Stories 2022
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Rout, Kasturi

C'mon, Mom, Chill

Kasturi Rout

A special mother/daughter bond is like the Indian street snack of panipuri—simultaneously sweet, savory, and salty.

Aaron, Elizabeth

Turned Tables

Elizabeth Aaron

A long-awaited mother/daughter visit, after a pandemic separation, renewed an important question: whether chocolate is a vegetable.

Warnock, Kresha

Let Them Eat Cake

Kresha Richman Warnock

A daughter inherits both her mother's love of cooking and fear of fat—a legacy passed down particularly through female branches of the family tree.

Fernando, Beatrice

Innocence

Beatrice Fernando

Mom didn't always have answers to her daughter's questions, but had a perfect response when asked: How can I be mad at you and still love you?

James, Ursula

Clutching Life

Ursula James

A German mother in a bunker at the end of WWII, with almost nothing to eat, clutched her two babies and swore she would never have more.

MacCallum, Nicola

The Maternal Bungee Cord

Nicola MacCallum

A poignant poem reflects a daughter who wanted to be accepted as she was, and tried running in the opposite direction from her mother, to no avail.

Bolton-Fasman, Judy

Course Correction

Judy Bolton-Fasman

A dear friend recreates a recipe from Mom's culinary intentions gone awry, burnishing memories of the burnt dinners thrown into the sink.

Ball, Aimee Lee

Holy Water

Aimee Lee Ball

A Jewish mother's attitude toward religion was all-encompassing: Any holiday that included friends and food was worth celebrating.

Kesler, May

Gefilte Fish and Ham

May Kesler

Mom had an infectious laugh that her daughter longed to hear again. Closest thing to it was her aunt's voice, but religion got in the way.

Heintz, Starla

Chitlins and Hog Head Cheese

Starla Heinz

A heritage of soul food travels from pre-Civil War slaves to Mom's kitchen in Haight-Ashbury and breaking bread with the Black Panthers.

Gigante-Brown, Catherine

Navy Bean Special

Catherine Gigante-Brown

There are loving surrogates for Mom, not incidentally following her credo: that if you knew someone liked a dish, there was no greater joy than feeding it to them.

Gothoni, Lin

Violins and Chili Peppers

Lin Gothoni

Although her mother was from Szechuan, China, she grew up in Germany, knowing: Die Liebe geht durch den Magen: Love goes through the belly.

Stillman, Sheryl

The Familiar Taste of Tradition

Sheryl Stillman

Mom thought a nutritional breakfast was nicotine and caffeine. But for holidays, she perfected one dish, made in a bowl with almost mystical powers.

Equitz, Loreen

Carpe Diem

Loreen Equitz

A teen whose mom works late hours in health care sometimes has to cook dinner, but is inspired by her mother’s strength, compassion, and zest for life.

Sallade, Jackie

My Mom Eats Fish From Her Purse

Jackie Sallade

After her family fled their homeland, with jewels and papers stuffed into her underwear, Mom grew up believing that she was too special to cook or clean.

Gurwitch, Annabelle (cropped)

A Platter of Second-Wave Feminism

Annabelle Gurwitch

Mom was raised on a menu that was strictly kosher, utterly utilitarian, and verging on penitential. It was no surprise that she did not teach her daughters to cook.

Waddell, Sarah

Let It Be

Sarah Waddell

Mom's kitchen counters were a magnetic field that mirrored her life: envelopes, oatmeal, Tylenol, a few dog collars, a stuffed blue owl....

Kelly, Seymone

Harlem Bound

Seymone Kelly

An African-American odyssey: from South to North, from water fountains marked "colored" or "white" to new opportunities—and from mother to daughter.

Fay, Jennifer Joan

First Born

Jennifer Joan Fay

A high-risk pregnancy, in the middle of a pandemic, presented plenty of stress. But preparing the "big sister" for the new arrival was also a priority.

Correa, Karina

The Red Suitcase

Karina Correa

She was usually indulged, but when she didn’t get her way with her mom, she’d pack a bag and threaten to run away to her true protector: Grandma.

Kim, Jean

Fat Baby

Jean Kim

An accidental immigrant at age two, a Korean girl was embarrassed by the kimchi buried in the yard, but had an enduring taste for homeland comfort food.

Cull, Samantha

Shooting Star

Samantha Cull

What's an expectant mother to think when the sonographer wielding the wand over her growing bely announces, "It's a hamburger!"

Axler, Amy

Salad Days

Amy Axler

A reunion meal (with calculations of who ate what and how large the portion was) becomes a metaphor for generosity, family ties—and retaliation.

Broxterman, Coraly

Teacher's Pets

Coraly Broxterman

A second-grade teacher was great with her students, but her own six kids were another story. Maybe she was just exhausted by the time she got home.

Aizenman, Gaby

Cockeyed Cake

Gaby Glass Aizenman

In apartheid South Africa, the family cook grumbled as mother and daughter interfered with his dinner prep to make a cake from The I Hate to Cook Book.

Cunningham, JoAnn Ross

The Orange Roll Ticket

JoAnn Ross Cunningham

A state fair champion bread maker finds delicious independence in the big city. And her ticket to ride is the recipe for Orange Rolls perfected by her mother.

Vuckovic, Stephanie

The French Do It Better

Stephanie Vuckovic

Mom couldn’t afford the Chanel or Lacroix clothes prized by the industry in which she worked, but French food was accessible to all.

Conniff, Ellie

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

Ellie Conniff

A daughter who stopped eating meat hears the dreaded question from Mom: "Then what are we going to do on Christmas Eve?"

Siy, Sherilyn

Anyone Can Cook

Sherilyn Siy

The stove outside her childhood home in the Philippines made a young girl conclude that cooking well was extremely difficult and best left to experts.