Every holiday, those of us who do the "assigned dish" method of meal construction do so because the meal becomes tradition for the family. We have hosted Thanksgiving for the past several years...and I know that in addition to the turkey (fried)...I will also make blueberry salad, spinach dip, and deviled eggs. It is my assigned portion of the meal. My sister-in-law will make her wonderful pecan crusted sweet potato casserole, another will make marinated vegetables, and another will bring awesome desserts. My mother-in-law will make dressing, gravy, and fresh cranberry relish. We will assign rolls and ice to my brother-in-law, and my mother will fill in with the relish tray and the bean salad that she learned to love during Thanksgivings with my aunt.
All of us come together with our own unique recipes. We received them from somewhere and now they are part of the fabric of our holidays. David's Aunt Ruth and my grandmother both made wonderful chess pies. They were very different...but both equally wonderful. I have my Gammy's recipe...but it isn't the same because I know she didn't make it.
I have a fabulous sugar cookie recipe that came from the wife of someone who worked at the newspaper in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. I've had it and enjoyed it for the past 27 years. My scrapbooking group has now adopted it as a mainstay of our annual Baking Day...and I am honored to see Geneva's cookies being enjoyed by a lot of other families each year.
Part of the fun of the holidays is knowing that we will have the chance to indulge in some of our seasonal favorites. We will savor the present...and remember the past as we do. We will smell the pie baking and will turn into the child we once were and smile in anticipation.
Recipes are combinations of ingredients that alone are not nearly as wonderful as they are together. We pass them from generation to generation and to friends and neighbors. Nearly every recipe that I have has a history...and I think of the person that brought it to me when I prepare it.
So, drag out your recipe books and prepare your old favorites. Enjoy the past and the present at your table. Try new ones...who knows...they may become new friends as well!