This paper explored continuity between the generations within one family in an attempt to better understand larger cultural understandings of family and motherhood. While folklorists have tended to emphasize the transmission of family culture down through generations, an examination of recipes within the researcher’s family (those of her grandmother, mother, sister and her own), suggests more complex patterns. Recipe collections compiled over three generations contain many more recipes that were sent home from daughter to mother, rather than the other way around, and challenge any notion of the flow of recipes in any particular direction. The researcher argued that when daughters in her family do produce their mother’s baking, it may be part of a deliberate construction (or self-conscious choice to do things in a certain way), rather than the unselfconscious reproduction of earlier patterns.
Paper presented at the Folklore Studies Association of Canada conference, Church Point, NS, 2005.