Mothers and Daughters
Voices Past and Present
Stories and Recipes
A Cuban immigrant to the United States makes next-level rice out of economic necessity. What's her secret?
One of Mom's meals might be a candy bar, canned soup, or the “river stew” of her Tennessee childhood. But in other ways, she was curiously domestic.
When a little girl learns the provenance of her favorite fast-food chicken nuggets, her animal-loving mother rethinks family meals.
A beloved daughter was struggling with a learning disability. A magical cake made all the difference.
It seemed a typical ‘50s childhood, with tomato soup and tuna fish for lunch, and Mom on the radio giving advice on raising children. But that was just for show.
It took a village to raise the only child of a single mother, but one benefit of being with friends and family was seeing how the women cooked.
A daughter recognizes an oxymoronic truth: that she has stolen her mother’s life of freedom, but also that her mom wishes she were needed more.
There was a rift in the family, the source of which nobody seemed to know. But a cache of lost recipes offered a chance for reconciliation.
A special mother/daughter bond is like the Indian street snack of panipuri—simultaneously sweet, savory, and salty.
A long-awaited mother/daughter visit, after a pandemic separation, renewed an important question: whether chocolate is a vegetable.
Kresha Richman Warnock
A daughter inherits both her mother's love of cooking and fear of fat—a legacy passed down particularly through female branches of the family tree.
Mom didn't always have answers to her daughter's questions, but had a perfect response when asked: How can I be mad at you and still love you?
A German mother in a bunker at the end of WWII, with almost nothing to eat, clutched her two babies and swore she would never have more.
A poignant poem reflects a daughter who wanted to be accepted as she was, and tried running in the opposite direction from her mother, to no avail.
A dear friend recreates a recipe from Mom's culinary intentions gone awry, burnishing memories of the burnt dinners thrown into the sink.
Aimee Lee Ball
A Jewish mother's attitude toward religion was all-encompassing: Any holiday that included friends and food was worth celebrating.
Mom had an infectious laugh that her daughter longed to hear again. Closest thing to it was her aunt's voice, but religion got in the way.
A heritage of soul food travels from pre-Civil War slaves to Mom's kitchen in Haight-Ashbury and breaking bread with the Black Panthers.
There are loving surrogates for Mom, not incidentally following her credo: that if you knew someone liked a dish, there was no greater joy than feeding it to them.
Although her mother was from Szechuan, China, she grew up in Germany, knowing: Die Liebe geht durch den Magen: Love goes through the belly.
Mom thought a nutritional breakfast was nicotine and caffeine. But for holidays, she perfected one dish, made in a bowl with almost mystical powers.
A teen whose mom works late hours in health care sometimes has to cook dinner, but is inspired by her mother’s strength, compassion, and zest for life.
After her family fled their homeland, with jewels and papers stuffed into her underwear, Mom grew up believing that she was too special to cook or clean.
Mom was raised on a menu that was strictly kosher, utterly utilitarian, and verging on penitential. It was no surprise that she did not teach her daughters to cook.
Mom's kitchen counters were a magnetic field that mirrored her life: envelopes, oatmeal, Tylenol, a few dog collars, a stuffed blue owl....
An African-American odyssey: from South to North, from water fountains marked "colored" or "white" to new opportunities—and from mother to daughter.
Jennifer Joan Fay
A high-risk pregnancy, in the middle of a pandemic, presented plenty of stress. But preparing the "big sister" for the new arrival was also a priority.
She was usually indulged, but when she didn’t get her way with her mom, she’d pack a bag and threaten to run away to her true protector: Grandma.
An accidental immigrant at age two, a Korean girl was embarrassed by the kimchi buried in the yard, but had an enduring taste for homeland comfort food.
What's an expectant mother to think when the sonographer wielding the wand over her growing bely announces, "It's a hamburger!"
A reunion meal (with calculations of who ate what and how large the portion was) becomes a metaphor for generosity, family ties—and retaliation.
A second-grade teacher was great with her students, but her own six kids were another story. Maybe she was just exhausted by the time she got home.
Gaby Glass Aizenman
In apartheid South Africa, the family cook grumbled as mother and daughter interfered with his dinner prep to make a cake from The I Hate to Cook Book.
JoAnn Ross Cunningham
A state fair champion bread maker finds delicious independence in the big city. And her ticket to ride is the recipe for Orange Rolls perfected by her mother.
Mom couldn’t afford the Chanel or Lacroix clothes prized by the industry in which she worked, but French food was accessible to all.
A daughter who stopped eating meat hears the dreaded question from Mom: "Then what are we going to do on Christmas Eve?"
The stove outside her childhood home in the Philippines made a young girl conclude that cooking well was extremely difficult and best left to experts.