Sunday, July 15, 2007

Week Twenty-Two: Your Recipes

Do you have a favorite recipe that you are famous for? Is there a favorite recipe that's been handed down through the generations? This week, take some time to write about a recipe (or several) that has significance in your household or family. Here are some things to consider:

*If there is a history to this recipe, write about it. Did it come from the Old Country, or was it printed in a favorite cookbook or local newspaper?

*Is there a funny (or sad) story that relates to this recipe, either in preparing it or eating it?

*What sort of memories does preparing or eating this particular food bring out? Are there particular cooking utensils, mixing bowls, serving dishes, aprons, hot pads, furniture (kitchen table), appliances (old cooking stoves, porcelain sinks) that come to mind when you remember this recipe?

*Do you have any photos of your family eating this, or someone preparing it? Do any particular conversations come to mind?

*How has the recipe changed over the years? What sorts of alternate ingredients or preparations have been made? Why?

*Does anyone still make this recipe? Why or why not?

These questions can pertain to a whole group of family recipes or just one in particular. Here are some recent blog posts that inspired this post:
Besides what I wrote for the Carnival of Genealogy, I have posted a couple of recipes, for my famous spaghetti and Peach Dessert, at my personal blog, &Etc.

Consider creating a family cookbook with favorite recipes and ancestral or family photographs. They make great Christmas gifts or fundraisers at family reunions. Many can be self published for a low cost using your own printer, or a printing business such as Kinko's, Office Depot, Staples, Costco, etc.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week Twenty-One: Your National Holiday

This week marks national holidays for two major countries: Canada, which celebrates Canada Day normally on July 1st, but officially on the 2nd, since the First falls on a Sunday; and the United States, which celebrates Independence Day on July 4th. Here are some prompts for letting your descendants know how you celebrate your national holiday:

*What was tradition in your childhood family for celebrating your national holiday? Did you dress in a national costume or in your national colors? Did you display your national flag? Was your national holiday a one-day celebration, or longer?

*Were there any programs on the radio or television that you listened to/watched as part of this observance? Was there a church or other religious ceremony you attended?

*Were there neighborhood or community events in which you participated? Did they include games, dancing, feasting, fireworks, or music? Was the national anthem sung or played? Was it a festive or somber affair? Were there celebrities, local government officials, or national leaders in attendance?

*Did you have an indoor feast, or a picnic or barbecue outside? What foods were traditionally served?

*How did your childhood celebrations differ from the way you celebrate as an adult? How are they the same?

*What does it mean to you to be a/an ____________ (insert your nationality here)? Do you consider yourself patriotic? What freedoms or privileges do you most cherish? If you are an immigrant, you may wish to write about your immigration experience (when, where and why), how life in your new country compares with your old, and your feelings about your motherland and adopted country.

Here are some great websites to educate you further, or to use to enhance your online journal:
  • Fourth of July Celebrations Database
  • Celebrate Canada!
  • A list of National Holidays
  • To find more online information about your specific national holiday, enter the name of your country and "national holiday" in quotation marks at Google.
  • 3D Flags has animated national flags you can download and use on your website or blog. They have three sizes and three background colors to choose from. They also have U.S. state flags.
  • If your national colors are red and white, or red, white, and blue, there are some backgrounds and graphics on my pixel graphics site here, which you can use free-of-charge.
  • Sites to download free midi (audio) files of your national anthem can be found here and here, while lyrics can be found here.
My journal about my childhood celebrations can be found here.