Recipes = Love = Life

More than 3000 years ago, the first recipes were scratched in cuneiform on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. Tongue in cheek, I think of this moment as the first modern marketing of recipes.

I wonder who was the Betty Crocker of Babylonian cookery? …Do we all know Betty Crocker was a personality invented in the 1920s by General Mills to share recipes, cooking tips, and help promote their products? Let’s move on.

Beer Recipe
The recipe for a fermented cereal beverage of the Sumerians. Not exactly traditional beer.  Credit: http://www.mpg.de/4987500/Sumerian_Beer

Originally, recipes promised better nutrition, better health, and more food for the community. Preserving meats, boiling nuts, and peeling vegetables might have made someone a veritable foodie in ancient days, but it also might have made them a doctor.

While early recipes usually lacked full ingredient lists, cooking times, and clearly written steps, these recipes were important because they provided great value.

Doctor and Celebrity Chef
Don’t sell yourself short; you could be both! Credit: http://www.memegenerator.net/instance/61791769

My interest in recipes is not simple.

I’m in the business of marketing food products to people using recipes. I do business development for our application, Cookpanion, which helps people share recipes on Facebook.

When I went traveling for a few years, I built my networks through working on farms, our mealtimes, and through recipe sharing.

In my current residence, 10 neighbors and I have come together to try to make a cooking show/blog. We’re 4 shoots in, and hope to finish our pilot next week. No teaser yet :/ sorry.

For me, recipes are part of my everyday activity!  And what I’ve found interesting, this is true for billions of other people.

Man bites fish
Delicious fishes. Credit: http://www.TheAtlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/study-people-who-eat-more-fish-live-longer/274551/

Here are some beautiful quotes I’ve culled that express to me why RECIPES = LOVE = LIFE

Recipes as Tradition

  • Culture

Italians are famous for their food culture; their recipes are handed down from generation to generation and children cook alongside their nonnas, who express their love to their family in a dish.  http://www.simplebites.net/why-and-how-you-should-create-a-healthy-food-culture-for-your-family/

In my life food is also strongly tied to traditions and to culture….  Now that I am a mother I find that preparing food with my daughter is one of my favorite things.  I love that I can spend that time with her and mostly I enjoy sharing with her memories and traditions that are important to me through food.  I am hopeful that food will help me keep my Latino culture alive in my children.  http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/recipes/culture-through-food/

  • Heritage

At that great moment of crisis, the Rabbis transferred the Temple in Jerusalem into the Jewish home, moving its rituals, personnel, sacred space, food, blessings and prayers to the family and the family Shabbat table. http://www.juf.org/news/thinking_torah.aspx?id=28094

  • Family

Food is synonymous with family life. Traditional and ethnic family recipes are often at the top of lists demonstrating what is passed down through the generations, according to research.*  http://blog.myheritage.com/2011/11/did-you-know-myheritage-recipes/

  • Community

In her seventh book “The Way To Cook” Julia Child writes “Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.” Family recipes are a way of keeping our ancestry alive, as well as a part of ourselves.  http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/cooking/recipes/the_power_of_food_and_the_importance_of_family_recipes.html

I have lived in many different places where I have made new friends, shared meals, and then recipes. I also have recipes from many familly members. These are not just recipes, they are also memories. Whenever I use a recipe, I think of the person who gave it to me and remember our times together.  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

Recipes As Memories of Shared Moments

  • Grandma

Some of my favorite recipes for family gatherings and special occasions came from my grandmother.  If food is love, then passing what you know about how to prepare it is passing on your love in way. http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/the-importance-of-handing-down-recipes/

Mine are from my grandmother who has now passed away. I make them often and take them to special events. I feel a connection to my grandmother because of them. http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

I never knew either of my grandmothers, both died before I was born. But thanks to my mom, while I may not know my grandmother’s voice, I know her fluid handwriting well and the type of recipes she wrote down. http://state-journal.com/cooking/2013/10/24/family-recipes-are-an-important-keepsake

  • Holidays

The encounter got me thinking about the Holiday Season full of food and celebration. ALL of the wonderful recipes our family eats at this time of year come from someone else. They come from old college roommates, recipe books, grandmas, from friends and neighbors, and from wonderful blogs all over the internet.  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

I can not think of El Día de los Muertos without craving Fiambre and on Christmas I have to have my Ponche de Frutas and my tamales. I don’t care if it’s still in the 80’s here in Florida, my ponche is as much a part of my holiday as the Christmas tree.  http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/recipes/culture-through-food/

  • Returning home

I love the thought that the recipes are the link to home.”  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

Over winter break, Wraight will cook her daughter’s favorite meals, including tortilla soup, butternut squash bisque, spaghetti and meatballs, and a baked casserole of chicken and stuffing that was Molly’s grandmother’s recipe. “It’s warm and hearty food, and what I remember from my childhood,’’ says Molly.  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2011/01/05/for_hungry_collegians_theres_no_place_like_home_for_the_holidays/

The other is my greatgrandmother’s recipe for a particular type of bar that… (t)raditionally, we only make it for people in the family (sons and husbands) who have been gone for a long time (our family are mainly farmers and military) and who are returning, as a welcoming back treat. I still make it for when my brother comes home on leave or back from a deployment.  http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/07/do-you-have-a-recipe-you-wont-share.html

Army Food
Food in the army ain’t no home cooked meal. Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtY1cjH4pCI

The emotional pull of recipes and food is automatic in most of us. Two movie examples that show the range and have been long time favorites see Ratatoullie, and Like Water for Chocolate. But there is the other aspect of recipes that I alluded to in the beginning.

Good recipes can save lives. And this is something very important to me deep-down. Currently, I relate to Jamie Oliver around his Food Revolution. Many members of my family have had their lives greatly lengthened by changing their diets and habits.

Recipe Food Revolution
Healthy Food in Schools Movement Credit: http://www.foodrevolutionday.com/

Initially, it is difficult when you discover sugar-restriction, nut/shellfish/gluten allergies, or a doctor recommends a particular diet, regardless if it’s paleo, vegan, or balanced. No one is saying it’s easy. Obligatory plug, *but Cookpanion can make it easier*.

However, you soldier on, find what works for you, and you get back to making the most of your life. In my family, we spend some time each holiday season sharing the recipes that each person has discovered during the year. This makes sure we’re all included around the table. It also helps us take into account each person’s changing dietary, health, or personal needs.

Family photos
We’re passing on traditions to these little tikes. What’s could be better?   Credit: My dad

Everyone deserves a nice meal during the holidays with the people they love. Sure, it may lack some ingredients, cooking times, and steps, but the value is strong. Share your recipes; share your love!

Grinch Smiling Eating
Nom nom nom Credit: http://www.purpletrail.com/partytrail/holiday_parties/christmas/a-grinch-who-stole-christmas-party

Additional Sources For Some Fun Recipe Reading:

  1. Food in the Internet AgeBy William Aspray, George Royer, Melissa G. Ocepe
  2. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/60826/1/Jennifer_Lofgren_Thesis.pdf
  3. http://www.thekitchn.com/do-you-share-your-recipes-survey-175536
  4. http://askville.amazon.com/people-share-recipes/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=34977198
  5. http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/07/do-you-have-a-recipe-you-wont-share.html
  6. http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html
  7. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=16907.5;wap2
  8. http://etc.ancient.eu/2014/11/19/ancient-recipes-mesopotamia/
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