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Stories 2023
(Click on the photo to read a story.)
Strange, Marilyn

For the Love of Christmas

Marilyn Strange

An ex-hippie resented the call to domesticity from her youth, so Dad did dinner. But tradition meant that she was in charge for Christmas.

Cantatore, Marcella

Broken English

Marcella Cantatore

An Italian family settles in Australia, pursuing a better post-World War II life. Their language, their music, their food remain Italian, to their daughter's chagrin.

Cole, Julie

Hungry for Connection

Julie Cole

Mom married into a restaurant family, even went into labor with her daughter while closing late one night. But family time was about conversation, not food.

Rosen, Laney

Dumpster Diving

Laney Rosen

For the child of a woman incapable of mothering, finding unspoiled food thrown away outside a grocery store was like Christmas.

Hirt, Natalie

The Nerve

Natalie Hirt

In a house on the dividing line between two rival gangs in Southern California, there was a knock on the door while Amá was making breakfast.

Anderson, Pei Ja

Super Sweet 100s

Pei Ja Anderson

A 21st-century daughter dreams of having a 1950s mother, with the aromas of pot roast and sugar cookies wafting from the kitchen.

Weisbrot, Marcia

Lunch Ladies

Marcia Weisbrot

As a girl, it was a big deal to have a downtown lunch and shopping trip with Mom. Embarrassment in the underwear aisle was not part of the fun.


Learning What I Need to Know

Tywanna Gardner

When her daughter was being bullied and needed to talk about whom she could trust, Mom would ask her to come into the kitchen while she was cooking.

Fieldsteel, Patricia

The Nut Family

Patricia Fieldsteel

Great-grandma Fanny’s cast-iron pan traveled from New York City to Provence—compensation for a treasure that was unceremoniously dumped by Mom.

Slanina, Rita

The Hidden Drawer

Rita Slanina

As the only girl in a large immigrant family, Mom was like a second mother in the household—a difficult dynamic that would play out with her own daughter.

ALB + GPB Bike.jpg

The Cruelest Month

Aimee Lee Ball

August brings memories of lobster rolls and salt water taffy, of sneaking blueberries away from snakes, but also dates that mean missing Mom.

Collins, Eileen Vorbach

Finish What's On Your Plate

Eileen Vorbach Collins

A young girl has an Aha moment about the meat on her plate. Decades later, her own daughter has the same concern, but sadly turns her distress inward.

Vernetti, Andrea

Home Again

Andrea Vernetti

At home together during the pandemic, mother and daughter found they'd lost the habit of living as a family. So they organized a family cooking contest.

Eifler, Sara

Two Bowls of Dough

Sara Kass Eifler

Mom understood commitment, even if she didn’t always understand her daughter. So when that daughter became vegan, Mom got to work.

Lott, Deborah A_

Cook 'till Tender

Deborah A. Lott

As Mom ate bird-sized piece of meat with her head cast downward, she made it clear that she had chosen self-sacrifice over self-gratification.

Garmise, Shari

Getting to Yes

Shari Garmise

Treats make you fat: That was Mom's message. But ice cream was in a class of its own—a happy place and an offer of comfort when things went wrong.

Clark, Naya

A True Red

Naya Clark

Mother and daughter used to punctuate their errands with heaping plates from the mall's Indian buffet, but post-surgery, spicy food became an assault for Mom.

Acerno, Claire

Love On the Plate

Claire Acerno

A childhood of hunger meant that food was everything to Mom—her joy and satiety, escape from a sad life—but for her daughter, it was rebellion.

Ball, Aimee Lee


Aimee Lee Ball

Having an aging mother 100 miles away led to a nearly constant state of anxiety for her daughter. That concern often translated into cooking.

Picar, Maria Fe

Swing Shift

Maria Fe Picar

Mom had tons of recipes, preserving a Filipino heritage, but never passed them on to her daughter, although it would take her years to find out why.

Garey, Alicia

A Clock in the Oven

Alicia Garey

The slender fingers of Mom’s left hand coated chicken first in egg, then bread crumbs. Her right hand might hold a cigarette, or a glass of wine.

Melieva, Zilola

On A Cloud of Nine

Zilola Melieve

In Uzbekistan, the Eid festival marking the end of Ramadan includes the national rice dish of plov. So a nervous daughter must learn from Mom to prepare it.

Lee, Tonia Renee

The Light in the Room

Tonia Renee Lee

For a school paper, a daughter wrote that her mom was her best friend—such an unusual choice that the school administrator thought something was wrong.

Kinsey, Connie

Takes the Cake

Connie Kinsey

A Lucy-and-Ethel incident in the kitchen became a tender mother-daughter moment, thanks to the calm of a consummate Marine Corps officer’s wife.

Damron-Larsen, Jamee

A More Certain Woman

Jamee Damron-Larsen

Mom had a sunny disposition and a zany personality, but cooking was not her strong suit, even in the hearth of a home that had been a Civil War hospital.

Ferguson, Karen

Not Far From the Tree

Karen Ferguson

Mom’s attempt at protection felt like punishment and led to rebellion. Her prediction—“One day you’re going to have a child just like you”—was prescient.

Duve, Bella

Thunder and Lightning

Bella Duve

While living in the family's old mobile home, storms were scary. So Mom began a practice of making pancakes to soothe her daughters.

Racco, Marilisa


Marilisa Racco

Mom and her three sisters constitute an Italian-flavored version of Little Women, each with her own distinct cooking personality.

Kennedy, Janella

Red Velvet Road

Janella Kennedy

Mom left home and traveled North for a promised sense of worth. But not all memories of the South were troubling, like the groaning table of desserts.

Powell, LaToya

A Seat at the Table

LaToya Powell

Stripping stems from collard greens with Mama and the aunties was an opportunity to learn about being of service to others and making your voice heard.

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