Generational Family c

White book with sunflowers on the cover
White book with sunflowers on the cover

With intricate sunflowers scattered across the cover, my generational recipe book, Del Rae Isom Menlove Family Cookbook, stands as a physical painting of my family tree. During a time when the health of my Grandma’s started to decline, the idea of a recipe book was born. Sitting around the kitchen table, my aunts alongside my mom saw the opportunity to bring multiple generations together in celebration of my Grandma’s life. They flipped through hundreds of recipes from all throughout the kitchen; index cards, scrap pieces of paper, and scribbles in margins. Before I held the book in my hands, I knew little about where I came from, and after  reading, I was immersed in a story of my ancestors immigration to America hundreds of years ago from Europe. The recipes stem from stories of those who came to the states based on the hopes of finding new opportunities. Through immigration to the states and then across the country to Utah, my family created roots all throughout the west coast; roots such as the love and power of food. Ancestors on my mom’s side were always expressing love through this cookbook. Holding the small book in my hands all I feel is radiating love; love for my family, and love for the stories folded into these recipes. This book started off as something small, an opportunity to bring my mom and her sisters together in a time of mourning, and an anchor keeping my family together. 

– Ava Smith

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more