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Cornbread and the Soul of African American Cuisine with Adrian Miller
On the season finale of My Family Recipe, host Arati Menon welcomes Adrian Miller, AKA “The Soul Food Scholar.” Not many people can boast their accomplishments as a food writer, James Beard award winner, attorney and certified barbecue judge; but Adrian Miller is one-in-a-million. Adrian talks about the dishes and characters who populated his childhood and his church community in Denver, Colorado. He tells us the story of the perfect cornbread and how this recipe represents so much more history and love than its simplicity might suggest.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “The No Fail Cornbread That's Slightly Sweet and Very Divine,” published by Food52.
|Dec 22, 2021|
Time-Traveling Butterscotch Pie with Jennifer Justus
The Little Blue Cookbook was a nearly lost family heirloom that Jennifer Justus discovered a few years ago. Decades prior to that, the cookbook’s butterscotch pecan pie recipe provided great comfort to her grandmother, who made the dish frequently when she and her husband were relocated by his Coast Guard duties during World War II. Inheriting this piece of history led Jennifer to wonder about her grandmother’s inner life and the trials and tribulations she never shared with her granddaughter. This episode explores inheritance, midlife crises, time travel, and of course, pie. Rebekah Turshen, the pastry chef behind Nashville’s City House and a friend of Jennifer’s joins the conversation to talk about adapting vintage recipes and how she helped modernize this dessert.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “The Butterscotch Pie Recipe Grandma Carried With Her Through the War,” published by Food52. Plus find Rebekah’s Turshen’s baking tips and recipe adaptation here.
|Dec 17, 2021|
The Curry That Reunited My Family with Nyanyika Banda
Nyanyika Banda has a passion for studying the foodways of the African diaspora. Growing up surrounded with the culinary traditions of her father’s Malawian culture, she has had a lifelong hunger for exploration. In April 2020, she published an installment of My Family Recipe titled "The Chicken Curry That Put My Broken Family Back Together Again." It's about building traditions and finding forgiveness through a childhood recipe.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read Nyanyika Banda’s original essay “The Chicken Curry That Put My Broken Family Back Together Again,” published by Food52.
|Dec 10, 2021|
Building Community, a Cabbage Bake at a Time with Lavanya Narayanan
Lavanya Narayanan’s culinary heart is deeply rooted in both Indianapolis and India. Her family found a unique community of immigrants and ties to their shared Tamil culture in the Midwest: sharing music, holidays, and (of course) food. In this episode, Lavanya and her mother Bhooma share the origin story of a baked cabbage dish that brought with it a chosen family.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read Lavanya Narayanan’s original essay “The 'Cabbage Bake' That Brought Together a Community of Immigrants,” published by Food52.
|Dec 03, 2021|
Missing Mom’s Sunday Sauce with Gary Schiro
Gary Schiro had made plenty of his mother’s recipes, but one Sunday morning-not long after his mother passed away-an attempt to make her traditional meatballs and sauce went wrong. Gary wished he could have called her. He wished that he had asked her how to make the recipe properly. Despite having seen her make it 900 times, he never did. This episode takes a look at time-honored family traditions, examines unanswered questions, and is an attempt to reconcile feelings of regret. Plus, a cookalong with Gary goes to show that you can make any family recipe your own without sacrificing meaning, comfort, or deliciousness.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “The Sunday Sauce I Watched Mom Make 900 Times, but Didn’t Learn Until She Was Gone,” and find the accompanying recipe published by Food52.
|Nov 26, 2021|
Get to Know Our Host, Arati Menon
Arati Menon’s voice is a part of every episode of My Family Recipe. Her empathy and humor tie together the threads of diverse family recipes into the beautiful tapestry that is this series. In this episode, Arati takes her seat on the opposite side of the mic. HRN’s Julia Child Foundation Fellow, Kelly Spivey invites listeners to get to know the show’s host, her own family recipes, and what has drawn her to tell these stories.
|Nov 24, 2021|
How Grandpa Unclogged a Toilet with Pie with Katie Workman
Katie Workman’s Grandpa Bernie was a smart-cookie, a storyteller, and...according to family vignettes, a very slow eater. Katie shares a comedy of errors about her attempts to connect with her grandfather about food. There are stories of pranks, memories of laughter-filled meals, and of course, the legend of how Bernie unclogged a toilet with lemon meringue pie.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “How Grandpa Bernie Unclogged a Toilet With Lemon Meringue Pie,” published by Food52.
