create a recipe book that incorporates old photos and match them in a family cookbook. Framing the recipes that brought your family together in that moment is a great way to preserve the memories of loved ones and time spent together. No matter how many people you have in the kitchen over the holidays, spending time in the kitchen brings family together to cook and develop deeper meaningful relationships between both adults and children. The three generations in my cousin’s kitchen (now four generations with her new baby this year) have created memories that have them reminiscing and telling new stories that my cousin will pass down to her children for years to come.
As you consider your holiday plans come to Kidspace Children’s Museum to create new memories. Over Thanksgiving members will enjoy Holiday MADness: Member Appreciation Days and December 26-30 they can enjoy Snow Days where Kidspace transforms its campus into a winter wonderland of real snow play, ice science, and winter art activities.
Leslie Fraser, Development Coordinator, has been with Kidspace since 2008. Leslie graduated from Whittier College with a BA in Art/Art History and is currently seeking her MA in Arts Management. She has enjoyed bringing creative opportunities to little hands as the former Arts Specialist, and now looks forward to helping the Museum’s fundraising efforts.