Mothers and Daughters
Voices Past and Present
Stories and Recipes
Lana Te Brugge
A mother who was brought up in apartheid-ruled South Africa passed on a sense of right and wrong (plus her recipes) to her own daughter.
A Pandemic Pregnancy
Only one person could help cushion the bumpy road to a blessed event.
A Model Daughter
Mom gave her soul to the community, but she hated anything connected with nesting or caretaking, and she never stepped into the kitchen.
Generosity and Guilt
Food was Mom’s strategy to cope with loneliness and longing for the years gone by. But her very British sense of humor was evident.
A Signature Dish
A working mom provided a lesson in the good life. It did not involve frying anything up in a pan.
A Squish A Day
Eleanor May Blackburn
A poem about safety, comfort, and home—and food as a wondrous remedy for lockdown.
Newlywed Nerves and
The new bride's once-crowded calendar is nearly empty, and she longs for the comfort of Mom’s table.
Hearing Mum call her "chubby," she wrapped clothes tightly around her dolls to accentuate their tiny waists—and created a complicated relationship with food.
Quarantining with Mum has its advantages (home-cooked meals!), but it’s hard to handle codependency after seeing more of the world.
Against All Odds
Poetic gratitude for a mother who has been a queen in shining armor, never giving up on providing hope, joy, and laughter.
A mother went to extraordinary lengths to protect her premature twins—and to ensure that their childhood was different from her own.
A Matter of Trust
When a mother believes that her degree in child psychology qualifies her to analyze her daughter, it creates guilt and anxiety for her vegan daughter.
Three Candy Bars
Sally A. Brett
Mom believed in sharing among siblings, in making things "even." Turns out, she had a special, private reason.
No Shame in Baking
For an adopted daughter who has been through many failed placements, hoarding food became a crisis reaction. Mom lured her from her stinky room.
Mum had great faith in the healing properties of a vile health drink. Decades later, as ammunition against a pandemic, it returns in a different guise.
A Sweet Thing From A Time of Pain
The funeral and “enlivening” ceremony for her grandmother lets a daughter adopted from Guatemala continue a family culinary legacy.
But Please With Sauce
For a girl with a dreamy personality, German precision and discipline were difficult, but an extra dollop of sauce at dinner meant extra love.
Dear Mother, Dear Daughter
A letter of gratitude, to a mother who provided valuable lessons and sustenance, and to a daughter still too young to know the importance of those gifts.
Doing Her Best
Mama had a pervasive air of sadness (and frequently a cigarette dangling from her mouth), but she was always a good listener, followed by a warm hug..
A Push-button Life
The Philippine tradition is: A child must “give back” to her parents. It’s a debt of gratitude. But the fantasy of an easy-peasy American life was tempting.
The Quiet Rebellion
An offer of healthy recipes has tacit meaning: a mother's way of apologizing, a daughter's way of accepting.
If Music Be the Food of Love
Eva Caisey Thompson, Maria Thompson Corley, and Kiana Corley
A trilogy of stories from three women who admit that food plays second fiddle to their music.
The compromises and guilt for a mother of teens, combined with zero enthusiasm for pandemic grocery shopping.
Losing My Religion
A school assignment about World War II revealed an extraordinary family history—a choice between heritage and survival.
Doing the Work
Deborah Lindsay Williams
A recipe for dill bread is linked to a bygone world of Chicago politics, when Mom took her daughter on door-knocking expeditions.
Ever A Teacher, Ever A Student
Ivy Baer Sherman
The art of cooking was not one of Mama's many skills. But the daily sharing of stories around the kitchen table was its own form of comfort food.
Just the Essentials
Stepping foot into a grocery store was paralyzing, and quarantine cooking was emotionally exhausting. Then a lime green postcard arrived in the mail.
Newspaper on the table, a pile of crab legs—Mom knew how to make life seem good.
Recovery from two different health crises allowed mother and daughter to put aside past grievances and celebrate life together.
Mending With Each Plate
Mother and daughter were best friends until a youthful push for independence created a rift. But a shared pandemic kitchen created a new dynamic.
