From the Food52 Podcast Network and Heritage Radio Network, My Family Recipe shares cherished heirloom recipes, and the stories behind them, from voices across the world of food. Explore experiences of loss and remembering accompanied by homemade baked ziti, to chronicles of comfort and celebration paired with the perfect chocolate cake. Enjoy interviews with writers and chefs, parents and children about what is passed down along with the foods we know and love.
Cornbread and the Soul of African American Cuisine with Adrian Miller
On the season finale of My Family Recipe, host Arati Menon welcomes Adrian Miller, AKA “The Soul Food Scholar.” Not many people can boast their accomplishments as a food writer, James Beard award winner, attorney and certified barbecue judge; but Adrian Miller is one-in-a-million. Adrian talks about the dishes and characters who populated his childhood and his church community in Denver, Colorado. He tells us the story of the perfect cornbread and how this recipe represents so much more history and love than its simplicity might suggest.
Time-Traveling Butterscotch Pie with Jennifer Justus
The Little Blue Cookbook was a nearly lost family heirloom that Jennifer Justus discovered a few years ago. Decades prior to that, the cookbook’s butterscotch pecan pie recipe provided great comfort to her grandmother, who made the dish frequently when she and her husband were relocated by his Coast Guard duties during World War II. Inheriting this piece of history led Jennifer to wonder about her grandmother’s inner life and the trials and tribulations she never shared with her granddaughter. This episode explores inheritance, midlife crises, time travel, and of course, pie. Rebekah Turshen, the pastry chef behind Nashville’s City House and a friend of Jennifer’s joins the conversation to talk about adapting vintage recipes and how she helped modernize this dessert.
If you’re hungry for more of this story, you can read the original essay “The Butterscotch Pie Recipe Grandma Carried With Her Through the War,” published by Food52. Plus find Rebekah’s Turshen’s baking tips and recipe adaptation here.
The Curry That Reunited My Family with Nyanyika Banda
Nyanyika Banda has a passion for studying the foodways of the African diaspora. Growing up surrounded with the culinary traditions of her father’s Malawian culture, she has had a lifelong hunger for exploration. In April 2020, she published an installment of My Family Recipe titled "The Chicken Curry That Put My Broken Family Back Together Again." It's about building traditions and finding forgiveness through a childhood recipe.
Building Community, a Cabbage Bake at a Time with Lavanya Narayanan
Lavanya Narayanan’s culinary heart is deeply rooted in both Indianapolis and India. Her family found a unique community of immigrants and ties to their shared Tamil culture in the Midwest: sharing music, holidays, and (of course) food. In this episode, Lavanya and her mother Bhooma share the origin story of a baked cabbage dish that brought with it a chosen family.
Missing Mom’s Sunday Sauce with Gary Schiro
Gary Schiro had made plenty of his mother’s recipes, but one Sunday morning-not long after his mother passed away-an attempt to make her traditional meatballs and sauce went wrong. Gary wished he could have called her. He wished that he had asked her how to make the recipe properly. Despite having seen her make it 900 times, he never did. This episode takes a look at time-honored family traditions, examines unanswered questions, and is an attempt to reconcile feelings of regret. Plus, a cookalong with Gary goes to show that you can make any family recipe your own without sacrificing meaning, comfort, or deliciousness.
Get to Know Our Host, Arati Menon
Arati Menon’s voice is a part of every episode of My Family Recipe. Her empathy and humor tie together the threads of diverse family recipes into the beautiful tapestry that is this series. In this episode, Arati takes her seat on the opposite side of the mic. HRN’s Julia Child Foundation Fellow, Kelly Spivey invites listeners to get to know the show’s host, her own family recipes, and what has drawn her to tell these stories.
Warm and Interesting
Love Arati’s voice and locution. Mixing a great recipe with a family story is a winner.
Loved the episode and the commentary. Hope to try for thanksgiving!
Love everything about this!
So enjoyed listening and learning. The host, Arati, is absolutely wonderful!