Don't lose family traditions to the winds of time

Keeping traditions alive

One for the road. This old saying is said to have started with travelling salesmen looking for one last drink before heading to the next town.

It has spread to include any experience one is trying to have one last time. But the unspoken part of the broader meaning is, just like a free lunch, we never really get one for the road. It’s just too good to be true.

I believe we cannot manage one more experience – that “one for the road” – because the universe is telling us we took that experience for granted. We already had plenty of opportunities to make the most of, but we were too busy to even notice something special was happening.

This time of year, many of us are visiting with family over spring break or planning a family gathering with spring holiday celebrations. We will enjoy special treats, traditional delicacies and family favourites.

I just want to ask – are you able to recreate these delights if it’s up to you to carry on the tradition?

I have had many conversations lately with folks, young and old, all of whom say they wish traditions, recipes or habits had not been lost. They wish they could have had that “one for the road.”

Young adults have mentioned spending time with grandparents when they were little—maybe they watched them cook or even helped baking cookies or other treats—but those relatives are gone now, the recipes and techniques having never been passed on.

Grandparents have spoken as well, and sometimes they too mention their regret at not paying better attention in the kitchen as youngsters. Perhaps that is why they cherish it so dearly when a younger relative does take interest in picking up the torch to carry on traditions.

Can you tell yet that my theme this week is a plea to gather your loved ones around the table? The least you can all do is share your favourite meals from days gone by.

My hubbie cooked a 50th anniversary dinner for a family this week and discovered that the kids remembered a different favourite than Mom had thought they would. Her signature dish, “Peach Chicken”, was one that only came to mind when she mentioned it.

The grown kids mentioned they still have a chance to learn their mom’s dish, and maybe they can Google the magazine recipe. But on many occasions, techniques are lost and secrets are forgotten. Give everyone the luxury of making the choice to keep a tradition, let it evolve or hold it just for posterity. Don’t just lose it in the winds of time.

I give fair warning here, this requires commitment. Most skills in life require practice for us to become proficient. Even to say we dabble in something means we have tried doing it a few times, not just enjoying the results but actually being the one to make it happen. Remember this is for a good cause.

I realize I am an old-fashioned gal when it comes to family ideals like maintaining the weave of our heritage and history. In my heart and mind these things are linked to our souls, to what makes us who we are.

Communicating these basic threads is crucial to holding that patch of cloth called family together. If we do this, those threads can continue to flow through our family tapestries and keep us warm and cozy for generations to come.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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