April 12, 2024

K - Kitchen Time


Theme: Grief Work and Healing Journey

One of the first things I did after my mom passed away was go through her recipes. I was looking for her best recipes as well as things I could make myself. The recipes that I did not keep—which were just magazine recipes or recipes she jotted down from cookbooks—I gave to my siblings to go through and take what they wanted. I made copies of all of my mom's special recipes and gave them to my siblings.

The first meal I made myself was a cottage pie recipe that calls for beer (I used non-alcoholic beer because that’s what I had). It was yummy.

Then I made salmon with a brown sugar and hoisin sauce glaze.

I also made my grandma’s sloppy joe recipe that calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup.

Then came a creamy chicken recipe and another salmon recipe with mustard, brown sugar, and dill.

And so on and so forth.

My goal was to eventually make all of my mom’s recipes that first year. I came pretty close.

Cooking was a comforting task. It took my mind off my grief, for a moment, because it gave me something else to focus on—measuring and chopping and mixing, etc.

I enjoyed cooking those meals. 

This is a tasty casserole with cream of chicken soup, peas, chopped hard-boiled egg,
shredded chicken, almond slivers, and crushed potato chips on top.
That’s my mom’s fast scribbles for the recipe on that piece of lined paper.

I was used to cooking for two, though. Even when I cooked for just me and my mom, there'd be leftovers, so that was the good thing about cooking for myself--lots of leftovers.

The only part that was difficult was eating those meals alone. Many times while eating, all of a sudden, sadness hit me, and I'd get choked up.

Those times weren’t fun, but kitchen time had been a nice distraction and time for me to spend with my mom…or her memory.

I mentioned this book in I: Imari and will again in Q: Quiet (Reading Time), but in Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Novel by Tyler Feder, she mentions that “cooking recipes that they used to make” is a cliché grief remedy that actually works, and it does. I stand by it.


  1. I wished you a Happy Birthday on my post: https://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2024/04/april-12th-to-be-infamous-is-not-always.html

  2. I really like this post. Food is such an important part of memories that we encounter when grief comes to call. I'm glad you were able to revisit these tastes from your past. Stopping by from the A to Z challenge. My theme is holidays and April 12 th is the 63rd anniversary of the first manned space flight.

  3. Yes, food and memories. Smells. Tastes. Occasions. People. Whenever I eat Cadbury's Old Gold dark chocolate I think of my late dad who loved the stuff.

  4. I'm glad that you found cooking those recipes a comfort.

    1. Me too. It was a distraction, a comfort, and I needed to eat.

  5. Family recipes can be so healing when prepared after the loss of a loved one. I inherited a box of my grandmothers' recipes, passed from sib to sib then to me, and every now and then I dive into it for a new recipe.