This week I had 2 completely different, unrelated experiences that, as I’ve been thinking about them, have become very related in my mind.
The first experience: My husband, kids, and I drove up to Utah to spend 10 days with my family. After arriving, I learned that I was just in time to attend the funeral of the woman who has lived next door to my family for 30 years. She was a surrogate grandmother of sorts to us, starting when we were kids and continuing to the time when I would bring by a new baby to ooo and ahhh over. At her funeral, one of the speakers said that he used to not like funerals and didn’t see the use for them until his own parents and relatives passed on. Now he realizes that funerals are opportunities to celebrate the life of the deceased as well as the opportunity to pay our respects.
The second experience: On the morning of the 4th of July, my dad made us all sourdough pancakes, which he does whenever we get together. Sourdough pancakes, you see, have been a part of our family ever since my grandpa and his brothers went out with the sheep camp every summer when they were boys. They had no refrigeration, so with them, they took a sourdough start, and every morning, before making the day’s sourdoughs, they saved a new start for the next day. My dad’s start is over 50 years old. As I savored my sourdough pancakes on the 4th, I thought about my grandpa.
Making sourdoughs, eating sourdoughs allows me to celebrate my grandpa’s legacy, both culinary and otherwise. It allows me to pay my respects to my heritage and those who have gone before me.