Starting heirloom recipes is a unique gift that keeps on giving to generation to generation. Memories are kept alive and the food that was once was prepared for you, is now prepared by you. Most often when people think of their cast iron heirloom, they think of their grandmother's cornbread.
Studies have shown that all five senses actually come into play when we think of a food memory; sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The strongest being taste. We're able to remember where we were at, what the food looked like, and how we felt when we ate grandmother's cornbread.
Creating these memories is not only a blessing but also brings comfort once a loved one has passed.
You want to be intentional about what type of cast iron you want to buy for your child. Do you want something that's antique, vintage, or modern?
For my children, I've set aside antique cast iron skillets that are over 120 years of age. I prefer the Southern Mystery Skillet. Antique cast iron pieces are lighter and easier to cook with because of the glass-smooth surface. I love telling my children that I used their cast iron skillet to cook their favorite meal in for dinner. Their facial expressions and their little hops of excitement is a gift to me, and they don't even know it.
Here are some tips on how to create cast-iron heirloom memories for your children.
Scope out the type of cast iron you want for your child. The best places to look for cast iron are estate sales. Make sure you check the cast iron for cracks and have the cast iron cleaned properly. Click here for cleaning instructions.
Show your child their cast iron and make an intentional effort to explain to them the history of the cast iron skillet. Writing down the manufacture of the cast iron skillet, approximate date of the skillet, and when your purchased it.
Cook your child's favorite meals in their cast iron skillet. Make sure you have a handwritten copy of the recipes they love. Placing their recipes in a three ring binder with their favorite recipes in a sheet protector.
You can also create a photo recipe album of the recipes your child loves. On Fridays my kids like to cook with me in the kitchen. After they have helped, I take a picture of the finished product. I have the picture printed, dated, and their age placed on the back of their picture. I place their picture on the recipe and slipped into the protected sheet cover.
For extra protection, provide copies of recipes on a thumb drive. This will protect family recipes from getting lost or destroyed.
Food memories are very nostalgic and comforting. Keeping journals of recipes and a cooking tool provides comforting and positive memories. Memories that are created in the kitchen, also create stories that we can tell to the next generation. Creating and telling our children what we are creating is a huge gift that matures over time. They may not appreciate it today, but they will when they mature.