Amalia Brachman was my great-grandmother. She came to Canada in 1900 as an infant when her mother fled what was then Prussia with her three children and a friend. My great-grandma’s father had come ahead of them and was waiting somewhere in the Canadian prairies for his family. Chance brought them together and they settled in Manitoba to raise their children and begin a new life.
The impetus for this blog was my great-grandma’s life and the recipes and stories that came from it. I have been taught these recipes in the most traditional way – story telling -through her daughter Byreldean, my grandmother. Stories and tradition are how we stay connected as a family and I have always felt a visceral connection to my ancestors through the stories told by my paternal grandma.
My own mum has always shown me that the heart of the home is the kitchen. This is where we gather to chat, laugh, cook and love. It is where the best conversations happen, and where we remenisce about those who have passed and all of the amazing times we shared. As little ones come in to our home, the traditions we love and preserve become so much more wonderful and more important. We feel the need to pass the traditions on to the little ones as we understand what it will mean to them in the future when they come home for a celebration – knowing what recipes to expect, knowing what traditions to expect, and knowing that no matter what, family and home is where they can come to feel warm and safe, and in the company of those that know them and love them.
My hope is that through the sharing of the stories of the women in my family and the traditions they have passed on through recipes and food, I can spark a nostalgic and innate feeling of family, tradition and ancestral heredity in others. I truly believe that the sharing of traditional recipes and food is one of the most sacred things we can do. Life doesn’t always have to be so complicated. Sometimes, the most satisfying and comforting thing can be a quiet conversation with my mum over a cup of tea and some toast with jam.
I am excited to share our family recipes and stories to create a tapestry that extends to those who read my blog. I encourage you to share your own stories and recipes and to use this forum to help you realize that you are part of the echoings of humanity through the recipes and food you share with others. Welcome to “Amalia’s Kitchen”.