One of the things that my cousin Mona wanted to do while she was here was learn to bake our family’s famous almond cookies. So this morning, my mother, with all the ingredients poised and ready on the kitchen counter, set out to do what she does best: teach. In her classic teacherly voice, she began to pass down the storied recipe to Mona, who diligently took notes on her iPad.
A little bit of flour. A sprinkle of sugar. A dash of salt. It was all coming together.
As I watched my mother rattle off the recipe as easily as if she were reciting the alphabet, I realized just how therapeutic and cathartic making these cookies must be for her. As she mixes the dough, I imagine her thinking of her own mother and imagining her cooking the same cookies some 50 years ago in her own kitchen. These cookies keep my mom connected to the past, and keeps my grandmother’s memory alive.
I also realized something else this morning amidst the hum of the beaters and the sneaking of dough (because you’re really never too old for that, are you…?): How much times have changed since my grandmother’s cooking days. I pictured my cousin going home and baking these delicious cookies in her small New York City apartment. My grandmother probably followed a recipe that was handwritten on a small note card. Instead, my cousin will whip out her iPad. It’s sort of wild to think about all the changes, isn’t it?
What yummy recipes have been passed down through the generations in your family, friends? Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to try them. Send me a photo if you make them — I’d love to see! xoxo