This Holiday season was a first in many ways… The first Annual Holiday Tea Party. The first passing of family china to me. Complete with my grandmother’s jade dinner ring. The first antique “new” heirloom meant for Anni to inherit — a 19th century Samovar Tea Urn. The first Christmas without my Grandmother.
“Taking Up the Mantle of our Mothers.” That passing of torch from one generation to the next. The gradual shift of mother to elder. Mother to grandmother. Daughter to Mom. Five years old to Tea Hostess. Deployed brother a planet away from his newborn and newlywed. Another on the way. Grandmother passing into the Sunset. Grandfather following a season and a half later. Living now in Memory only.
We are the three living generations now taking up the mantle of family traditions. For the “LaLa Branch” of the Palmer clan (buttermilk waffles, Global Travel, the perfect martini, collections in fine Art). Blending in Dean’s Italian heritage (Sunday dinners, robust family gatherings — usually with an entire animal on a spit somewhere in the yard, Winemaking). Seasoned with Richard’s Salmon dip and avocados. Dad’s baked beans and margaritas. All rooted in love and in family. Raising two little people to embrace and cherish these traditions, these foods and our wines from past loved ones forward.
Reflecting back over the Holidays and in this changing of years, I realize I’ve neglected my root purpose in starting my blog and media presence… albeit what presence one can have as a winemaking mom cooking and painting away in some old farmhouse. It is all too easy to lose focus in our collective daily fun and shared inspirations, especially on Instagram. To not find time to record the reasons behind my table’s foods and glasses of Wines. Important perhaps only to me or the family, but important nonetheless. For raising a family and building a winery (construction starts early 2016!) here in Sonoma is no small task. Ripe with fun vignettes and reasons that layer up and up into new traditions. Things my kids might want to know one day. Stories I don’t want to forget.
- FOOD — our Family Recipes
- This gathering and “putting pen to paper” while bringing this old Farm into restored brilliance.
- My learning to cook once preggers.
- Our healthy, clean approach to making Wine… The kind that doesn’t give you “fat-face,” headaches, or cancer.
- Raising of children to grow not just food but also grapes for wine. And to remember as much of it as possible.
Because Time stands still for no one. One day? I too will die. Heading up into moonlit stars. Leaving behind children with memories, recipes, paintings, and wine. (God willing.) Because what remains behind with living generations should be Love, Traditions, and FOOD.
This Cookbook will be a history of Recipes from our family plus dishes we’ve adopted and made “ours.” Complete with Wine. And why they mean so much. This is the crux of my to-be “Cookbook.” A collection of plates and glasses I started a few years ago — with a handful of killer recipes coming soon — even though no one but Anni may want it! Or my mother, for that matter. But an endeavor I am nonetheless picking back up to properly write and finish this time, and share with you here. CHEERS.
NOTES OF THANKS:
** Big Thanks to Asha from Food Fashion Party for helping to push me into this next chapter.
** “Taking Up the Mantle of Our Mothers” phrase written so beautifully by Sarah McGaugh at Bird in the Hand