The Family that Cooks Together Stays Together

I just received the Holiday 2010 donation-reminder catalogue from the organization Heifer International ( ) and I found an interesting little sidebar article that I thought was a terrific idea. ( I support the work that Heifer does and we are among their yearly contributors.)

I am sharing the idea and copying the article here for AEP readers because it reminded me of the importance of  family traditions during the holidays, because, well, holidays are about ‘ family.’

The title of the piece is THE FAMILY THAT COOK TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER ( for those with the catalogue it is on page 7).  Not only is this idea in sync with the core tenets of Heifer International’s mission but it is also valuable fodder for those of us living hectic lives with family scattered in many places.

Here is what the piece said:

” If you plan ahead this year, it’s possible to put together inexpensive holiday gifts that preserve culinary traditions and encourage healthful home cooking. Try compiling a collection of family recipes and have a family cookbook printed and bound for each household on your list. Include old favorites from past generations and solicit contributions from new in-laws. Your local office supply store can probably help you assemble the originals for reproduction – copy the original hand-written recipes if you have them! This project is also great for church groups, mom’s groups and other social clubs. ”

Food magazines and cookbooks have been focusing on the notions of ‘preserving traditions’ and ‘getting Grandma to put her favorite recipes down on paper’ for some time now. Traditions can be about large concepts such as Christmas in xxx Country or it can be as finely focused as the silly but wonderful traditions within our own families. So here is fodder to create that family recipe book …if not for this Christmas then surely for the next !

Those of us who work in the food business know the importance of food to the human spirit beyond the primary need of providing sustenance and nutrition. Food heals, food binds, food comforts, food educates, food defines our roots and cultures, food empowers and food makes good times even better

This is the season to wish for plentiful food on the table. Not just for our families and friends but a wish that all people around the globe will have the means to provide a better bounty at their family table.  Please visit to learn of the ways that this organization works to empower people in different parts of the world with what most of us take for granted: the means to supply our own food.

Heifer envisions…
A world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet.

Heifer’s mission is…
To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Heifer’s strategy is…
To “Pass on the Gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe.

Heifer’s History
This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 65 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope.


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