Her beloved daughter became dark and withdrawn. A suggestion to try cake decorating together proved to be the recipe needed to move back into the light.
An Englishwoman goes foraging, and her daughter unexpectedly falls under her spell.
Comfort food in her childhood was out of the question, unless her mother was able to find the road to recovery.
Mom drove herself to the hospital in high heels when she went into labor. In December. In New England. She had a few culinary tricks up her sleeve too.
A Need To Knead
Fear of contagion kept a grandmother, mother, and daughter apart, but bread, technology, and love brought them together.
Quarantine is intimidating while living with housemates, where the dining table is rarely used. But Mum is there to share recipes over FaceTime.
A Solo Act
A pediatric nurse worked long shifts taking care of other people’s children. But if her daughter saw eggs and butter on the counter, it was time to bake.
Channeling Mom In A Bridge Boudoir
Reluctantly, her mother had learned to play bridge, and reluctantly, she learned it too. Now she plays virtually, stopping only for a plate of spaghetti.
Heart On A Plate
A daughter navigating adulthood pushes her mother away—just like her mother did to her own mum.
Watch and Learn
There were always lessons to be learned by observing Mom, whether painting the perfect eyeliner or pulling off a perfect meal.
Bell and Banana Man
Marilyn Joshua Williams
Since the kitchen was a place for conversation and support in her own childhood, a mother determined to continue that tradition with her daughter.
Passing the Mantle
Two daughters get cooking instruction from their mom with different results, but both learn from the failures and rejoice with the successes.
Dana M. Lewis
Culinary skills in the family go back for generations, to a "scandalous" great-grandmother in a Louisiana parish populated by freed slaves and sharecroppers.
A lifelong work ethic was established on the family farm. And baking bread with her mother and grandmother drew a sassy teen back to the kitchen.
A Passage From India
A mother worries about her daughter, a doctor who is an essential worker in London. But her delicious recipes for a busy schedule help more than ever.
A mother raises her children as she wanted to be raised herself, and lock-down is a good opportunity to talk about the mistakes of past generations.
The Bereavement Dinner
Mom cooked for friends at church for many years. And when she died, they all gathered to eat her food.
At the Ballet
At five years old, her response to her first ballet was classic: She wanted to be a dancer. And her devoted mother found her the best studio in town. But….
Handled With Care
Mom was a nervous person. Life had taught her that something bad could be right around the corner. But she was fearless in the kitchen.
Consigned to an internment camp in World War II, a Japanese mother prepared traditional foods, trying to maintain dignity, and maintain the family unit.
The Marriage Test
One condition predicated the marriage of the rabbi's wife: She had to learn how to make her mother-in-law's kugel.
Lessons Learned From a '50s Housewife
A woman eager to leave behind her working-class roots embraced the post-WWII American dream of prosperity with a domain of domesticity.
Calm in the Kingdom
With daughters at the age of explosive growth and multiple interests, a woman who has become “boring Mom” finds some gifts in quarantining together.
Crimes in the Family
Asparagus was a crucible in the family. Nana ate it from a jar. A beloved aunt mulched and slurped the fresh stalks like a savage. Mother did not approve.
Keeping A Lost World Alive
Mom was always exciting, sometimes maddening, occasionally embarrassing, like trying to bribe a cop with the homegrown tomatoes in her trunk.
Mom’s advice and lessons were like “cheat codes” in video games to get to a higher level. And she knew what her daughter needed for comfort in a pandemic.
Back On Track
Bad relationships and poor choices meant Mom was not setting a good example for her daughter, until they both figured out there was no time to waste.
The Belle of Chinatown
Paula T. Lin
A child of Chinese immigrants “married well,” but the emotional scars from a childhood of poverty and hunger stayed with her.
A daughter muses about her mother’s life during the bombing of London and finds similarities to today’s world. What would Mum think now?
It Takes Three to Tango
Andriena P. Botto Roever,
Valentina Roever, and Sophia Roever
A mother who made a new life in America teaches her three daughters how to make a difference.
A Pregnant Pause
A young mother-to-be feels the stress of knowing that her womb will not always be shelter for her child from the dangers of the world in the time of coronavirus.
