My Oma’s Apple Pancakes—& Why They Never Taste the Same Without Her

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

In Marcel Proust’s book In Search of Lost Time, the narrator famously reminisces abou…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


In Marcel Proust’s book In Search of Lost Time, the narrator famously reminisces about tasting a madeleine dipped in tea. We all have these moments, perhaps not as eloquently recounted, but nevertheless indelible in our minds. But did our madeleines really taste that good, or did the lens of time blur reality into a prelapsarian food idyll—before globalization made us more “sophisticated” eaters?

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My Life Is Nothing Like My Jichan’s, But Our Tortilla Eggs Are the Same

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

In American popular culture, weekend mornings often consist of stacks of impossibly f…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


In American popular culture, weekend mornings often consist of stacks of impossibly fluffy pancakes, crispy hash browns, and platters of wavy bacon. But when my siblings and I were growing up in suburban Orange County, Calif., on any given Sunday, you’d be more likely to find us ripping up tortillas over a skillet of hot oil—under the watchful eye of my father, who was on standby with a bowl of scrambled eggs, ready to douse the jagged little triangles at exactly the right moment.

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The Handmade Cookbook That Taught Me How to Grow a Family

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

When I graduated from college, my sister handed me a gift during our family’s celebratory …

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


When I graduated from college, my sister handed me a gift during our family's celebratory dinner that prompted me to sob into my chocolate cake. It was a spiral-bound book named Abby Won’t Starve: a Post-College Cookbook. In it, she had assembled family recipes from absolutely everyone—our mother, of course, who’d cooked Julia Child classics all through our childhoods; my sister’s new boyfriend (who would, the following year, become her husband); my godmother; she even culled recipes from our dead grandfather’s girlfriend.

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The Nigerian Fried Rice That Turned Me Into My Mother

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot o…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot of fried rice hurriedly spooned into red Freezinhot coolers with flower motifs, full of blackened pieces of beef—not burnt, just colored by hot oil—and chicken, fried in groundnut oil so the fragrance of freshly roasted peanuts lingers sweet. Every bottle of Limca and Goldspot packed into a yellow Thermocool cooler, and every packet of apple or orange Capri Sonne. Growing up, I thought her ‘wahala’—her penchant for fussing and worrying was too much. I didn’t know what it meant then, to be responsible for children.

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How My Grandma’s Swiss Roll Helped Me Cope With Losing Her

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

I know what you’re thinking: how can dessert cure grief? Well, in all honesty, it can’t—bu…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


I know what you're thinking: how can dessert cure grief? Well, in all honesty, it can’t—but it can make it more manageable.

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A Failed Apple Pie Brought Me Closer to My Father-in-Law

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm D…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Tell all the truth but tell it slant -
Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind,
The Truth must dazzle carefully
Or every man be blind –

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This Comforting Dish Connects Me With My Cuban Roots—but It’s Complicated

“It’s short for the color, you know; that’s why it’s called congrí,” my dad tells me, as he has dozens of times before. “When you cook them together, the beans turn the rice gray. Con-gris, with-gray,” he says in a singsong cadence with hand motions to…

“It’s short for the color, you know; that’s why it’s called congrí,” my dad tells me, as he has dozens of times before. “When you cook them together, the beans turn the rice gray. Con-gris, with-gray,” he says in a singsong cadence with hand motions to match.

It was 2011, and I was a freshman in college. Just a few hours earlier he’d picked me up from the local park-and-ride. I’d taken the bus home from college for the weekend, a trip that became more and more frequent as my misery at school mounted. Only a few months into the school year, I realized that getting good grades and actually wanting to be there were two different things.

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The Pizza of My Unconventional, Incredible Childhood

Rather appropriately, Chez Panisse was made out of a structure built as a single-family home in the 1930s. From the time of its purchase in 1971, it’s been molded to accommodate a business—a family, really—that necessarily expanded over several decades…

Rather appropriately, Chez Panisse was made out of a structure built as a single-family home in the 1930s. From the time of its purchase in 1971, it’s been molded to accommodate a business—a family, really—that necessarily expanded over several decades of use.

When the restaurant first opened its doors, the downstairs hearth—now the most prominent feature of the kitchen—had yet to be built. All the grilling for dinner service was performed over a steel drum in the back courtyard. This ad hoc outdoor grill station was adjacent to where the first pastry chef and co-owner of the restaurant, Lindsey Shere, conceived of confections in the gussied-up toolshed that predated a formal pastry department. The addition of an open kitchen upstairs in 1980—to execute a café menu distinct from the downstairs prix fixe—was followed by a series of auxiliary buildings, storage areas, a wine cave, staff changing rooms, and offices next door, both for the restaurant and the Edible Schoolyard Project. Chez Panisse spread out like a kind of medieval market town—in phases and as dictated by a growing family—and prevailed despite two significant fires, in 1982 and again in 2013.

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The Chicken Curry That Put My Broken Family Back Together Again

My strongest childhood memories are not from my own childhood. They belong to my father. I think of them often—children picking mangoes straight off the tree, chickens running free around the house, men measuring their wealth by the cows they own, and …

My strongest childhood memories are not from my own childhood. They belong to my father. I think of them often—children picking mangoes straight off the tree, chickens running free around the house, men measuring their wealth by the cows they own, and a village taking care of its many, many children—but I think of them most when I braise chicken in curry.

The chicken curry itself is a recipe passed down by my father. Each time he'd prepare it, and we’d sit down to eat as a family, the stories would flow. It became how we understood where he came from: not just through his stories, but in the ritual of eating in the same traditions.

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What Grandma’s Sponge Cake Taught Me About Being Asian in America

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

It took my grandma (Popo) hitting her 90s to finally run out of things to do. Before,…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


It took my grandma (Popo) hitting her 90s to finally run out of things to do. Before, she’d host big Saturday lunches where there were always six more dishes than there were guests: prawns nestled into glass noodles, their necks primed for snapping and sucking; thick slabs of meltingly tender pork belly, half-submerged in a swamp of braised mustard greens; nests of hairlike fat choy.

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