Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Revisiting Meema's Noodles and Cabbage

I think I mentioned that my sister is having one of those "big" birthdays, and that I'm making a slide show/video for her? When I wrote that, I thought of it as being a project which wasn't really going to be all that big. Not nearly as big as re-doing my website.

WHAT WAS I THINKING????

This project is enormous, thanks to the fact that it's the beginning of an even larger project - of course - which involves me digitizing basically my entire family history and making a movie of it. Why not, I say? I only have photos going back to some time in the 1800s, after all.....Nothing like having to scour the archives of the Mayflower for records. Sheesh! Piece of cake!

But in the meantime, I'm doing this "little" project, which has me staying up until insane hours of the night. But the upside of it is that I have been spending an enormous time with my family - if only virtually. I'm visiting relatives who have been gone for years. Each time my niece or brother sends me a box of old photos, I thrill to the sight of an uncle, wearing a crisp white shirt and pants, leaning casually against a railing, somewhere in Paris. Or my father and his best friend, pausing on the road in Cuba on their bicycle trip. My dad's best friend is wearing argyle socks, and they are both wearing leather shoes. Sneakers - let alone bicycle shoes - weren't invented yet.

These hours spent with my family made me remember my meema's noodles and cabbage. I posted about that dish here. The only difference in the way I make it these days as opposed to the way Meema did, is that I tend to use Smart Balance instead of butter for the most part. I'll add a little butter in at the end, because I want/need that flavor. Some recipes shouldn't be tinkered with, I know. But I want to live long enough to pass this on to my great nieces and nephews. And I want to pass along our family legacy to them as well. I want them to know where they came from. Who came before them. Whose laughter they will never hear, but whose genes they share.
The dish, of course, was my mother's. I know she's smiling at me whenever I eat her mom's "signature" dish.

11 comments:

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

That looks like such a comforting dish - similar to the feelings that spending time with family and reminiscing can conjure.

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

What a brave project you've taken on, Toni! I have boxes of old family photos, many so old that I don't know the people in them. Your amazing undertaking here makes me ready to seek out one of our few remaining older relatives who might recognize them, so there'll be some permanent record. By the way, your meema's noodles and cabbage sounds delicious.

Toni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toni said...

Jenn - Yes, it's our family's version of "comfort food".

Terry - Either brave or insane - the jury is still out.

DEFINITELY seek out those who are old enough to remember! They are a treasure trove of information. And do yourself and future generations a favor: write on the backs of the photos you take these days, the names of the people who are in them - even if everyone knows - and the year it was taken.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'd vote for brave and insane. Seems to me they're team mates. I've started the same here.
Love the noodles.

Toni said...

Tanna! OMG! You mean, I'm not the only one???? Thank you! And yes, I agree - they are teammates.

tasteofbeirut said...

I can totally relate to what you are going through! I tend to connect with my loved ones , here and departed through food experiences too. This dish looks delicious and so comforting!

Toni said...

Joumana - Yes, I can imagine that you do. Food is so central to who we are and where we've come from.

Penny said...

I am still making my Mother's habacha, which is stuffed cabbage and feel the connection everytime I do. I have passed the recipe on to my nieces. You are doing a wonderful thing.

Toni said...

Thanks, Penny. I love the connection that food gives to families. And I've been having an amazing, emotional, and fulfilling time doing this project.

ann said...

OH man. There is no greater comfort food in my book than egg noodles and cabbage. LOVE. And bravo to you for such an amazing project!!! GOOD LUCK. It'll be amazing!