Happy Memorial Day from all of us here at The Kitchn! This is a holiday to remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country (read the origin story of Memorial Day here). But for some, Memorial Day is also, in a broader way, a time to memorialize all those who have inspired and protected us. We are thinking especially of those who taught us to nourish ourselves. Who in your life has most inspired, equipped, or helped you love food and cooking? Tell us here — we would love to hear your stories.
Me, I think of my great-grandmother, who never touched oil or shortening, always cooked with butter, and yet somehow stayed slim and svelte her entire life. She passed away at age 92, and I miss her gentle presence and her wonderful Slovenian cooking. The taste of her nut rolls, potica, and strukla are among my earliest childhood memories — and surely they shaped my later desires to get into the kitchen.
I also think of Laurie Colwin, whom I never met, but whose short essays on food and cooking were funny, practical, and bracing. She wrote in the voice of the older sister I never had, one who said, yes, you can cook, and it's not such a big deal.
What about you? Who do you think of today and the rest of the year, when you think of how you learned to cook — and to love to cook, which is, after all, the truly important thing.