Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Lost Legacy
A family recipe is sometimes passed done with as much thought and care as an English estate. "Not just anyone can be the custodian of my recipe" has been proclaimed by countless grandmothers over the years. Other recipes beg to be passed on, but find no willing takers. Some, miss their chance to continue in the family lore and are lost. My father's potato pancake recipe is one of those.
No one made potato pancakes like my father, at least no one that I have met. They were not the latke type made out of shredded potatoes. His were made from a batter and had a lightness about them that only led to you eating more of them. Everyone loved them. They became a symbol of family and celebration. Nothing would make me happier to whip up a batch when far flung branches of the clan stopped by. Only one problem, my father didn't teach me how to make them.
I would pop into the kitchen when he was making batch, only to be shooed away. Then he got sick and thoughts were directed elsewhere.
Gray and rainy days find me in the kitchen, trying to reverse engineer those pillowy cakes of memories. Trying to get the taste, texture and timelessness just right. But I know, that they will never be my father's pancakes. I can already hear the family proclaiming "These are great, but their just not Uncle Ray's". You just can't whip up a batch of legacy.