All About Food and Family

Think of this page as the cover of a family cookbook. Behind the cover you’ll find pages stuffed with recipes, but also clippings about weddings and births and deaths, photos of people who lived long ago and memories of the people of today who use the old china and silver, the old recipes, the linens soft from washing and washing and washing.

1909 Dinner in New York City

Great Uncle Bill Stout and wife Jean at dinner party with friends, Benedicts and Yarnells at the Browns in NYC 1909. The Browns lived at 545 W 148th St. Know any of these people? (More about Bill –2nd man from right, and Jean on his right–later).

Mostly, Ancestors with Aprons presents my rambling thoughts about how all the people who came before me are with me in the kitchen and the dining room. And how their lives were different from today and from each other. Not just in regard to food, but also how they lived in general. And how I hope to pass on my memories and theirs to  younger generations. But I want to hear your stories, too.

While I do not claim to be a genealogist, I dabble a bit, and welcome comments and information from people who might be following some of the same family lines. See the page titled Family Names for the surname list.

Do you have this feeling that the prior generations are looking over your shoulder as you cook? What are your favorite food and family stories? Do you have questions about how they did things in 1800’s? What the Pilgrims really ate? What new things the pioneers on stagecoaches learned as they traveled? So do I.

If you know me personally or through A Traveler’s Library, you may know that I have been a travel writer for nearly twenty years, and a reader since I was five years old. More about me on the Who Am I page. As I add articles here, you’ll see where I got that gypsy in my blood. And the love of words, too.

But I also love cooking–not the fancy culinary creations kind of thing–just messing around in the kitchen with whatever happens to be in the fridge or whatever was at the Farmer’s Market last weekend.  Perhaps you’ll find some new ideas here–about food or about genealogy. Perhaps you’ll meet someone you know.

Cookies with Grandma

Me and grandchildren

I love family dinners where I can drag out Great Grandma’s turkey platter, grandma’s butter dish, and mother’s linens and tell their stories to the youngsters. The Andersons, the Stouts, the Stones, the Bassetts on one side–the Kasers and the Butts family on the other. And of course my husbands’ all-Swiss family–the Badertschers, Bairs, Stuckeys.  I’m hoping that some of these relatives will chime in with family stories and recipes.

To see more about my philosophy and how far we have come in three years, visit my Birthday post.

I welcome contributions from my family members and from anyone else who wants to share their thoughts about family and food. Please see the contributor’s page.

You can click on the Articles Page to see the articles in a stream, starting with the Family Restaurant article, followed by the others in the order in which they were posted.

On the bottom of this page, and on the right of other pages, you can choose to browse by category or look for a particular month. Unlike some blogs, the articles here do not have to be read in order.

I suggest you start with the story behind the picture at the top of this page — my grandmother and grandfather and two ladies who helped in the restaurant they ran out of their Ohio home back in the 1930’s.  And when you “turn the page” by clicking on “Home” above, you’ll learn more about that restaurant and Vera and Daddy Guy Anderson, who figure large in my meandering thoughts about food.

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