Soup pot

Soup pot, stock pot
Soup pot, stock pot

This is my grandmother’s soup pot. Her mother Bertha came to New York City from Austria in 1908 with her family and a few cherished possessions to be fought over by future generations (but that’s another story). Bertha passed her religion on to her children, but not her language. They were Americans now, and she and her husband Samuel never spoke Yiddish around the children. I’m not sure my grandmother felt the loss, but I know my mother mourned that missing link with our past. Mom converted from Judaism in college, and while she made sure I wasn’t totally ignorant of our family’s history and heritage, I still felt disconnected. The one thing that made me feel closest to this great-grandmother that I had never met, was her cooking. Bertha taught her daughter, my grandmother, to cook the food that she had grown up with--latkes, and stuffed cabbage, and matzoh ball soup. She taught her daughter, and my mother taught me. I remember standing in the kitchen with them both, watching as Grandma plopped the latkes into the pan--she always talked about how much easier it was now. “Food processors make it easy, in my day you got a little knuckle in with your potatoes.” Mom could always be counted on for soup if she heard so much as a sniffle. When Grandma passed away, I inherited her soup pot, and every time I use it I am reminded of the comfort those familiar flavors must have brought to my great-grandmother; a gift that she passed on to me.

Place(s): Austria
Year: 1908

– Jennifer Joyce

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