Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One story... One recipe... with meaning

Note: Thank you to all of you for the well wishes on the birth of my child.  Mother and baby are doing well.  

One Story...

Summer is a time for family gatherings and functions (or dysfunction depending on your family).  This is also a time for what I refer to as “genealogy on the go”.  This is the time when you have family members that you may only see once a year and you don’t have a lot of time to sit with in depth conversation with everyone(or anyone sometimes).  But it is still a great time to gather useful stories to add to your genealogy records.

During this time together it is great to get one good story that you are unfamiliar with, how people met, first dates, military time.and the like.  This will get you interesting information that you did not know before.  Avoid controversial subjects and keep it light.  I recently got a recap of my fathers time during the draft and I know that the first date my grandparents went on was to see Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (my grandmother fell asleep during the movie).  These short concise stories allow for more conversation than the typical “how have you been” conversations that can lead to nothing.  I once witnessed two of my relative talking that have not seen each other in over a decade and the conversation went as follows”

R1: “And how have things been going with you?”
R2: “Same old, Same old.”
So much for open ended questions.

But quick jogs down memory lane even if others know the story and you don’t, unless they have them written down, nobody will know the story in fifty years and we will have more questions than answers.  These are interesting party conversations that make up genealogy for the future generations that can be passed down while not taking a lot of time to get the story.

One recipe...

Many families have a traditional food that always makes its way onto the holiday table.  This may be something that everyone likes or may be something that nobody likes.  But what is the story behind this food and how did it come to land on our table.  It’s too easy to say “grandma always had it for Christmas”.  Try and find out why grandma had it, was it native to the area she grew up?  Was it something brought over from the old country?  

My personal family food is Hominy, a white corn product.  I was never sure what it was but it appeared on the table year after year.  I had no problem with it, it was tasty, but no one outside of my family knew what i was talking about when I referred to it.  My family food origin came from my grandmothers Pennsylvania Dutch roots as it was a tradition for them.  

Finding out the origin of a food that is always there brings more genealogical significance to it, though it may not make it taste better .  You may also want to look into getting the recipe  so even if you don’t like the particular dish you can have a record that it exist so that if someone down the road wanted to see what it was like it will not only be the stuff of legends but something that is tangible and repeatable and full of memories and meaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment