Family Recipes

Growing up in a large family consisting of strong personalities, food was often the glue that kept us all together. I can remember many sibling arguments being resolved over bowls of pho noodle soup. My mom's philosophy was sneakily simple: keep the peace by keeping our mouths full of food. And what food! My mom is one of those natural cooks that can make a feast out of humble ingredients, adding a pinch of this or a palm full of that to a pot and having it turn out delicious. One of my goals in life is to be more of an intuitive cook like her. I know that this will take years of practice and experimentation. There will be some hits and lots of misses. But I am slowly gaining confidence every day, even creating a personal collection of recipes of my own. Some are all mine, but most are modifications of recipes collected over the years from treasured cookbooks and more recently, talented food bloggers. To make it easier to reference these recipes, I have started writing them down in a series of notebooks.

I hope to one day hand these over to my son so that he can recreate the foods of his childhood. And when my mom comes back from her annual six months vacation in Vietnam, I am going to ask her to write down what a pinch of this and a palm full of that means.


  1. Awww what a sweet and wonderful idea. I wish my mom would do that for me...of course, her handwriting is not so readable.

  2. I have a recipe book that I fill in too, it's such a great way to keep myself reminded of what I changed on someone else's recipe as well as passing the knowledge on.

    I'm a fairly intuitive cook (nothing like my mum though) but there's one book that really helps; "The Flavour Thesaurus"... It tells you which combinations work well together, for example lemon and lamb as well as some really obscure ones.

  3. My Granny taught me how to cook in just that fashion. My two biggest recipe regrets are not writing down exactly how she made her holiday sweet potatoes and not getting the recipe for my Great Grandmother's popcorn balls...they were the BEST!

  4. Like you, I keep a recipe journal where I write down family favorite recipes so that they can get passed down to my kids. But if your mother is anything like mine, she might find it difficult to give you exact measurements. My mother is a very intuitive cook (and I like to think I've inherited that gene) so when I've asked her to tell me her recipes, it doesn't take long before she gets a little inpatient and just says "you know, a little bit, " or "not as much as ...." But maybe that's what makes her dishes so wonderful.


I would ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ to hear from you!