|Nov 19, 2021|
Cake, Intimacy & an Asian-American Experience with Coral Lee
This episode features Coral Lee, Food52 Podcast Network’s Producer. For this conversation, she is on the other side of the mic sharing a deeply personal story of the cake that encapsulates her grandmother’s communal table. Coral explores the nature of intimacy, her hyphenated identity as an Asian-American, as well as the complicated relationship that she has with her parents.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay, “What Grandma's Sponge Cake Taught Me About Being Asian in America” published by Food52.
|Nov 12, 2021|
3 Generations of Women, 1 Leche Flan with Giselle Krachenfels
Leche flan became Giselle Krachenfels’ favorite dessert both because it was delicious and because it connected her with Filipino culture. Having mixed heritage, Giselle felt the need to prove her Filipino identity and leche flan became a way to do just that. Except that she couldn’t get the recipe right. This is a story about how one dessert helped three generations of women navigate new surroundings and a sense of self.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “The Leche Flan That Helped 3 Generations of Women Find Their Way,” published by Food52.
|Nov 05, 2021|
Baked Ziti is a Love Language with Joelle Zarcone
When Joelle Zarcone was growing up, her mom made bolognese sauce every Sunday. Even after leaving home, Joelle’s mom would bring along her wooden spoon for visits, leaving her daughter’s freezer well stocked with sauce. After unexpectedly losing her mother to illness, Joelle had to figure out how to make the sauce for herself for the first time. This story about family tradition, grief, and a mother’s love touched many readers who share their thoughts in the second half of the episode.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay "Grief with a Side of Baked Ziti," published by Food52.
|Oct 29, 2021|
Cheesy Bread is Made to Share with Khalid El Khatib
Khalid El Khatib’s childhood in Iowa was defined by its potlucks. Despite having relocated to New York City where the culinary landscape could not be more different from his hometown, Khalid’s mother’s cheesy bread is still near and dear to his heart. This is a story about the lasting power of his mother's Iowa dinner party staple. It’s a celebration of family gatherings and the simple pleasures of comfort food that's made to be shared.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay (and its accompanying recipe) “I Live in the City Now, But Cheesy Bread Will Always Have My Small Town Heart,” published by Food52.
|Oct 22, 2021|
Memories of Pizza at Chez Panisse with Fanny Singer and Alice Waters
Fanny Singer shares memories from her unconventional childhood, growing up in the revered Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California alongside her mother, legendary chef Alice Waters. She describes how the restaurant’s staff became an extended family (often referred to as “La Famille Panisse”), talks about the sophisticated palate she developed from a young age (think: salmon roe), and discusses how her work today marries her past and present (collaborations between her company, Permanent Collection, and Chez Panisse). In the show’s second half, Alice Waters joins the conversation to reminisce about time spent cooking for and with her daughter, reading Fanny’s memoir, and cultivating a sense of family at her restaurant.
Read Fannys original My Family Recipe essay.
|Oct 15, 2021|
Estrangement, Identity & a Wok with Jenny Dorsey
Jenny Dorsey was 28 when she decided to lay claim to a cultural heirloom: a wok. This tool is synonymous with Chinese cooking but for Jenny it was couched in complex emotions and family memories. She speaks about her childhood and the pressure immigrant families face to assimilate. Jenny also unpacks how her wok became a symbol of sadness, shame, and ultimately forgiveness.
The second half of the episode transitions from the personal to the political, honing on Jenny’s work as a chef, food writer, and the founder of the non-profit community think tank, Studio ATAO. Jenny shares her thoughts on the impact and limitations that personal essays pose to the food media landscape. Host Arati Menon talks with Jenny about exploring the honesty and beauty of a personal essay while maintaining boundaries so as not to exploit it.
|Oct 15, 2021|
Motherhood & Chocolate Cake with Lisa Ruland
A story about how chocolate cake - a festive treat if there ever was one - brought about unlikely healing through grief. Lisa Ruland is a food writer, professional baker, and the curator of The Food + Grief Project. She talks about her relationship to food after the tragic loss of her husband, how she found connection while mourning, and how a chocolate birthday cake catalyzed what is now an honored family tradition. Her step-daughter Margot joins the conversation to share memories and talk about mothers lost and found.
Read Lisa’s original My Family Recipe essay.
|Oct 15, 2021|
Introducing: My Family Recipe
|Sep 09, 2021|