I got an email this afternoon from my friend Jennifer about an exciting new website she has launched with her friend and business partner Adriana. It's called PassedDown and it's your chance to share your favourite passed down recipe. This isn't just about the ingredients and cooking times. This is about sharing your favourite food stories. How did you get that recipe for peach cobbler? When did grandma let you in on her secret to apple pie? How did that recipe for cabbage rolls survive a cross-Atlantic journey on a steamer? Jennifer and Adriana want to know.
As I surfed PassedDown this afternoon, it occured to me that this is the perfect site to share with all my garden blogger friends. A spatula and shovel might seem very different on the surface but I found that the recipe site and garden blogs have a lot in common. Nobody, and I mean nobody, does the pass-along better than gardeners. How many of us have a pass-along or two or three? An extra plant a friend didn't have room for? A cutting you just had to have? A handful of seeds picked up at a seed exchange? Sharing our passed-down recipes seems like a natural extension of what comes naturally to a gardener.
We green thumbs have a special, sometimes even obsessive relationship, with our food. I was amused to learn that Jen is concerned that Canadian food chain Loblaws gets its garlic from China. She wonders whether it really needs to travel that far. Many of us gardeners aspire to get our garlic from our very own backyards. Growing our own food makes preparing it and enjoying it that much more special. I managed to grow some tomatoes last summer. And weren't they just the best tomatoes ever! It's got a lot to do with knowing where your food comes from. There's a parallel with passed down recipes: they are a part of our personal histories.
It's those personal histories that set this recipe site apart. Anyone can put together a list of ingredients and instructions. But when was the last time a recipe took you on a journey to another time and another place? Some of the stories are fascinating. I've been reading garden blogs for about a year now so I know all of you have wonderful stories to tell. I'm actually going to have to put out a challenge here: Anna at FlowerGardenGirl spins a tale like no other. I'll just bet you've got a few recipe stories to tell. How about it?
The site is clearly a celebration of food. More specifically, it is a celebration of food lovingly prepared. I love Christmas cookies. I love them all. But my mother's "shapas" are more than a cookie. They are an experience. They transport me in time to when I was kid: I can feel the grinder in my hands, I can see the walnuts crumbling into the bowl. I can feel the cool, buttery texture of the dough. I can literally see and smell the season. Christmas without "shapas" is just not Christmas. Do you have a food memory like this one? Well then, please share.
Congratulations Jennifer and Adriana on your website.