Mother's Day on Lock-down
Food has always been Mom’s passion. Now she and her daughter exchange recipes and celebrate the occasional happy hour—only on FaceTime.
When Mum Is Essential (Not Just to Me)
Mum is an ambulance technician. To alleviate worry and missing her, a daughter away at college practices the healthy cooking Mum taught.
Cooking Our Way Through Quarantine
Mary Kate Magee
A mom who taught her daughters to be goddesses reinforces her advice from afar, including her belief that there is a dish to solve every problem.
Recipes By Mom
The food of her childhood in her mother’s recipes was written in a shorthand that rendered the information undecipherable.
Divorce caused a rift between a Mama’s girl and her Mama. But when the daughter became a mother herself, she found a way back through her own child.
Her family “immigrated” in shackles. So she married into a family that had decided to come to America, as a proud choice. And then she adopted his food.
Passing the Baton
When the pandemic made it impossible to travel for the birth of a grandchild, the connection between mother and daughter continued via video-conference.
A particular orange pound cake was deeply symbolic, a reminder of the sudden loss of family. It became grief, and then a vehicle for overcoming it.
Dinner in a Cuban Sephardic Jewish family provided a gift from one culture to another.
Coronavirus lockdown + deeply fabulous mom = a genius way not to miss her daughter’s birthday tradition.
Andrea Santo Felcone
Mom's favorite book for party prep included recommendations for the slow thawing of dinner, like “taking in a movie” and a long soak in the tub.
Mom turned supermarket shopping into an adventure, overlooking her daughter’s stealth purchases of unauthorized snacks.
The tiger in Korean fables is an unbeatable figure. And Mama Kim was not happy when her daughter wanted to become a chef.
Mother and daughter both love travel, shopping, theater, fashion, and a well-crafted sarcastic remark. But they never bonded over cooking.
At a summer home in India, generations of women gathered in the kitchen, cooking, singing, teasing, telling stories, and teaching math.
The signature recipe of a Jewish festival is passed down through three generations—and shared with kids celebrating their own cultures and traditions.
Mom could match any Hollywood diva with her sassy attitude. But her daughter knew that something else made her mother hard to handle: mental illness.
Mom was calm, kind, and funny, but the heated side of her lineage showed when she cooked. Never come between a Sicilian mother and her sauce.
With any fight, heartbreak, or major transition, Mom brought tea, with enough sugar to please a major sweet tooth.
Tasting her mother’s wonderful Indo-Persian food, she convinced herself that she was loved. But it was her only opportunity to feel some kind of belonging.
Digging around in a mess of recipes, mostly never made, a daughter comes across a message from her mother that she wishes she could answer.
One sister was allowed to eat between meals and eat with her hands. The other had cloth napkins, Friday night steak, and dinner served promptly at 7 pm.
Aimee Lee Ball
V-Day decadence, not just for lovers.
A work of fiction, informed by a Southern childhood and a mama who was hometown royalty, prettiest girl in the Delta, but considered a “hick” up North.
Ah-ma’s modest potsticker shop is the culmination of a journey that goes from resisting foot-binding in China to claiming a piece of The American Dream.
Clever Grandma, perennially dieting, ran a dress shop where women were always thinner (a size 12 became a size 10), but she cooked with abundance.
Deciding who's in charge can be a challenge when an adult mother and daughter are sharing a household.
Grandma carried a sewing machine on her back in Russia, and carried her recipe for challah to America, where she played tricks on her daughter.
A mother realizes that she is her daughter’s first teacher and mentor, challenging her to be part of something big.
A daughter struggles with body shaming on the road to acceptance from (and of) her mother.
A young woman goes to meet her boyfriend's family and finds a new mother.
A daughter with mysterious childhood illnesses manages to grow, even thrive, with her mother’s skilled resourcefulness.
Mimi and Sophia Lesseos
Her traumatic childhood was the opposite of shows she watched on TV. But she determined to raise her own children differently. And she became fearless.
Stella Chase Reese
The woman behind the stove at Dooky Chase’s learned to read from books that her father salvaged from the trash at a school for white children.